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The Moon - on the Screen
A Visual Trip to the Moon as seen in the Movies from 1902 to 2012.
Moon Facts - The Moon formed about the same time as the Earth 4.5 billion years ago...Only 59% of the Moons surface is visible from Earth...It is the fifth largest satellite in the Solar System...The Moon is egg shaped ...With a diameter of 2140 miles the Moon is about a quarter the size of Earth...Gravity on the Moon is 1/6th that of Earth...The Moon is only about 238,857 miles from the Earth...The first man-made object to reach the moon was the Soviet space probe Luna 2 which crashed onto the Moons surface in 1959...Apollo 11 landed on the Moon on the Sea of Tranquility on 20th July 1969, Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the Moon, followed by Buzz Aldrin...There have been 6 successful Moon Landings and 12 men have walked on it's surface. The last mission was Apollo 17 which landed in December 1972...Apollo 11 took 3 days and 3 hours to reach the Moon...NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto launched in 2006 passed our Moon in just 8 hours 35mins, at 36,373mph it was the fastest ever launch speed for a man-made object and should reach Pluto in 2015 ...Driving a car to the Moon would take about 130 days...The Moon is not made of cheese and moondust smells like gunpowder.
George Melies A Trip to the Moon (1902), historically the first attempt to tell a science fiction story on film. And at 13 minutes was the longest film ever made at the time.
It was based on Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon (1865) and H.G. Wells First Men in the Moon (1901).
Two years after his groundbreaking sci-fi opus Metropolis (1927) Fritz Lang directed Woman in the Moon (Frau im Mond 1929). A scientist discovers that there is gold on the moon and together with a wealthy businessman and an engineer build a rocket to take them to the moon. A friend of the engineer, a young woman, joins the expedition, along with a little boy who has stowed away on board the rocket.
Munchausen (1943) a German film directed by Josef von Baky. Made during the Second World War and featuring the adventures of that teller of tall tales Baron Hieronymous von Munchausen here played by Hans Albers,
In one episode he journeys to the moon where he meets the Man on the Moon and his wife who can separate her head from her body and be in two places at the same time. A classic fantasy with lavish sets, great photography and rich colour.
Destination Moon (1950) directed by Irving Pichel and produced by George Pal. Americans are planning the first ever mission to the moon (ignoring the fact that Melies, the Germans and Baron Munchausen had got there before them).
A rocket blasts off with four astronauts on board, they land and pose for a few pictures, they than discover to their horror that they haven’t saved enough fuel for the return journey! And the nearest gas station is hundreds of thousands of miles away.
A serial in 12 chapters. Radar Men from the Moon (1952) directed by Fred C. Brannon. When America finds itself under attack from an unknown weapon that destroys its military bases Commando Cody finds out the enemy is on our own Moon, he rockets there and discovers the moon's dictator Retik has plans to conquer our planet and move his minions here. Cody beats the stuffing out of him.
Cat-Women of the Moon (1953) directed by Arthur Hilton. Astronauts land on the moon and find that it is inhabited by young women wearing black tights! Unfortunately they also encounter giant moon spiders. Music by Elmer Bernstein, one of his first scores. The film was originally made in 3-D.
Based on Jules Verne's novel, From the Earth to the Moon (1958) was directed by Byron Haskin and starred Joseph Cotten, Debra Paget and George Sanders. Cotten and Sanders build a rocket to take them to the moon using a powerful new explosive and the hardest metal in existence.
They blast off into space with Paget and a young assistant joining them. Sanders tries to sabotage the mission and ends up on a one way trip to the moon with Cotten while the young couple make it back to Earth safely.
12 to the Moon (1960) directed by David Bradley. Ten men, two women, two cats, two monkeys and a dog enter a rocket and fly off to the moon. Upon landing on the lunar surface, they discover gold, traces of air, and evidence of a mysterious civilization living under the surface. The unfriendly moon people wants them off the moon as soon as possible.
The crew leave the moon but discover that North America has been turned to ice by those sneaky moon people! To thaw it out, two crew members undertake a suicide mission and steer an atomic bomb into a Mexican volcano. A massive explosion succeeds in thawing North America and this act of self-sacrifice convinces the moon people that we Earthlings aren't so bad after all.
Nude on the Moon (1961) directed by Raymond Phelan and Doris Wishman. Astronauts landing on the moon are captured by a colony of lunar nudists. After some frisky shenanigans they reluctantly have to return home to Earth. Unluckily they forget their camera on the moon.
A cult sexploitation film though the title is misleading the girls were merely topless.
Mouse on the Moon (1963) directed by Richard Lester and starring Margaret Rutherford, Ron Moody, Bernard Cribbins and Terry-Thomas. The tiny country of Grand Fenwick has plumbing problems. They request foreign aid from the U.S. for Space Research so they can use the money to fix their plumbing. While the grand Duke is dreaming of hot baths, their top scientist is busy building a rocket. The U.S. and Russians find out of an impending launch from Fenwick and try to beat them to the moon.
A sequel to The Mouse That Roared (1959).
Based on H.G. Well's novel, First Men in the Moon (1964) was directed by Nathan Juran and starred Edward Judd, Martha Hyer and Lionel Jeffries. US Astronauts land on the moon and to their surprise find an old British flag already planted there.
1899, and inventor Joseph Cavor creates a substance which resists gravity, he calls it cavorite. Teaming up with Arnold Bedford they build a sphere which they coat with cavorite and along with Bedford's fiancé Kate blast off to the moon. There they encounter the Selenites, an insect-like civilisation. Cavor decides to stay on the moon while Arnold and Kate return to Earth.
Excellent special effects by stop motion maestro Ray Harryhausen.
