Project moon base poster 1953
Project Moonbase
is a 1953 monochrome science fiction film directed by Richard Talmadge. It's set in the year 1970 with the US planning to build a base on the moon. However a series of events lead the survey rocket, sent to find a suitable location for this moonbase, to become stranded on the moon.


In the year 1970 Madame President of the United States and other US Authorities are considering establishing a base on the moon. Before finalizing plans for this base the United States sends a survey rocket crewed by female Colonel Briteis, Major Bill Moore, and Doctor Wernher with the mission of finding prospective locations for the moonbase. However Doctor Wernher isn't who he claims to be (he's an operative of a foreign power which views the US Space Station as a threat and has replaced the real Doctor Wernher) and plans to destroy the United States Space Station by colliding the rocket with it on the return trip. Doctor Wernher accidentally reveals his true identity during the flight and a struggle for control of the rocket ensumes. Due to the chaos on the rocket and damage to it during this struggle Colonel Briteis makes an emergency landing on the moon. Doctor Wernher, in light of their marooned state redeems himself by re-establishing communications with Earth but an accident results in his death. To avoid diminishing public opinion of the space program General Greene decides to make the stranded rocket the center of the new moonbase and proposes that the Colonel and the Major get married so an unmarried male and female are not stranded on the moon for two weeks. Briteis agrees but ony on the condition that the Major be promoted so as to outrank her.

Notes on the Setting

The opening word crawl gives us a history of the setting. In 1948 the US Secretary of Defense proposed building a space station. In 1954 atomic bombs and intercontinental rockets made this station necessary. In 1966 Colonel Briteis (the same one as in the film) made the first orbital flight around the Earth. By 1970 the station proposed by the Secretary of Defense back in 1948 has been completed. The scene that follows reveals that most 'sectional chiefs' of this foreign power are female though their voice via the radio. The first scene also reveals the year to be 1970 via a close up of a mechanical calendar. Colonel Briteis makes the first lunar landing that same year. Bill Moore becomes the first man to walk on the moon, and utters the first words; "Wish us luck, Colonel." Bill Moore and Briteis become the first people to be married on the moon, and thus the first married couple to reside on the moon.


The film was completed after 10 days of shooting in the same studio as the film 'Cat-Woman from the Moon, which was released a day after this film. The two film crews shared sets, costumes, etc making the two films asthetically similiar in some regards.


  • Donna Martell as Colonel Briteis
  • Hayden Rorke as Gen. 'Pappy' Greene
  • Ross Ford as Maj. Bill Moore
  • Larry Johns as Doctor Wernher
  • Herb Jacobs as Mr. Roundtree
  • Barbara Morrison as Polly Prattles
  • Ernestine Barrier as Madame President
  • James Craven as Commodore Carlson
  • John Hedloe as Adjutant
  • Peter Adams as Captain Carmody


  • Director: Richard Talmadge
  • Producer: Jack Seaman
  • Screenwriter and Original Story Writer: Robert A. Heinlein
  • Screenwriter: Jack Seaman
  • Editor: Roland Gloss

Viewing Links

Project Moon Base 1953 Trailer

Source Citation