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Project Moonbase [cheesy scifi]

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Project Moonbase (1953) starring Donna Martell, Ross Ford, Hayden Rourke
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Project Moonbase (1953) starring Donna Martell, Ross Ford, Hayden Rourke

Set in the “distant future” of 1970, Project Moonbase deals with three astronauts circling the moon, in preparation for the first moon base. But one of them is an “enemies of freedom” saboteur.


Project Moonbase is a cheesy 1950’s science fiction movie. With cheesy effects, downright laughable costumes, and sexism. Lots of sexism. Here’s a quote:

Gen. ‘Pappy’ Greene: [Turns and walks towards her, facing her to step back as he talks] ONE: Colonels don’t say, “No”, to Generals! TWO: You’re not a superwoman, you’re a spoiled brat! THREE: Anymore guff out of you and I’ll turn you over my knee and spank you.
Col. Briteis: [Nervous] If you do, I’ll shout the place down.
Gen. ‘Pappy’ Greene: I might add that this room is sound-proof.
Col. Briteis: [Scared] You wouldn’t dare!
Gen. ‘Pappy’ Greene: You wanna try me?
Col. Briteis: No. No sir.

Project Moonbase

Believe it or not, it gets worse. It’s a cheesy, enjoyable movie that shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

Donna Martell as Colonel Briteis in Project Moonbase
Donna Martell as Colonel Briteis in Project Moonbase


  • Donna Martell (Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer Boris Karloff) … Colonel Briteis. Pronounced “bright eyes”. Feminists will likely throw foam bricks at this character.
  • Hayden Rorke (I Dream of Jeannie, All That Heaven Allows) … General Greene. The very sexist commanding officer, tho threatens to put Colonel Briteis over his knee and spank her. Seriously!
  • Ross Ford (The Red Skelton Hour) … Major Moore. The best pilot available. He’s made co-pilot on the mission. Though, at every critical moment, Colonel Briteis folds like an accordion, and he takes charge.
  • Larry Johns (Dakota Lil) … Doctor Wernher. Technically, a spy impersonating the real Doctor. The saboteur. The audience almost feels sorry for him, since he’s being blackmailed by his Communist overlords into his actions. Almost. Despite trying to murder them all, by attempting to crash the ship into the moon base, he redeems himself. He helps Moore establish communications with Earth. However, an accident results in his death.
  • Herb Jacobs (Mr. and Mrs. North) … Mr. Roundtree
  • Barbara Morrison (From Here to Eternity) … Polly Prattles
  • Ernestine BarrierMadame President
  • James CravenCommodore Carlson
  • John HedloeAdjutant
  • Peter Adams (The Big Fisherman) … Captain Carmody
  • John StraubChaplain

Editorial review of Project Moonbase courtesy of Amazon

In the not-too-distant future of 1970, the United States is considering building bases on the Moon, and send a female colonel and two men to investigate. One of the men turns out to be a foreign spy, and the entire operation–and the future of the free world–is in danger.

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