[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Frau_Im_Mond_4433.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:That's one large step for a man, woman and child!]]

After his stunning success with ''Film/{{Metropolis}}'', German studio Ufa gave director Creator/FritzLang free rein on his next project. Excited by the idea of rockets and spaceflight (hugely popular in Germany at the time) he decided to make a film about a [[InterplanetaryVoyage rocket expedition to the Moon]]. Lang insisted on such technical accuracy that, even though itís a silent film made in 1929, ''Frau im Mond'' has uncanny similarities to the Apollo program three decades later. Just witness the moment where a giant three-stage rocket is assembled in a cavernous building, then trundled to the launch pad by means of a huge transport platform down a dual-tracked road. Several cliches seen in the sci-fi movies of the 1950's and onwards also originated with this film, such as the portrayal of the crushing pressures of acceleration (close-ups of dials and straining facial expressions), the comedy of trying to eat and drink while weightless, and a crewmember making a HeroicSacrifice [[ColdEquation so the others will have enough oxygen to survive]]. It was also largely responsible for changing the popular portrayal of a spacecraft from Creator/JulesVerne SteamPunk to [=SciFi=] Golden Age RetroRocket.

''Frau im Mond'' had interesting historical consequences. In order to promote the film Lang persuaded his technical advisor, Hermann Oberth, to construct and launch an actual rocket as a publicity stunt! As far as they knew ''no-one had ever done this'', as US scientist Robert Goddard had not publicized his experiments. Unfortunately Oberth, more suited to the quiet world of academia, broke down under the strain and failed to meet the deadline. The resulting publicity however provided the funding for amateur rocket enthusiasts to contine Oberth's project. This in turn attracted the attention of the German military, who offered the groups' most promising member -- a young [[ReluctantMadScientist Wernher von Braun]] -- a [[PiggybackingOnHitler contract to work on ballistic missiles]]. The rest, as they say, [[WorldWarTwo is history]].

The movie was released as ''Rocket to the Moon'' in the USA. The UK preferred the literal translation ''Woman in the Moon''.
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!! ''Frau im Mond'' contains the following tropes:

* BatmanCanBreatheInSpace: The Moon has a breathable atmosphere, so they don't need spacesuits! Silent film actors depended greatly on facial expressions and body language [[InSpaceEveryoneCanSeeYourFace which would be obscured by bulky spacesuits and helmets]], so Lang was forced to compromise on this point.
* BittersweetEnding: Helius [[HeroicSacrifice stays behind on the Moon]], only to find that Friede has chosen to stay behind with him rather than return to Earth with her fiance and live.
* BoldExplorer: Helius and Professor Mannfeldt plan and lead an expedition to the moon.
* TheChick: Averted with Friede Venton, who is the title character and heroine of the tale; clearly inspired by real-life aviatrixes of the era. Impressive when you compare it to the later patronising view of women in science fiction (see ''ProjectMoonbase'').
* ColdEquation
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: The Finance Group and their representative, Walt Turner, who want to [[GoldFever mine the Moon for its gold so they can control the world market]].
* DirtyCoward: Hans Windegger, Friede's fiance, breaks down in fear when he loses the LotteryOfDoom. Helius then decides to stay behind instead, [[IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy as he thinks Friede still loves Hans]].
* DrawingStraws: After a struggle kills some of the crew and punctures an oxygen tank, the two remaining men draw straws to see who will stay behind.
* ExecutiveMeddling: Lang resisted pressure from Ufa to add a sound track, meaning the film did poorly at a time when the public was rapt over the new 'talkies'. As well as ThoseWackyNazis confiscating the release prints, the film was also chopped down from its original 156 minute length by distributors trying to make it more of an action-adventure film; therefore some scenes have not survived the years.
* LifeImitatesArt: This film actually invented the countdown, in order to increase the drama of the launch.
* LittleStowaway: 12 year old Gustav hides on the rocket so he too can see the Moon.
* LoveTriangle: Engineer Hans Windegger and scientist Wolf Helius are both attracted to the heroine.
* ShownTheirWork: Along with ''DestinationMoon'' and ''[[TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey 2001: A Space Odyssey]]'', this was one of the few sci-fi movies where the creators paid serious attention to their technical advisors -- in this case science writer Willy Ley and Romanian rocket scientist Hermann Oberth. So accurate was the film the Gestapo later confiscated the release prints and a large cutaway model of the spacecraft, for fear it would compromise Germany's secret ballistic rocket program.

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