Rocketship X-M (1950)

Rocketship X-Mrocketship-x-m-1950-everett
Directed by Kurt Neumann
Written by Kurt Neumann and Orville H. Hampton
Lippert Pictures
First viewing/Netflix rental

Floyd: I’ve been wondering, how did a girl like you get mixed up in a thing like this in the first place?

Dr. Lisa Van Horn: I suppose you think that women should only cook and sew and bear children.

Floyd: Isn’t that enough?

The story makes absolutely no sense.  That’s one of the selling points of this fun but very bad movie.

The U.S. government is about to launch a top-secret manned mission to the moon in preparation for its ultimate goal of establishing an atomic space station there to “ensure world peace.” So of course reporters from all the major newspapers are invited to witness this historic event – and told they can reveal none of the details to their readers.

After some scientific mumbo jumbo explaining how the technology works, five astronauts board the rocket.  They are ex-fighter pilot Col. Floyd Graham (Lloyd Bridges); ex-gunner Bill Corrigan (Noah Beery Jr.); navigator Harry Chamberlin (Hugh O’Brien), physicist Dr. Karl Eckstrom and his beautiful assistant physicist Dr. Lisa Van Horn.  The physicists are apparently along mainly so they can make frantic calculations with pencil and paper any time the going gets tough.

rocketship 2

Somehow the rocket ship has a mind of its own.  The astronauts are knocked out and when they wake find themselves hurtling toward Mars.  Luckily, they took along twice the amount of fuel needed for a moon journey.  Because the atmospheric conditions on the red planet are so favorable, the astronauts are able to explore in the same street clothes they have worn since lift off.  I won’t spoil the ending but it is abrupt!


There is nothing I like more that to sit around with someone similarly inclined (in this case my brother) and laugh at ludicrously bad movies.  This one contained all the bad special effects and nonsensical plot points necessary for such an endeavor.  And extra bonus was all the 50’s era misogyny directed at the female scientist.  Probably even the detour to Mars resulted from a slip of her pencil …  She comes to value “being a woman” and Lloyd Bridges’ advances when it is almost too late.


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