One of the first two postwar feature films (along with Kurt Neumann's Rocketship X-M, which was started later but released first) to depict Americans making organized efforts to reach outer space, Destination Moon established the modern science-fiction film genre. This groundbreaking piece of cinema has also held up remarkably well over the decades, partly because it is such a well-produced entry into the genre. The script, based on Robert Heinlein's novel Rocketship Galileo, offers a plot that became the basic working model for technically based sci-fi for generations to come; even the use of an instructional film within the context of the action became a standard plot device in films for the next decade to explain to disbelieving audiences the basic science behind a sci-fi plot. And the subplot during the first third of the movie, about the attempts to delay and sabotage the mission, is forward-looking in its own way -- the Cold War had only just begun, and Hollywood had not yet jumped onto the anti-communist bandwagon, and the first wave of such films was only just starting when Destination Moon went into production. Although the source of the delaying tactics isn't ever named outright, it's clear that the enemy of the mission is the Soviet Union. Audiences responded at the box office to the overall quality of the movie, and the film community offered its own acknowledgement of the makers' achievement -- shot in color and very handsomely produced, Destination Moon became the first sci-fi film to win an Academy Award (for Best Special Effects). This DVD edition, part of Image Entertainment's Wade Williams Collection, is a beautiful representation of the movie. The colors are solid and deep, yet realistic; the sound is consistent and clear; and the picture is so sharp that parts of it look almost 3-D. The movie doesn't simply look good or rely on effects, however -- it is well acted and directed, with excellent dramatic pacing and finely wrought characterizations. John Archer, Warner Anderson, and Tom Powers' depictions of the men behind the mission express a 1940s-era vitality that is still bracing to watch. The disc divides the movie into 15 chapters that mark out all of the major story points -- the menu, which must be accessed manually, is easy to negotiate, and at the end of it is the original theatrical trailer, which is not only an honest representation of the movie's action and highlights, but, in its opening shot, also momentarily masquerades as a newsreel. Its depiction of the number of newspapers and magazines that had done features on the production is still a remarkable account of the film's pop culture impact at the time. The packaging also includes well-detailed annotation recounting the production by author Tom Weaver.