Frau im Mond (By Rocket to the Moon) (Woman in the Moon) (1929)
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Critic Reviews for Frau im Mond (By Rocket to the Moon) (Woman in the Moon)
Fritz Lang's last silent film is nothing special, looking more like the work of Lang's wife and screenwriter (and Nazi-to-be) Thea von Harbou.
In this 169-minute version, which restores the film closer to Lang's original vision than any other video release, the film proves itself a terrific entertainment with hints of greatness.
As opposed to the furious ellipsis of Spies, the launchpad countdown does not arrive until after the midway point, Lang's intro leisurely laying in human detail to contrast with the sense of dwarfing technology to follow.
In Lang's overlong but intriguing space oddity, the realities of flight clash with the reveries of the characters.
Audience Reviews for Frau im Mond (By Rocket to the Moon) (Woman in the Moon)
In the early days of rocket research and development, Fritz Lang with his then wife Thea von Harbou adapted her novel for the screen. It is not quite as full of stylistic touches as Metropolis, but this vision of future space travel is fairly plausible. The rocket launch, in particular, shows real consideration for the steps involved in future manned space flights. However, the story is pure fiction when it comes to why people would want to explore the moon. It is theorized by some that the moon could be the location of another Gold Rush. The plot involves a lot more melodrama than science fiction. Wolf Helius (Fritsch) is our main hero/space adventurer. He works with the discredited Professor Manfeldt (Pohl). There's a love triangle between Helius and his assistants Hans (Wangenheim) and Friede (Maurus), who are engaged to be married despite Helius and Friede secretly having unexplored feelings. Fritz Rasp, who was also a mysterious figure in Metropolis, plays an American man who goes by the name Walter Turner. The evil Turner blackmails Helius into moving forward with a mission to the moon. Later, a young stowaway is discovered on the rocket ship too. Will the professor be proven right about gold on the moon? Will Turner's scheme be successful? And will Helius or Hans end up with the beautiful and adventurous Friede??
[font=Century Gothic]"Woman in the Moon" is a silent movie directed by Fritz Lang. Professor Manfeldt was once a respected professor with a wall full of degrees but he was disgraced thirty years before for suggesting that there was gold in the mountains of the moon and now lives in poverty.(I always thought there was green cheese, myself.) Manfeldt gives his friend, Helius, his manuscript that contains valuable information on interplanetary travel that a dubious character by the name of Turner was just trying to buy from him.(Capitalist scum wants to stop exploration to the moon since they want to keep all the gold to themselves.) Helius is trying to launch a mission to the moon himself but he has larger problems - like his lady love just getting engaged to his partner. [/font][font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"Woman in the Moon" is a very inventive and entertaining movie with a better sense of adventure than the recent "Fantastic Four" movie but it is too long and spends too much time on a romantic subplot. The technology might be out-dated(although they get the multi-staged rocket, right) but it all looks very impressive nonetheless. [/font]
Lang turns what could've been a run-of-the-mill "from the Earth to the moon" adventure (or the type that became so popular among SF filmmakers in the 50s) into something super intense. The sets are grandiose, the special effects are great (contains some of the best weightlessness scenes you'll encounter until Kubrick's 2001) and yup, I teared up a little at the end. I'd just dock it points for the overly long and kind of convoluted setup.
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