Evanston: Filmfax, 1999. Pp.75-86 (12p., of 92), illustrated with numerous production stills (on uncoated paperstock, so slightly fuzzy) amidst its triple-column text; glossy color 10.5 x 8 inch magazine wraps, shows some mild external handling wear.
Because Lang's "Metropolis" had been a megadeutschmarks success, his new project (this sci fi film) had a huge budget, and director Lang hired Willy Ley and Hermann ("Die Rakete zu Den Planetenraumen") Oberth as advisors; Oberth designed the movie craft with an extra rocket stage and crew quarters. The nose cone looks a lot like a giant ME 163 (first-ever rocket-powered airplane) in its late-1944 production model, FYI, but all this is taking place 1926-27.
"..A magnificent cutaway model of the [rocket ship] was used for both the special effects scenes, and as itself, a cutaway model, early on in the picture. An interesting historical footnote is that after the Nazis came into power, they realized that the technical details presented in the film were so authentic that it could compromise their secret ballistic missile program. The Gestapo, therefore, pulled all of the prints of the film from release and confiscated the model. No one knows what happened to it, and it is presumed destroyed."
Work on the film continued for several years; in 1928 "Oberth convinced Lang that they should follow Oberth's designs and build an actual, liquid-fueled rocket as a publicity stunt." It failed--as a stunt. But the "Verein fur Raumschiffahrt," Society for Space Travel which numbered a teenaged Wernher von Braun amongst its members-- stepped in after what was, filmically, a fiasco, and persuaded Oberth to carry the new design to production.
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE, articles on Peter Lorre, Conrad Veidt, Henry Kissinger [just kidding about this last].