In 1964, the year The First Men in the Moon was made, the Gemini missions were underway, paving the way for the first moon landing in 1969. So what better time for an adaptation of HG Wells novel of the same name, First Men in the Moon, that deals with a fantasy trip to the moon in 1899? But rather than the Victorian version Wells foresaw, the film begins with a contemporary launch, only to discover that someone else had got there first.
Joy turns to amazement and shock when the apparent first trip to the moon discovers a British flag and a document claiming the moon for Queen Victoria. Back on earth, the sole survivor of that trip, Arnold Bedford (Edward Judd), is tracked down.
Arnold then tells in flashback of how he, his girlfriend Katherine (Martha Hyer) and inventor Joseph Cavor (Lionel Jeffries) had flown to the moon in a gravity-deflecting sphere. There, they encounter grotesque but human-like ant forms, the Selenties, who live in immense crystal caverns but who are none too friendly to the three intruders.
Arnold and Katherine finally return to earth but Joseph stays behind to meet the chief of the Selenties and to further his scientific efforts.
Pre-Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Jeffries gives a top performance as a comically highly-strung inventor while Ray Harryhausen’s effects produce a haunting, eerie atmosphere. As an exercise in escapism, for children and adults alike, this is as good as it gets.
UK / 103 minutes / 1964
Edward Judd as Arnold Bedford
Martha Hyer as Kate Callender
Lionel Jeffries as Prof. Joseph Cavor
Miles Malleson as Dymchurch Registrar
Norman Bird as Stuart
Gladys Henson as Nursing Home Matron
Hugh McDermott as Richard Challis
Betty McDowall as Margaret Hoy
and this just in
Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, The (Epix 2018, Patrick Dempsey, Ben Schnetzer)
The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair stars Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominated actor Patrick Dempsey in the title...
Hilda (Netflix 2018)
A production of Silvergate Media, the makers of Octonauts, in collaboration with Mercury Filmworks, Hilda transforms the Eisner-Award nominated graphic...
Dead Lucky (SBS – Sundance 2018, Rachel Griffiths, Yoson An)
Dead Lucky is a gripping crime thriller told from multiple perspectives. Detective Grace Gibbs (Griffiths) is obsessed with catching the...
Mr Inbetween (FX 2018, Scott Ryan, Damon Herriman)
Ray Shoesmith is a father, ex-husband, boyfriend and best friend: tough roles to juggle in the modern age. Even harder...
Bandit of Sherwood Forest, The (Columbia 1946, Cornel Wilde, Anita Louise)
Cornel Wilde dons a pair of tights and cries ‘History be damned!’ in terrific Hollywood romp The Bandit of Sherwood...
Single Parents: Sleepover Ready (ABC 3 Oct 2018)
Sleepover Ready: Douglas is stuck hosting the kids’ Saturday sleepover, and Will uses this as an opportunity to try to...
Carter: Kiki-Loki (WGN Run 18 Sep 2018)
Kiki-Loki: Harley gets in on a big-budget commercial alongside a famous Japanese mascot. Original Airdate: 2018-06-26 WGN Airdate: 18 September...
The Paynes: A Payneful Hunch (OWN 21 Sep 2018)
A Payneful Hunch: Curtis and Nyla make a truce. Airdate: 21 September 2018 Season 1, Episode 28 With: Cassi Davis,...
Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid (MGM 1973, James Coburn, Bob Dylan)
‘The best film I ever made,’ is how Sam Peckinpah described his retelling of the story of the killing of...
Tales of Manhattan (TCF 1942, W.C.Fields, Rita Hayworth)
Thirteen screenwriters (including Ben Hecht, Donald Ogden Stewart, and even an uncredited Buster Keaton) and a long list of stars...
China Moon (1994, Ed Harris, Madeleine Stowe)
A top notch cast raises the temperature of tight, modern noir China Moon in which homicide detective ED HARRIS becomes...