8.2/10
31,355
155 user 89 critic

A Trip to the Moon (1902)

Le voyage dans la lune (original title)
Clip
0:19 | Clip

Watch Now

With Prime Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC
A group of astronomers go on an expedition to the Moon.

Director:

(uncredited)
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Short | Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 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, A.C. Abadie, George Barnes
Short | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí present seventeen minutes of bizarre, surreal imagery.

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Pierre Batcheff, Simone Mareuil, Luis Buñuel
Short | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An astronomer falls asleep and has a strange dream involving a fairy queen and the Moon.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 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
Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Hypnotist Dr. Caligari uses a somnambulist, Cesare, to commit murders.

Director: Robert Wiene
Stars: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher
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, Fernande Albany, Jeanne d'Alcy
Nosferatu (1922)
Fantasy | Horror
    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.

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Max Schreck, Greta Schröder, Ruth Landshoff
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
Drama | History
    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
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A gardener is watering his flowers, when a mischievous boy sneaks up behind his back, and puts a foot on the water hose. The gardener is surprised, and looks into the nozzle to find out why... See full summary »

Director: Louis Lumière
Stars: François Clerc, Benoît Duval
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The Stoneman family finds its friendship with the Camerons affected by the Civil War, both fighting in opposite armies. The development of the war in their lives plays through to Lincoln's assassination and the birth of the Ku Klux Klan.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Henry B. Walthall
Short | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Two travellers are tormented by Satan from inn to inn and eventuly experience a buggy ride through the heavens courtesy of the Devil before he takes one of them down to hell and roasts him ... See full summary »

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Edit

Cast

Uncredited cast:
Victor André ...
Astronomer (uncredited)
...
Lady in the Moon (uncredited)
Brunnet ...
Astronomer (uncredited)
Jeanne d'Alcy ...
Secretary / Star / Rocket Attendant (uncredited)
Henri Delannoy ...
Captain of the Rocket (uncredited)
Depierre ...
Astronomer (uncredited)
Farjaut ...
Astronomer (uncredited)
Kelm ...
Astronomer (uncredited)
François Lallement ...
Officer of the Marines (uncredited)
Jules-Eugène Legris ...
Parade Leader (uncredited)
...
Edit

Storyline

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


Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 October 1902 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Trip to Mars  »

Box Office

Budget:

FRF 30,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| | | | (restored color)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(hand-colored)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film remains the best-known of the 520 films made by Méliès, and the moment in which the capsule lands in the Moon's eye remains one of the most iconic and frequently referenced images in the history of cinema. See more »

Goofs

A pendulum clock is visible within the spacecraft as the capsule is being readied for takeoff. A pendulum and the clock that it works depend upon gravitation for accurate time, so it will be worthless during the flight. The effects of gravitation were well known at the time.

Pocket watches then readily available were reliable enough. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Simpsons: Moe Letter Blues (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Homme Lune
(2011 Version)
Written by Jean-Benoît Dunckel and Nicolas Godin
Performed by Jean-Benoît Dunckel and Nicolas Godin (as Air)
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".)


41 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?