Ray Harryhausen and his special effects men have another high old time in this piece of science-fiction hokum filmed in Dynamation. Picture is based on H.G. Wells’ novel and has been neatly updated.
Yarn starts with the arrival on the moon of three United Nations astronauts (Yank, Russian and British) amid world excitement. Pride of the astros receives a jolt when they find a small, faded Union Jack on the moon, together with a yellowed manuscript (a bailiff’s receipt) with a scrawl which claims the discovery of the moon on behalf of Queen Victoria – date, 1899.
In a home, an aged man (Edward Judd) is tracked down by UN investigators. He tells them the incredible story of how he, his financee and an eccentric professor actually did land on the moon. He and the girl escaped. The prof remained to continue his scientific investigations.
The three principals play second fiddle to the special effects and art work, which are impressive in color, construction and animation.
First Men in the Moon
BLC/Columbia. Director Nathan Juran; Producer Charles H. Schneer; Screenplay Nigel Kneale, Jan Read; Camera Wilkie Cooper; Editor Maurice Rootes; Music Laurie Johnson; Art Director John Blezard
(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1964. Running time: 102 MIN.
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