18 user 6 critic

Reaching for the Moon (1930)

Unrated | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 21 February 1931 (USA)
Wall Street wizard, Larry Day, new to the ways of love, is coached by his valet. He follows Vivian Benton on an ocean liner, where cocktails, laced with a "love potion," work their magic. ... See full summary »


Edmund Goulding


Irving Berlin (based on a story: with music), Edmund Goulding | 1 more credit »

Watch Now

With Prime Video



Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: Passed Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An eccentric woman learns she is not dying of radium poisoning as earlier assumed, but when she meets a reporter looking for a story, she feigns sickness again for her own profit.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Carole Lombard, Fredric March, Charles Winninger
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An upper-crust artist hires a 'party girl' as a model; romance follows.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Ralph Graves, Lowell Sherman
Murder! (1930)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A juror in a murder trial, after voting to convict, has second thoughts and begins to investigate on his own before the execution.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Herbert Marshall, Norah Baring, Phyllis Konstam
China Seas (1935)
Certificate: Passed Action | Drama | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When earthy Dolly Portland is rejected by Captain Gaskell in favor of a socialite, she aids Jamesy McCardle, in league with Malay pirates, in his plot to seize his ship.

Director: Tay Garnett
Stars: Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Wallace Beery
White Banners (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A homeless woman named Hannah drifts into the lives of the kindly Ward family, in a small Indiana town in 1919. Hannah makes herself useful as a cook and housekeeper and stays with the ... See full summary »

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Claude Rains, Fay Bainter, Jackie Cooper
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

What do women want? Don Juan is aging. He's arrived secretly in Seville after a 20 year absence. His wife Dolores, whom he hasn't lived with in five years, still loves him. He refuses to ... See full summary »

Director: Alexander Korda
Stars: Douglas Fairbanks, Merle Oberon, Bruce Winston
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Mary Donnell, a young legal secretary with a past, elopes with a client's son, but his father has the marriage annulled without knowing she's pregnant.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, Anita Louise
The Iron Mask (1929)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

King Louis XIII of France is thrilled to have born to him a son - an heir to the throne. But when the queen delivers a twin, Cardinal Richelieu sees the second son as a potential for ... See full summary »

Director: Allan Dwan
Stars: Belle Bennett, Marguerite De La Motte, Dorothy Revier
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In sixteenth century Padua, Hortensio loves Bianca, the youngest daughter of Baptista. But Baptista will not allow the two to get married until his eldest daughter, the extremely headstrong... See full summary »

Director: Sam Taylor
Stars: Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Edwin Maxwell
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A chronicle of the tragic love affair between American poet Elizabeth Bishop and Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo Soares.

Director: Bruno Barreto
Stars: Glória Pires, Miranda Otto, Tracy Middendorf
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A factory worker has always dreamed that he was meant for better things, to be rich and famous and in "the company of kings". One day he discovers that he is indeed the only heir to the ... See full summary »

Director: John Emerson
Stars: Douglas Fairbanks, Eileen Percy, Richard Cummings
Certificate: Passed Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

An insanely, egocentric ventriloquist, even though he is possessed by his wooden dummy, is in love with a dancer who is in love with another. The dummy gives advice to the ventriloquist.

Directors: James Cruze, Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Erich von Stroheim, Donald Douglas, Betty Compson


Complete credited cast:
Douglas Fairbanks ... Larry Day
Bebe Daniels ... Vivien Benton
Edward Everett Horton ... Roger - the Valet
Claud Allister ... Sir Horace Partington Chelmsford
Jack Mulhall ... Jimmy Carrington
Walter Walker Walter Walker ... James Benton
June MacCloy ... Kitty - Aero Girl With Long Earrings
Helen Jerome Eddy ... Larry's Secretary
Bing Crosby ... Bing


Wall Street wizard, Larry Day, new to the ways of love, is coached by his valet. He follows Vivian Benton on an ocean liner, where cocktails, laced with a "love potion," work their magic. He then loses his fortune in the market crash and feels he has also lost his girl... Written by Herman Seifer <alagain@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A "DOUG" YOU'VE NEVER KNOWN IN MODERN DRESS- A DOUG YOU NEVER WILL FORGET! (Print Ad- New York Evening Post, ((New York NY)) 29 December 1930) See more »


Unrated | See all certifications »





English | French

Release Date:

21 February 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lucky Break See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(shortened) | (original) | (Ontario)

Sound Mix:



Black and White (Sepia)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film was first telecast on New York City's pioneer television station W2XBS Saturday 20 January 1940. It is one of over 200 titles in the list of independent feature films made available for television presentation by Advance Television Pictures announced in Motion Picture Herald 4 April 1942. At this time, television broadcasting was in its infancy, almost totally curtailed by the advent of World War II, and would not continue to develop until 1945-46. It first aired in Cincinnati Thursday 31 August 1949 on WCPO (Channel 7). See more »


Larry Day: Well, hasta manana!
Roger: Yes! You do and you'll tend to it yourself.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD version runs just under 72 minutes. See more »


When the Folks High Up Do the Mean Low-Down
Written by Irving Berlin
Sung by Bing Crosby, Bebe Daniels, June MacCloy and chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

An Ancient Curiosity
18 October 2004 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Reaching for the Moon will never make anyone's list of top ten films, but it is valuable piece of Hollywood History because it contains one of Douglas Fairbanks's few sound films and it is the solo debut of Bing Crosby.

Joe Schenck who was a partner of Fairbanks in United Artists got Irving Berlin to write an original score for this film and to do the screenplay. Fairbanks is a wizard of Wall Street who falls head over heels for aviatrix Bebe Daniels and chases after her on an ocean liner to England. Along for the ride is Edward Everett Horton who plays his butler/sidekick.

During production it was decided to scrap Berlin's score with only one song remaining, When the Folks High Up Do a Mean Low Down. Bing Crosby sang a chorus of it and then passed it over to Bebe Daniels and bit player June McCloy. At the time of the filming Crosby was appearing at the Cocoanut Grove at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles with his Rhythm Boy trio.

Fairbanks was 48 when this was made and the athleticism that characterized his best silent films was a bit annoying here. But that's what his public expected of him. His role is the kind of part that Cary Grant could later play in his sleep.

Bebe Daniels is pretty much forgotten today. But she was a beautiful woman and had a great singing voice. If people remember her at all it was as Dorothy Brock who breaks her ankle in 42 Street and allows Ruby Keeler to walk on stage a youngster and come back a star. Soon after 42nd Street, Daniels left the U.S. with her husband Ben Lyon for Great Britain where as expatriates they became very big stars there.

Nothing fabulous about Reaching for the Moon, but it's a curiosity and a bit of history rolled in one.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 18 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed