Moon Pilot

Moon Pilot

Moon Pilot is a 98 minute comedy released in 1962 by Walt Disney's Buena Vista Pictures. It was directed by James Neilson and reflects Disney's interest in America's early space program.


The plot, however, leans heavily on such stock elements as "mistaken identity" and only offers peripheral (and now much dated) glimpses at space hardware and technology. Much of the movie, in fact, takes place in a hotel suite as security agents try to protect an astronaut from the approaches of a suspected spy.

While it probably pleased its target audience back in 1962, "Moon Pilot" today seems slowly paced and some of the performances, such as those by Brian Keith and Edmond O'Brien, border on the grating. Dark, brooding Tom Tryon may be a curious choice for the title role but he lends the movie a center of gravity which might have been missing had the role gone to a comic actor such as Dick Van Dyke. Curiously, Tryon's "beefcake" appeal is exploited by two scenes in which, stripped to white boxer shorts, he displays his hairy chest. One of these scenes even involves leading lady Dany Saval, a French actress whose career in American films more or less began and ended with "Moon Pilot."

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