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First Men in the Moon (1964)
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Yeah, the only time I post on Facebook is when I get a picture of my cat doing something cute.
Rolling Eyes
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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The picture isn't great on this Youtube video, but the trailer is pretty cool.

IMDB has a very interesting item in their trivia section.

This is the only one of Ray Harryhausen's films to be shot in anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) due to the difficulty of compositing images in his Dynamation Process. Many of the models had to be sculpted in the "squeezed" dimensions so that when they were photographed with a spherical lens, they would appear in their normal shape in projection
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_____________ First Men In The Moon - trailer


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Gord Green
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The BBC made a remake of this classic in 2010 with Mark Gatiss (Mycroft on SHERLOCK ) as Cavor.

Although the effects were not up to Harryhousen they were not bad.

In 1969 the Apollo moon landing is to be televised internationally but at a country fair in England a small boy named Jim meets the 90-year-old Julius Bedford who tells him that,in 1909,as a struggling writer,he met eccentric Professor Cavor,inventor of Cavorite,a gravity-defying substance which they used to build a sphere,which took them to the Moon.

Captured by ant-like Selenites,Bedford was anxious to make his escape but Cavor was happy to stay and communicate with the Moon-dwellers. Back on Earth Bedford hears via wireless that Cavor was forced to kill himself and the Moon-dwellers to prevent them from invading Earth. As Jim watches the Apollo landing with his parents back in the present he sees a Selenite,hiding behind a lunar rock,peering at the astronauts.





Last edited by Gord Green on Sat Jan 21, 2017 1:04 am; edited 2 times in total
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Gord Green
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Happy 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing! Very Happy

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Bogmeister
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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I've always been fond of this one — not a favorite, but it's got that Victorian charm. They didn't update the story much, except for the bookends of the 'modern' moon expedition, so it's Steampunk. They did try to present the moon as more along the lines of reality. The novel by Wells described the moon with an atmosphere and vegetation. I have a VHS and an LD of this one, but not a DVD:



Lionel Jeffries passed away recently, earlier this year. His character is over-the-top and comical, but also has moments of poignancy — especially towards the end. His best moment is when he decides to tell Edward Judd's character about his secret invention (Cavorite). He just throws caution to the wind, caught up in the exuberance of wild invention.

Edward Judd plays a rather irresponsible fellow who latches onto the possibilities of Cavor's amazing invention. His frustrated girlfriend, Martha Hyer, goes along on the abrupt moon expedition by accident.



As for the Moon Cow — yes, not Harryhausen's most impressive work. But it's a very small part of the picture. This film ended up as an early Steampunk-style sci-fi effort, before that term came into use, like THE GREAT RACE (1965).

BoG's Score: 6.5 out of 10



Moon Trivia:
Famed Brit actor Peter Finch has a cameo because he happened to visit the film set one day and a bit actor had not shown up for work. Also, I've always puzzled about the title of this one — not "on" the moon, but "in" - a bit odd. But, I guess technically they were "in" the moon. Rolling Eyes



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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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H.G. Wells complete novel is available at Wikisource, and I read a little of chapter 8, A Lunar Morning to be certain I remembered it correctly from reading the novel in high school.

Wells' description of the Moom could not be more scientifically inaccurate if he'd just gotten Edgar Rice Burroughs to write it for him! Very Happy

Well's version of the Moon has a very fast day-night cycle (rather than 28 Earth days for one revolution). And when Bedford and Cavor gaze out the portholes at the first dawn after they land, they witness the direct sunlight cause the Moon's layer of snow quickly evaporate into gas and form an atmosphere!

The Moon suddenly had a blue sky!

Furthermore, a carpet of brown "needles" pointing upward is revealed below the evaporating snow, and attached to these needles were round seed pods which burst open and caused roots to pierce the ground, while stems reached upward and spiked leaves shot outward.

Here's how Bedford describes the rapid covering of the Lunar landscape with these fast-growing plants.

" . . . and all the slope that had seemed so recently a lifeless stretch of litter was now dark with the stunted olive-green herbage of bristling spikes that swayed with the vigor of their growing."

These Moon-plants varied in color an shape, and in a matter or minutes the cavorite sphere was surrounded by an alien juggle! Later in the story (as I remember) all the plants died at sunset and crumbled away, while the atmosphere re-froze and covered the surface with snow again.

Frankly I think Harryhausen should have made his movie based on the wild UNrealistic elements of the Moon that Wells described. In the book, the mooncalves grazed in pastures of the bizarre Moon-vegetation.

That sounds pretty wonderful to me. Very Happy

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The Spike
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 29, 2020 7:53 am    Post subject: Could you believe, they put a man on the Moon - that early!? Reply with quote

Directed by Nathan Juran, First Men In The Moon is an adaptation of the H. G. Wells novel "The First Men in the Moon". Nigel Kneale (creator of Quatermass) and Jan Read write the screenplay, Ray Harryhausen provides the stop-motion effects, and the cast is made up of Lionel Jeffries, Edward Judd & Martha Hyer.

The story sees a UN rocket flight to the Moon land in 1964 thinking it is the first landing in history. However, they discover a British Union Flag and a notice written by a Katherine Callender (Hyer) stating that the Moon has already been claimed in the name of Queen Victoria. This starts off a search by the UN to locate Katherine so as to get to the bottom of the story. They soon find that she has passed away but locate her husband Arnold Bedford (Judd) in an old people's home. Arnold has over the years been dismissed as being "not right" for his claims of having once been to the Moon. But now the authorities are very keen to listen to what Arnold has to say. He tells a fantastical story of the time in 1899 when Professor Joseph Cavor (Jeffries), Katharine and himself, went to the Moon and met an alien race known as the Selenites.

Nathan Juran's movie opens with a booming piece of music by Laurie Johnson, the sort of score opening that promises either end of the world like dramatics, or something resembling the onset of War. We then open with astronauts on the Moon finding the Union Flag of Great Britain - the tone is set for some H. G. Wells sci-fi dalliances. Only what follows for the next 45 minutes is a sedate comedy like piece featuring three over the top Victorian caricatures. It's such as shame that the first two thirds of the movie is actually flat, given that the last third and the production in general really gathers pace and hits the spot.

It's a distracting contrast, and one that begs the question on who is responsible for this silly misstep?. Still, the bonkers plot is fine, even if it's some way away from Wells' social commentary tinged novel, while the actors, possibly in preparation for playing second fiddle to Harryhausen's work, just about keep it watchable till the pace and drama kicks in. As is the case with most Harryhausen led pictures, it's the appearance of his creations and his Dynnamation work that considerably lifts proceedings. Once our dynamic trio land on the Moon the theme considerably changes and we finally get the film that that opening hinted at.

Selenite aliens (a kind of winged beetle race), a giant Caterpillar thingy and the Grand Lunar leader showcase some, what is admittedly, second tier Harryhausen work. However, it's enough to entertain with charm whilst giving the piece some dramatic thrust. Best of all, though, is the art work on show from John Blezard and his team, where terrific sets (and the ever gorgeous in her 40s, Martha Hyer) are enhanced by Wilkie Cooper's excellent colour photography (in LunarColor noless). One can't help thinking that the craft on show deserves a much better film than we, as a whole, get. So this is one for nostalgists like me, who as a youth looked forward to a Saturday afternoon viewing of something Harryhausen inspired, for completists of the great man's work and of course for lovers of "B" movie sci-fi schlock. 7/10

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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Thinking Outside the "Plot"!
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~ A Question for the Members: With the recent discovery of the giant "lava tubes" under the lunar surface, is it possible that a subterranean civilization may actually exist on the Moon?

~ My Theory: Well, probably not . . . but H.G. Wells was certainly ahead of his time when he predicted the existence of giant openings beneath the lunar landscape.





Now, I might be reaching on this one, but we now know that life can evolve in very strange places and very hostile environments. Life has been found at the polar ice caps, the driest places on Earth, and in scalding hot water on the ocean floor near volcanic thermal vents.

A species of nematode (worms) has been found in the Kopanang gold mine in South Africa, 4,600 feet below the surface.






Assuming that Mother Nature and the universe in general just might have a few more surprise for us, we could actually find strange life forms which exist deep inside the Moon.

Because as we all know, given enough time, "Life finds a way . . . " (according the Jeff Goldblum). Very Happy

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Gord Green
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lunar conditions have certainly NOT been conducive to the evolution of living things for it's entire existance.

However.....It would be a perfect source for the observation and examination of the Earth. These lava tubes would be an excellent habitat for an observer race to secretly keep tabs on the planet.

Imagine......The base was established a million years ago to keep tabs on a race of terrestrial primates that showed promise of much interest. The Observers are a alien race whose sole purpose has become watching over and recording the development and history of the Universe. Pockets of these Observers are scattered throughout space....over vast distances.

Over the years research and manipulation of these primates was done by the observer aliens. At some time an argument or division occurs among the Observers leading to a civil revolt in the alien culture leading to the destruction of much of the aliens and their technology.

From the ashes of the revolt a new race of "Selenites" evolve and these are the creatures Carvor and company encounter IN the Moon!

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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Hot damn, Gordo, that is a remarkable concept!

