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Rocket to the Moon


  • UK Version
  • US Blu-ray (Olive Films)
Release: Feb 28, 2021 - Author: brainbug1602 - Translator: Mike Lowrey - external link: IMDB

The Journey to the Moon

Showman Phineas T. Barnum, who had to flee the US due to an impending bankruptcy, senses the next big deal in England by wanting to shoot a manned rocket to the moon. The moon ship is to be built by Sir Charles Dillworthy, known for his grandiose failures, while the crook Harry Washington Smythe provides the financing. The project is made possible at all by Professor von Bülow, who can give the rocket the necessary thrust with the novel high-explosive Bülovitte explosive. Further confusion is caused by the young French engineer Gaylord, who flew to England in a hot-air balloon with his great love Madelaine to save her from a wedding. When Gaylord presents a better design for the rocket than Dillworthy, the latter teams up with Smythe to sabotage the rocket. Meanwhile, a spy for the Czar keeps a close eye on events.

In the mid-60s, certainly inspired by the terrific comedy epic It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, several films were made about various races, whether by car as in The Great Race or in the air with Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines. Just like the last two films, Rocket to the Moon is set in the Victorian era and relies on the same clunky humor, but this time the moon is targeted. The focus of the film is not the lunar journey itself, but rather the preparation for the design and construction of the rocket. When various bizarre characters work together in the process, chaos is naturally bound to ensue, which is quite entertaining for the rather long runtime.

English version cut in plot

On the German DVD by Dynasty Film, there are two versions. The main version is the German Theatrical Version, which has been heavily shortened in plot and has received new opening credits and a different ending. In the bonus material is an English version with the UK DVD of Momentum presumably serving as a basis. Unfortunately, this version is also shortened, but differently than the German version. There are scenes that are missing in both versions. In the English version, especially various love scenes were removed from the film. Background was probably to shorten the long runtime a bit. The image section of the English version is shifted a bit to the left in the first third. This does not seem to be correct. The (almost) uncut version is on the US Blu-ray by Olive Films.

Image comparison:

German version:

English version:

US version:


German version: 94:46 min.
English version: 103:56 min.
US version: 119:30 min.

Comparison between the German DVD by Dynasty Film (German version) and the US Blu-ray by Olive Films.


Alternate title insert.

No time difference.


After Gaylord and Madelaine kiss in the balloon, Barnum is shown getting ready while Tom Thumb opens various letters. He tells of a request for valuable minerals on the moon and that no one has yet come forward to get in the rocket. Barnum says that somewhere there is a man who has enough courage to get into the rocket. He alludes to Tom and says that he will now go to Barset.

US: 56 sec.


While Bülow says that explosives are being placed around the top, he continues to be shown in the German and US versions. The English version cuts briefly to the workers instead.

US: 2 secs.
EF: 2 sec.


Gaylord is shown earlier in the German/UK version.

US: 1 sec.


After Madelaine takes the clothes, the scene continues in the German version. Smythe pretends that Perkins comes into the room. Fictitiously, he gives him the order to look for the groom. Madelaine watches the play through the keyhole. Madelaine locks the room. Smythe knocks on her door and asks if she wished to have dinner with him. Madelaine says that the door is stuck. Smythe says that he will help her out through the window, but in fact he is hiding in the room. When Madelaine comes out of the room, he surprises her.

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US: 2:24 min


After Dillworthy escapes with the missile under his arm, the German version shows him coming to Smythe. He says that he was kicked out by the committee and replaced by Gaylord. Smythe wants to take care of it because otherwise he would be broke.

US: 40 sec.


Littlejohn is shown at the cannon for a longer time.

US: 1 sec.


In the German/US version, Gaylord is shown running to Madelaine, who is swinging in the garden. He tells her that his plans for the rocket have been accepted. After the project is completed, they plan to go back to Paris. Madelaine says that she misses Henri. Gaylord says it will be a while before she sees him, since it will take about 18 months to build the rocket.

US: 47 sec.


Anna is walking with Grundle and says that she is glad that the moon ship is now finished and that he now has a little more time. Grundle wants to go with her behind the bushes to propose to her there. Anna says that this is not possible. Grundle concludes that it is because he is an orphan and walks away. Anna begins to cry, and Henri shows up to comfort her.

US: 1:53 min


Dillworthy notes further that alcohol is worse than death. Smythe makes it clear once again that Madelaine should be kept in the house as safe as possible.

US: 26 sec.


Before the soldiers can be seen, three skeptics walk past the crowd with their signs.

US: 13 sec.


Grundel goes on to say that he was separated from his love. The woman wants to know if he told her about it, but Grundle says that he doesn't see a future with Anna because of the difference in status. The woman says that real love knows no boundaries. She adds that one must be discreet about it.

US: 53 sec.


In the German version, you can see Henri coming to the launch site with Anna. At the same time, there is a cut to Grundel who sees this. Henri tells Gaylord that Anna now wants to be his wife. Gaylord wants to know what Henri has done to Madelaine, but he answers that he hasn't seen her for days, either. He doesn't need Madelaine anymore, since he is now marrying Anna.

US: 36 sec.


After Bülow is knocked out by the barrel, Smythe and Dillworthy attempt to stop Madelaine by throwing a rock. A group of approaching policemen dissuades them from their plan. Dillworthy suspects they are doomed because Madelaine told the policemen about her plan. Smythe does not want to give up.

US: 1:09 min


While everyone stares up, Anna runs into Henri's arms. This makes Madelaine jealous. Grundle tries to hug Anna while the blonde woman throws herself at Grundle.

US: 14 secs.


Two cuts to Henri and Anna and Grundle and the blonde woman as boulders fall from the sky.

US: 5 secs.