A Trip to the Moon (1902)
"Le voyage dans la lune" (original title)

TV-G  |   |  Short, Adventure, Fantasy  |  4 October 1902 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.2/10 from 25,152 users  
Reviews: 127 user | 75 critic

A group of astronomers go on an expedition to the moon.


0Check in

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Video




Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Short | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A group of bandits stage a brazen train hold-up, only to find a determined posse hot on their heels.

Director: Edwin S. Porter
Stars: Gilbert M. 'Broncho Billy' Anderson, Shadrack E. Graham, A.C. Abadie
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A group of people are standing in a straight line along the platform of a railway station, waiting for a train, which is seen coming at some distance. When the train stops at the platform, ... See full summary »

Directors: Auguste Lumière, Louis Lumière
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Dr. Caligari's somnambulist, Cesare, and his deadly predictions.

Director: Robert Wiene
Stars: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A surrealistic film with input from Salvador Dalí. Director Luis Buñuel presents stark, surrealistic images including the slitting open of a woman's eye and a dead horse being pulled along ... See full summary »

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Pierre Batcheff, Simone Mareuil, Luis Buñuel
Short | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Using every known means of transportation, several savants from the Geographic Society undertake a journey through the Alps to the Sun which finishes under the sea.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A dramatized account of a great Russian naval mutiny and a resulting street demonstration which brought on a police massacre.

Director: Sergei M. Eisenstein
Stars: Aleksandr Antonov, Vladimir Barsky, Grigori Aleksandrov
Nosferatu (1922)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a new residence and real estate agent Hutter's wife. Silent classic based on the story "Dracula."

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Max Schreck, Greta Schröder, Ruth Landshoff
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A man travels around a city with a camera slung over his shoulder, documenting urban life with dazzling invention.

Director: Dziga Vertov
Stars: Mikhail Kaufman
Metropolis (1927)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The Civil War divides friends and destroys families, but that's nothing compared to the anarchy in the black-ruled South after the war.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Henry B. Walthall
Short | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

"In the opening of this film is seen the astronomer intently poring over his books. Suddenly, in a cloud of smoke, Satan appears and surprises the astronomer. At the command of the Fairy ... See full summary »

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A man opens the big gates to the Lumière factory. Through the gateway and a smaller doorway beside it, workers are streaming out, turning either left or right. Most of them are women in ... See full summary »

Director: Louis Lumière


Credited cast:
François Lallement ...
Officer of the Marines
Jules-Eugène Legris ...


A group of men travel to the moon by being shot in a capsule from a giant cannon. They are captured by moon-men, escape, and return to the earth. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




Release Date:

4 October 1902 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Trip to Mars  »

Box Office


FRF 30,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| | | | (restored color)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In 2002, a print of the film was discovered in a barn in France. It was amazing in that not only is it the most complete cut of the film, but it was entirely hand-colored. The film was restored and premiered at the Pordenone Silent Film Festival the following year. See more »


The President knocks his own hat off when he walks behind the desk. See more »


Featured in The Best of R.E.M.: In View 1988-2003 (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Narrative Development: Magic
2 August 2004 | by See all my reviews

"A Trip to the Moon" is justly the most popular early film. I've seen thousands of early short movies and have commented on the most interesting cases, but this one is more amusing and imaginative than the rest. It's better than Georges Méliès's other surviving pictures because it has a more developed story--without the tableau vivant style becoming as boring as it usually does. Wacky humor and trick shots help, but that's in the rest of his oeuvre, too. Influenced by the works of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, as well as Adolphe Dennery's adaptation of those pieces, the story is about a gang of astronomers, who, launched from a cannon onto the Moon, encounter explosive aliens (or "Selenites", as Méliès called them).

Méliès used the stop-motion (or substitution-splice) effect and arising smoke for explosive characters in many of his films--same with superimpositions, animated miniatures and placing a fish tank in front of the camera. Additionally, his set designs were the best of the day. I easily forget it's all done within a cramped studio. He often used moving props, too, but this is one of the few that I've seen where the prop is pulled towards the camera--creating the famous rocket kissing the moon's eye gag. The following shot is a temporal replay of that action from a different perspective. It works here, but Edwin S. Porter would make the mistake of adopting the technique for "Life of an American Fireman", which was reedited later, leading many to believe it was a landmark in narrative editing. The "30 tableaux", as Méliès called it, is linked by dissolves--a common transition at the time, which Méliès introduced.

Méliès made it known that his goal was to push cinema towards resembling theatre. The benefit was longer films with more developed stories. Given this, it's ironic that Méliès was one of the first filmmakers to achieve effects specific to motion pictures (i.e. incapable of being produced in theatre or other artistic media)... i.e. the trick shots.

Numerous early shorts are blatant imitations of Méliès's work, but they usually weren't as funny or creative. Many studios even duped his films and sold them as their own, which led to Méliès patenting his work in the U.S. and joining the Motion Pictures Patents Company (MPPC). "A Trip to the Moon" represents the height of his career. His work would soon diminish under the hectic schedule of the Nickelodeon age and the monopolization by the MPCC and Pathé, and he would end up burning his own negatives. Watch Jacques Meny's documentary "La Magie Méliès" (1997) for a good telling of his life and films.

(Note: This is one of four films that I've commented on because they're landmarks of early narrative development in film history. The others are "As Seen Through a Telescope", "The Great Train Robbery" and "Rescued by Rover".)

38 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
First Movie broadwaygirl1989
MAGICAL!! lorenx_rivera
Similar Movie- capsule goes into mouth de_niro_2001
Smashing Pumpkins Video wes_hockey
trip to the moon vs great train robbery SDunne17
useful websites ezzat-1
Discuss A Trip to the Moon (1902) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: