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Project Moon Base

Project Moon Base(1953)

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In the future year of 1970, Roundtree, an agent for an enemy country, advises the section chiefs of his country's intelligence agency that they have failed to place a spy aboard the U.S. space station. In order to destroy the space station in two months, Roundtree surveys the lists of operatives in their control, one of whom will be deployed to monitor the scientists aboard the station. Two months later, Roundtree travels to San Francisco to coordinate a switch during which one of his operatives will replace scientist Dr. Wernher, who is being sent to the space station. Roundtree's assistant Sam plants a listening device in Wernher's hotel room, allowing them to overhear Wernher's call from Gen. Greene, who orders Wernher to depart immediately to join the first flight to orbit the moon. Roundtree impersonates a bellhop and knocks out Wernher, after which the double replaces the scientist and is instructed to destroy the space station either by setting off a hydrogen bomb from the inside or seizing control of the moon ship and ramming it into the station. At the American Space Force headquarters, known as Spacom, Greene informs Maj. Bill Moore that Wernher was assigned to his lunar mission to satisfy the politicians. Bill is bitterly disappointed when the President of the U.S. orders that Bill be replaced as commander by Col. Briteis, who also commanded the first Earth orbit four years earlier. Briteis also resents working with Bill, who has been assigned to be her co-pilot, because she believes that he is jealous of her rank, but Greene reminds her that it was only her lighter weight that made her the best choice for the first orbital flight. Pressured by the president, Greene reluctantly arranges for reporter Polly Prattles to have a private press conference with Wernher, during which Greene describes the properties of the space station, which is loaded with hydrogen bombs. He also reveals that the lunar voyage is a survey mission to precede the creation of a permanent moon base, which the government plans to use to maintain earth military security. Greene and Wernher's double take off in a rocketship headed for the space station followed moments later by Bill and Briteis in another ship. After docking at the space station, Greene briefs Bill and Briteis on their mission. Shortly afterward they depart for the moon with Wernher's double onboard. With Briteis' unsuspecting help, Wernher's double familiarizes himself with the ship's controls; however, Bill becomes suspicious of the Brooklyn native's ignorance of the Dodgers baseball team. Briteis ridicules Bill when he attempts to alert her, but "Wernher" overhears their conversation and attacks them, then forces the ship into a grueling trajectory during which they all have difficulty moving. Briteis manages to restore the automatic control, after which Bill puts the saboteur in restraints. Greene, meanwhile, receives a notice at Spacom that the actual Wernher has been located by the FBI, and that the man on the rocketship is an enemy agent. However, he is unable to contact his officers, who have been forced to land on the lunar surface because they have used up too much fuel to return to the space station. After the landing, Briteis apologizes to Bill for her misjudgment and seeks his advice. Bill surmises that they are out of radio contact because they have landed on the far side of the moon. Working together, Bill and Briteis later decide to set up a television relay station eleven miles from their landing site, and Wernher's double, who claims that he was forced into sabotage, agrees to assist. After Bill and "Wernher" succeed in establishing a small relay on a peak, "Wernher" accidentally falls to his death, and Bill struggles to return to the ship before his oxygen supply runs out. Upon regaining contact with Spacom and making a full report, Bill and Briteis are ordered to remain on the moon as Moon Base #1 until they are relieved by a larger, permanent crew in ten days. Greene then privately consults with Bill and, after inquiring if he and Briteis are getting along, advises him that the President believes it would improve public opinion if Bill and Briteis were married. Unaware that Briteis has overheard their conversation, Bill declines to propose as he believes she has no use for him. When Bill retrieves some supplies delivered by an unmanned rocket, Briteis uses the opportunity his absence provides to consult with Greene. Some time later, she and Bill are married in a ceremony conducted by the President via television. The female President then announces that Bill is being promoted to the rank of brigadier general as their wedding present, with the moon base as his first assignment. Bill and Briteis then embrace.