Countdown (1968) directed by Robert Altman and starring James Caan and Robert Duvall. Desperate to be the first nation to send a man to the moon America prepares astronaut Robert Duvall for the mission but he is ultimately replaced by James Caan because of his military background. Meanwhile the Russians have already sent a three man crew into orbit around the moon.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood and William Sylvester. The year 2001 and a 4 million year old black monolith is discovered on the moon deliberately buried in the crater Tycho. When examining the monolith it emits an ear-piercing radio signal, which is directed towards Jupiter.
Screenplay by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke based on the short story The Sentinel by Clarke. The astonishing visual effects won an Oscar.
Moon Zero Two (1969) directed by Roy Ward Baker and starring James Olson, Catherine Schell and Warren Mitchell. A space western made by the Hammer studios. It's 2021 and Kemp and Karminski are a couple of moon pilots who make a living collecting space junk and ferrying passengers aboard their battered old space shuttle Moon Zero Two. They while away their free time at a saloon bar in Moon City.
Space 1999 (1975-1977) Starring Martin Landau and Barbara Bain. A TV series but I had to include it. The year 1999 and the moon is torn out of Earth's orbit by a massive nuclear explosion, sending Moon Base Alpha and it's crew on a journey through space.
Unusual premise instead of a giant spaceship it's our moon that encounters strange new worlds as it moves from system to system. Since it takes years even at the speed of light to reach the nearest star system how does the moon manage to travel so fast?
Superman II (1981) directed by Richard Lester and starring Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, Margot Kidder and Terence Stamp. General Zod, Ursa and Non arrive at the Moon after escaping the Phantom Zone. They dispose of some astronauts and fly off to Earth where Superman is in the process of giving up his superpowers to be with Lois Lane.
Superman IV The Quest for Peace (1987) directed by Sidney J. Furie and starring Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, Jon Cryer and Mark Pillow. Lex Luthor creates Nuclear Man using DNA from a strand of Superman's hair. Nuclear Man battles Superman on the Moon at one point in the film.
Generally considered one of the worst movies ever made with some of the worst special effects seen on film.
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988) directed by Terry Gilliam and starring John Neville, Eric Idle, Oliver Reed, Uma Thurman, Jonathan Pryce and Robin Williams.
On his adventures Baron Munchausen encounters 18 year old Uma Thurman as Venus, Oliver Reed as Vulcan and Robin Williams as the King of the Moon. Nominated for 4 Oscars.
Apollo 13 (1995) directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, Gary Sinise and Ed Harris. Based on real events, a malfunction aboard Apollo 13 during it's mission to the moon cripples the spacecraft and there is a race against time to fix the problem and avert a tragedy.
Nominated for 9 Oscars including Best Picture and Best Visual Effects.
"Mini Me, stop humping the giant laser. Honest to God! Why don't you and the giant laser get a fricken room for God's sakes?"
Austin Powers - The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999) directed by Jay Roach and starring Mike Myers, Heather Graham, Michael York, Robert Wagner, Rob Lowe and Seth Green. Dr. Evil is at his moon base threatening the Earth with a giant laser cannon. Only Austin Powers and Felicity Shagwell stand in his way.
Ivana: My name is Ivana, Ivana Humpalot.
Austin: Come again?
Ivana: Ivana Humpalot.
Austin: Well I vana toilet made out of solid gold, but it's just not in the cards now is it?
Space Cowboys (2000) directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, James Garner and James Cromwell. Geriatrics in Space! An old Russian satellite armed with nuclear missiles, a relic of the cold war, will soon crash down on Earth. And four ex-astronauts are sent up in space to try to save the day They succeed but only after one of them sacrifices himself steering the satellite towards a crash landing on the moon.
The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002) directed by Ron Underwood and starring Eddie Murphy, Rosario Dawson, Randy Quaid and Peter Boyle. On lunar colony Little America Pluto Nash's nightclub Club Pluto is destroyed after he refuses to sell to some gangsters. Pluto goes after the perpetrators.
Razzie nominated "Worst Comedy of Our First 25 Years" (winner was Gigli).
Moon (2009) directed by Duncan Jones and starring Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey as the voice of GERTY. Sam Bell is the sole employee of Lunar Industries at their lunar base. His only companion is the station computer GERTY. After an accident while out working he wakes to find that he is no longer alone on the base.
Critically acclaimed first feature film from Duncan Jones, son of David Bowie. Won British Academy Award - Best Film Debut by a British director, writer or producer. Nominated for Outstanding British Film.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) directed by Michael Bay and starring Shia LaBeouf, John Turturro, John Malkovich, Patrick Dempsey and Frances McDormand. A crashed alien spacecraft is discovered on the moon. The Autobots, Decepticons and the US military are desperate to learn its secrets. The final battle in Chicago takes up nearly an hour of film.
The film cost $195m to make and finished 2011 with a $1.1billion worldwide gross. Filmed in 3-D and nominated for three Oscars.
Apollo 18 (2011) directed by Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego and starring Warren Christie, Lloyd Owen and Ryan Robbins. Video footage is found of a supposedly abandoned Apollo mission to the moon. The footage shows Apollo 18 landing successfully on the moon and the astronauts discovering footprints which leads them to a dead cosmonaut. They are told to continue the mission. The next day they find the flag they had planted is missing and they prepare to leave, one of the astronauts notices a spiderlike creature crawling inside his space helmet and starts to scream. Outside, the moon rocks start to move...
Iron Sky (2012) directed by Vimo Vuorensola and starring Julia Dietze, Christopher Kirby, Gotz Otto and Udo Kier.93mins.
1945 and the Nazi's have sent spaceships to the dark side of the moon and establish a secret military base there. They build a powerful fleet and plan to return and conquer Earth in 2018.
IMDB rating 6.1