I'm impressed! That's a perfect example of Thinking Outside the "Plot"! As you said, it completely explains why advanced aliens can be living on the Moon. Very Happy

In fact, it's SO good that it doesn't even need the First Men in the Moon connection. It can be the basis for a modern day story!

Just take the initial part of your concept —

"These lava tubes would be an excellent habitat for an observer race to secretly keep tabs on the planet."

— and have it be the premise for a story about a lunar expeditions which discovers that the Observers have a vast complex below the surface.

As you described, the Moon complex is a surviving remnant of the once vast Observers' system across the galaxy, but the "argument or division occurs among the Observers leading to a civil revolt in the alien culture."

Your concept even explains where all the UFOs have been coming from throughout history! The openings above the lava tubes are plenty big enough to allow spacecraft to come and go!

Great idea, Gord. This would make one hell of a movie!

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Gord Green
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And for all we know...It may be a TRUE STORY!
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Pow
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fun Facts For "First Men In The Moon."

Columbia Pictures was initially reluctant to produce this film according to Ray. The studio felt that there was simply so much factual information about outer space and the moon on television at the time that there was little room for space fiction.

The studio also felt that true science~fiction fans would laugh off any lack of authenticity regarding the science in the movie.

Ray was not pleased when his producer, Charles Schneer, and Columbia Pictures announced that the film would be photographed in widescreen in order to attract audiences. Harryhausen argued against it, knowing there would be major obstacles and complications in applying his Dynamation process to widescreen.

Eventually he realized the practical commercial reasoning by Charles and Columbia. Ray then went about redesigning his Dynamation for widescreen.

A sequence that had to be dropped involved the Selenites when they are placed into suspended animation. A machine would have raised each Selenite up to its own hexagonal honeycomb chamber.

Ray's father would once again create the metal model armatures for the film. It would be the last film that father and son worked on as Ray's dad would pass away soon afterwards. Ray always praised his father's talent in building the armatures required for Ray's films.

Harryhausen would say time and again that without his mother and father's encouragement over the years that he (Ray) would never have achieved what he did in films.

Ray was forced to drop a scene in "Mysterious Island" where the marooned party come across a forest of giant mushrooms. He revived the concept here for the moon explorers to discovers a mushroom forest.

Achieving the wave-like movement of the gigantic mooncalf was horrendously difficult to pull off for Ray. It was more complicated than animating the giant crab for his earlier "Mysterious Island" picture.

Frank Wells, the son of author H.G.Wells, visited the production of FMITM.

Famed movie director William "Wild Bill" Wellman, who was shooting another film nearby, visited the FMITM production. According to Ray, Wellman was very intrigued at what they were doing on FMITM.

When William Rushton was unable to show up for the role of the writ server, it was Lionel Jefferies (Cavor) who came to the rescue.

Jeffries was able to convince Peter Finch, who was shooting a film on the next sound stage, to step in to do a cameo as the writ server. Lionel wrote Peter's lines on the back of the summons paper in order to save time for the scene. Peter enjoyed doing the brief part for his friend.

Ray felt that the film did not make enough of the scene with Cavor's cold and that his germs ultimately decimated the aliens' population. He felt that audiences might miss that crucial plot point.

Ray was quite proud of the scientific accuracy during the scenes when the United Nations space craft land upon the moon. Much research was done in order to accomplish this for the film at a time prior to the real moon landing by the United States.

Sadly, "First Men In The Moon'' (1964) did not do well at the box office in either America or Europe.

Ray felt that the poster art that Columbia created for the movie wasn't much help, as it was too childish in its attempt to point out that the movie takes place inside the moon.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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I could be wrong, but if First Men in the Moon had been released before Mysterious Island (which I loved), and Jason and the Argonauts (which I went nuts over) — I might have appreciated this movie.

Sadly, that didn't happen. Sad

It came out after those two life-changing events and crushed my hopes for a movie that would surpass them both! Sad

I was bitterly disappointed by this pessimistic tale, which involved an annoying scientist who completely lacked common sense, a disreputable man who couldn't be trusted, and a dizzy dame who couldn't figure out that her fiance' was a Con Man!

And these three people go to the Moon and cause an ancient alien civilization to perish because they introduced a viral infection! Shocked

Sorry, folks, but this just isn't my find of story. Rolling Eyes

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Krel
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pow wrote:
Ray was quite proud of the scientific accuracy during the scenes when the United Nations space craft land upon the moon. Much research was done in order to accomplish this for the film at a time prior to the real moon landing by the United States.

I remember watching the CBS news before the Apollo 11 landing, and they used the landing scene from this movie to show what the Apollo 11 Moon landing would look like.

David.
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