Man in the Moon (1961)

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Synopsis

Satirical comedy. William Blood is a man of excellent health, who has never even caught a cold. He attributes his formidable constitution to a relaxed attitude to life and, especially, love; he sees himself as a ladies' man who wisely runs at the first indication that a women wants to get married. Blood makes a living as a research specimen for scientific investigation, but his constant physical wellbeing means the scientists can learn nothing from him, and so finally he loses his lucrative work. At the same time, he is noticed by members of a space programme, who need a robustly healthy man to land on the moon as a sort of guinea pig before the rest of their highly trained astronauts arrive. They talk Blood into being trained up for what he thinks is an aeronautical project, unaware that he is being primed for space travel. Blood has met a dancer, working as a stripper, called Polly, who begins to fall in love with him. As Blood begins to fall for Polly, he finds himself developing the first signs of a cold. He also discovers the truth about the lunar mission, which by now has a reward of £100,000 (put up by Billy Butlin) for the first man on the moon. (His rival trainees, the real astronauts, have been sabotaging his training in their bid to keep the prize money for themselves.) Wanting the money to set him and Polly up for life, Blood agrees to go to the moon. He travels to Australia, where the launch is to take place, enters the rocket and is launched. Three days later the mission control contact him again to check he has arrived all right. He says he arrived a good while ago, and when he leaves the rocket it soon becomes apparent that he has actually come back to Earth and is not far away, somewhere in Australia. He races to the launch site to stop them from sending the rest of the astronauts up just as fruitlessly. Later, Blood and Polly are making a living doing experiments on family planning (by which time they have three children).

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