TCM celebrates moon landing with sci-fi classic flicks!

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Just a heads-up for those of you who enjoy classic science fiction films. Turner Classic Movies will be celebrating the anniversary of the Apollo moon landing on July 20th with 13 features that includes the 1902 silent film, A Trip To The Moon. A few of these I've never seen, so I'm very much looking forward to this! You can find out more about each flick by clicking on the link at the bottom of this post, then clicking on the title of the film. Here's the schedule:

20 Monday
6:00 AM They Came From Beyond Space (1967)
Scientists investigating a meteor shower uncover an alien invasion. Cast: Robert Hutton, Jennifer Jayne, Zia Mohyeddin. Dir: Freddie Francis. C-85 mins, TV-PG, Letterbox Format

7:30 AM From The Earth To The Moon (1958)
Lifelong rivals collaborate on a 19th-century moon rocket. Cast: Joseph Cotten, George Sanders, Henry Daniell. Dir: Byron Haskin. C-100 mins, TV-G, CC

9:30 AM First Men in the Moon (1964)
A scientist's experimental space craft puts him in the path of an intergalactic invasion. Cast: Edward Judd, Martha Hyer, Lionel Jeffries. Dir: Nathan Juran. C-103 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format

11:30 AM Twelve to the Moon (1960)
An international team boards a spaceship to the moon. Cast: Michi Kobi, Tom Conway, John Wengraf. Dir: David Bradley. BW-74 mins, TV-PG

1:00 PM Destination Moon (1950)
A crusading scientist defies the government to launch an expedition to the moon. Cast: Warner Anderson, Tom Powers, Dick Wesson. Dir: Irving Pichel. C-90 mins, TV-G

3:00 PM Mouse On The Moon, The (1963)
A small European nation launches a space program using the local wine as rocket fuel. Cast: Margaret Rutherford, Ron Moody, Terry-Thomas. Dir: Richard Lester. C-85 mins, TV-G, CC, Letterbox Format

4:30 PM Have Rocket, Will Travel (1959)
Three janitors stumble onto the formula for rocket fuel. Cast: The Three Stooges, Jerome Cowan, Robert Colbert. Dir: David Lowell Rich. BW-76 mins, TV-PG, Letterbox Format

6:00 PM Moon Pilot (1962)
An astronaut dodges secret agents and a beautiful spy before his first moon trip. Cast: Tom Tryon, Brian Keith, Dany Saval. Dir: James Neilson. C-98 mins, , CC, Letterbox Format

8:00 PM Trip to the Moon, A (1902)
In this silent film, a group of scientists ride to the moon in a cannon shell. Cast: Georges Melies, Henri Delannoy, Bleuette Bernon. Dir: Georges Melies. BW-14 mins, TV-G

8:15 PM For All Mankind (1989)
Documentary footage traces the progress of the Apollo missions. Cast: Jim Lovell, Russell Schweickart, Eugene Cernan narrate. Dir: Al Reinert. C-80 mins,

10:00 PM Right Stuff, The (1983)
The first astronauts fight for their place in space. Cast: Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris. Dir: Philip Kaufman. C-193 mins, TV-MA, CC, Letterbox Format

1:30 AM Marooned (1969)
Three U.S. astronauts face a slow death when their rockets fail during a space voyage. Cast: Gregory Peck, Richard Crenna, David Janssen. Dir: John Sturges. C-129 mins, TV-PG, Letterbox Format

3:45 AM Capricorn One (1978)
The government fakes a Mars landing then sets out to kill the astronauts involved. Cast: Elliott Gould, James Brolin, Brenda Vaccaro. Dir: Peter Hyams. C-123 mins, TV-14, CC, Letterbox Format ... =EST&cid=N


I hope someone shows "Countdown" with James Caan and Robert Duvall; directed by Robert Altman! It was based on a lunar version of old MISS (Man In Space Soonest) which would send a modified Gemini capsule to the moon with a lone astro, who would then tramp on over to an unmanned cargo container to await the arrival of Apollo to fetch him...

Here's a synopsis from Wikipedia (spoiler alert- end is revealed!):

"It's 1968. NASA puts a habitat shelter onto the moon, with a bright light shining from it. Lee (Caan) is to fly a modified Gemini space capsule, set up to support a single astronaut instead of two, to the moon, where he will spot the shelter from orbit, then activate an automated landing program. He will make his way across the lunar surface, enter the shelter and wait there for Apollo to land, then return to Earth with Apollo. If there'll be a further delay sending Apollo, another shelter will be sent for Lee to move to. In either case, it means a long, lonely stay, isolated from the rest of humanity by a distance greater than nine times the circumference of the Earth; Earth will be virtually motionless in the sky, and his only "light" during each two-week period of lunar night.

The Russians launch a manned landing mission, and Lee is rushed to the launch pad. As his craft nears the moon, engine problems cause a battery drain, affecting his radio, and he is very reluctant to shut off systems and sleep his way to the moon. Once there, through watering eyes, he is having difficulty spotting the habitat, and is to allow free-return trajectory if he can't positively spot it. He thinks he sees it and engages the landing sequence. Chiz (Duvall) has misgivings.

Lee's capsule lands safely, but he is unable to communicate with Earth because a tall rock outcrop is between him and Earth in the moon's sky. He disembarks and begins to cross the moon's surface, looking for the shelter. NASA will know he's made it when he enters and activates it, and Lee has approximately two hours.

Lee finds the Soviet spacecraft, half-buried in the surface, its cosmonauts dead, one with an open visor. He takes time to honor his fellow space travelers, burying them and laying out the flags of both their countries, then continues his trek in search of the shelter. With time running low, he takes out a rubber mouse his son Stevie lent him, and lets it twirl on its string for a random choice of which way to walk, then sets off in that direction.

He has less than four minutes before his oxygen pressure starts dropping. He is about to throw in the towel when a red light flashes across his visor and the rocks. He turns to look and finally sees the shelter, just as a NASA official tells the press that the two hours is nearly expired and the shelter has not yet been activated. As the closing credits roll, Lee makes his way toward the shelter that will be his home for an unknown length of time."

Pretty classy.


I look forward to seeing some of those flicks again. I vaguely recall seeing the one with James Caan and Robert Duvall on CBS late night movie decades ago. What about a movie called Moon Two-Zero? Or was it Moon Zero-Two? Another one I saw once on the late show. I haven't seen First Men in the Moon in a very long time. Rather quaint, as I recall. You see the movie they made from an H.G. Wells novel, then you finally get around to reading the novel and end up scratching your head. Hollywood never really did right by him, IMO.
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