Two years after revolutionizing the science fiction film with his epic Metropolis, director Fritz Lang revisited the genre with an ambitious spectacle that dramatizes the first lunar expedition. Rather than a flight of pure fantasy, Lang, screenwriter Thea von Harbou and a group of technical consultants conceived a modernized "Trip to the Moon" grounded in state-of-the-art astrophysics. Spiced with romance and espionage (including a network of diabolical super-spies straight out of Lang's Mabuse films), Woman in the Moon was one of the most influential science fiction films of its era.
Fritz Lang (METROPOLIS, M. THE BIG HEAT) used a scenario by his then wife Thea von Harbou about a trip to the moon to continue his early investigations into science and technology. When scientist Manfeldt finally gets the chance to go to the moon and prove his theory of the existence of lunar gold deposits, he is disappointed to discover that he must travel with various strangers. They include Frieda and Hans--a newly wed couple, a scheming financier named Turner, Wolf Helius--the engineer in charge of the expedition, and Gustav--a young castaway. When the crew actually discovers gold in the lunar caverns, the greedy Turner faces off against the bewildered professor, and violence ensues. Fritz Lang focused much of his attention on creating the rocket launch as well as the lunar landscapes in keeping with his many scientific advisors' advice. The resulting film offers many images and artifacts that would prove to be extremely accurate when space travel became a reality. The human struggles with greed, jealousy and idealism are played out against a stunning backdrop of rockets and white lunar landscapes, and the tender moments between the protagonists are some of the most touching in any of Lang's oeuvre.
WOMAN IN THE MOON begins with Professor Manfeldt hypothesizing the existence of gold deposits on the moon. Many years later, an expedition to the moon is organized and the professor is among those sent on the journey. Traveling with him are newly wed science students Frieda and Hans, Turner--a representative of the financing company, Helius--a master engineer, and Gustav--a young castaway. As the rocket careens towards the moon, tensions mount as Frieda and Helius begin a forbidden attraction and the rocket crashes. When the crew discovers gold, violent clashes ensue, leaving several dead and the survivors with limited oxygen and conflicting loyalties.
A prescient silent film about a fanstastical trip to the moon.
Space Exploration |
WOMAN IN THE MOON was filmed in Berlin in 1929.
WOMAN IN THE MOON was released in Germany on October 15th, 1929 but was not released in America until 1931.
Fritz Lang claims to have invented the countdown for the launch scene in WOMAN IN THE MOON.
Fritz Lang refused to add a sound track to WOMAN IN THE MOON, and it was released as a silent film long after sound films had been introduced.
The moonscape in the film was created using bleached sand from the outskirts of Berlin that was trucked into the studios.
Famous Avant-Garde painter and experimental animator Oskar Fischinger served as the camera assistant for WOMAN IN THE MOON.
In 1968 the U.S. government invited Fritz Lang as an honored guest to a space science seminar on the basis of the technological prescience of WOMAN IN THE MOON.
Movie Lover: Patrick from
Brick, NJ US -- November, 27, 2007
This movie captures a vision of space travel that comes very close to what actually happened nearly 50 years later. Their take on what space travel could be like is amazing. You will be stunned with how much they got right.
Of course, not everything is right; the moon doesn't have a breathable atmosphere. But I can't blame them for not knowing what the moon was really like, or that there is no chance of ever finding gold there. They had to create some things just to advance the plot.
This is not some bizarre or fanciful look at space travel; it was a very well thought out projection of how humans could travel through space. So take the leap; see how close they came. Challenge yourself to find the right and the wrong in this movie.
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