Film (1964). Columbia. Produced by Charles H Schneer. Directed by Nathan Juran. Written by Nigel Kneale, Jan Read, from The First Men in the Moon (1901) by H G Wells. Cast includes Martha Hyer, Lionel Jeffries and Edward Judd. 107 minutes, cut to 103 minutes. Colour.
This watered-down version of Wells's classic novel is for the most part low farce, with too much random slaughtering of Selenite aliens, but still contrives to be entertaining. An eccentric Victorian inventor who has developed an Antigravity material flies to the Moon in a spherical "spaceship". He and his companions are captured by insect-like Moon people but eventually escape, inadvertently leaving behind cold-germs which destroy the Moon's population. Ray Harryhausen's Moon creatures are rather good, as are the sets.
A previous version of First Men in the Moon was made in 1919 by British Gaumont, directed by J V Leigh. [JB/PN]
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