“Do you think we’ll ever see our world again?”
An elderly Englishman (Edward Judd) reminisces about a turn-of-the-century trip he took to the moon with his fiancee (Martha Hyer) and a neighbor (Lionel Jeffries).
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Flashback Films
- H.G. Wells Films
- Ray Harryhausen Films
- Science Fiction
- Space Exploration
This adaptation of H.G. Wells’ 1901 novel is primarily notable for featuring the work of special effects guru Ray Harryhausen. As DVD Savant notes in his review, “Although there’s relatively little of Harryhausen’s standard animation techniques, the design and creation of the wall-to-wall effects is clearly his”, and the lunar world encountered by Wells’ Victorian-era space travelers is “imaginative, colorful and well designed”. Wells’ original storyline — about an insolvent playwright and an eccentric scientist encountering an ant-like colony of residents inside the moon — is padded here with both an irritating romantic subplot between Judd and Hyer (which merely turns our sentiments against the deceitful Judd, who is lying to Hyer):
… and a reasonably clever exposition, in which Judd’s elderly protagonist is finally able to tell his story with credibility once a Union Jack is found on the moon by modern-day astronauts.
Unfortunately, the meat of the story — i.e., the travelers’ inter-species encounter — isn’t given nearly enough screen time, resulting in an underdeveloped sci-fi film which appears to exist simply as a showcase for Harryhausen’s work.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Impressive sets and special effects by Harryhausen
No, though it’s certainly worth a look simply for Harryhausen’s work.