First Men in the Moon

  • Film
  • Fantasy films
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Nigel Kneale was presumably responsible for the Quatermass-like opening: astronauts on the moon find a faded Union Jack and a note dated 1899, while back on Earth, an old man in a nursing home babbles about terrible dangers. But then this HG Wells adaptation turns very tame indeed, with the principals rendered as bumbling Victorian comics by a serviceable if not very exciting cast, and Juran taking it all far too slowly. Once on the moon ('colour by Lunacolor') things perk up, though Ray Harryhausen has mixed success with his monsters. The giant centipede isn't bad, but the belligerent beetles are too obviously chaps in rubber suits. No poetic effusions, incidentally, for Lionel Jeffries, on taking that pioneering small step. 'Hello, moon,' he says brightly.

Release details

Duration: 103 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Nathan Juran
Screenwriter: Nigel Kneale, Jan Read
Cast: Martha Hyer
Marne Maitland
Edward Judd
Lionel Jeffries
Betty McDowall
Peter Finch
Miles Malleson
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