HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Murder Inferno
Extraction
Overlanders, The
Can You Keep a Secret?
Women in Revolt
Astronaut
Peanut Butter Falcon, The
   
 
Newest Articles
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
   
 
  First Men in the Moon Lunar Tricks
Year: 1964
Director: Nathan Juran
Stars: Edward Judd, Martha Hyer, Lionel Jeffries, Miles Malleson, Norman Bird, Gladys Henson, Hugh McDermott, Betty McDowall, Erik Chitty, Peter Finch
Genre: Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 4 votes)
Review: Today is a historic day, because an international effort to put a man on the Moon has come to fruition and the capsule lands on the surface successfully. When the astronauts disembark and begin to search around, they discover something very strange: it's a British flag and a note saying it was planted during the reign of Queen Victoria in 1899. Back on Earth, there is a commotion amongst the project leaders as they attempt to find the source of this anomaly. They track it down to an English old folks' home, and one Arnold Bedford (Edward Judd), an elderly gent with quite a story to tell...

The work of H.G. Wells has provided the source for much of science fiction cinema's most fertile and imaginative flights of fancy, and if First Men in the Moon was regarded largely as a minor entry, it was actually one of the more satisfying endeavours. It was notable for being co-scripted by another giant of science fiction writing, Nigel Kneale - here collaborating with Jan Read - and the screenplay remained sympathetic to Wells' concerns. Also noteworthy was the fact that this was a Ray Harryhausen production, and the high quality of the rendering was unmistakable.

However, if you're expecting a host of Harryhausen creations in the mould of his other films of the sixties, then you might be disappointed. He animated the spacecraft and the denizens of the Moon (some of them, anyway), but as they take up a short amount of screen time you would be better off appreciating his designs for overall look of the film, the lunar parts at any rate. But along with being a handsome production for the eyes, this also did not shirk in the worries over war and mankind's propensity to violence, something that is embodied by the two personalities who reach the Moon.

It takes them half the running time to get there, as first we flashback to Bedford's life as a struggling writer in a country cottage he cannot afford, whose fiancée Kate (Martha Hyer) is coming to stay to offer support. Nearby is Professor Joseph Cavor (Lionel Jeffries) - Hyer and Judd seem to be at odds over how to pronounce his name - an inventor who pops over one day to tell Bedford he wishes to buy his cottage so his experiments may go ahead. When Bedford discovers that his creation is an anti-gravity "paste" to be applied to the outside of a sphere, he is eager to be a part of it, and soon the three of them are leaving their troubles behind to journey into space.

First Men in the Moon may take its time, but it is a far more sprightly film than the majority of Harryhausen's screen work, and this can be attributed to the bright playing of the three leads. Judd makes for a square-jawed hero who might not be as admirable as we would like, but Jeffries is the real highlight as an initially comic character who grows in stature when his faith in science and the nobility of mankind is severely tested. Once they reach the Moon, they meet the Selenites who live under its surface, and Bedford's reaction is to attack them. Cavor is horrified and is determined to understand and find common ground with these moonmen, and it's only the pessimistic ending which prevents the film going out on a high and staying true to his humanistic beliefs. Still, this is an exceptionally fashioned entertainment for the most part. Music by Laurie Johnson.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4726 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: