IMDb > A Trip to the Moon (1902)
Le voyage dans la lune
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A Trip to the Moon (1902) More at IMDbPro »Le voyage dans la lune (original title)

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A Trip to the Moon -- Clip from "A Trip to the Moon"
A Trip to the Moon -- Clip from "A Trip to the Moon"
A Trip to the Moon -- Clip from "A Trip to the Moon"

Overview

User Rating:
8.2/10   19,165 votes »
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Up 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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Release Date:
4 October 1902 (USA) See more »
Plot:
A group of astronomers go on an expedition to the moon. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Narrative Development: Magic See more (114 total) »

Cast

 
Jules-Eugène Legris ... Parade Leader
Victor André ... (uncredited)
Bleuette Bernon ... Lady in the Moon (uncredited)
Brunnet ... Astronomer (uncredited)
Jeanne d'Alcy ... (uncredited)
Henri Delannoy ... Captain of the Rocket (uncredited)
Depierre ... (uncredited)
Farjaut ... Astronomer (uncredited)
Kelm ... Astronomer (uncredited)

Georges Méliès ... Prof. Barbenfouillis / The Moon (uncredited)

Directed by
Georges Méliès (uncredited)
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Georges Méliès  uncredited
Jules Verne  novel "De la Terre à la Lune" (uncredited)
H.G. Wells  novel "First Men in the Moon" (uncredited)

Produced by
Georges Méliès .... producer (as Geo. Melies)
 
Original Music by
Jean-Benoît Dunckel (2011 original score) (as AIR)
Nicolas Godin (2011 original score) (as AIR)
Octavio Vázquez (1995)
 
Cinematography by
Michaut (uncredited)
Lucien Tainguy (uncredited)
 
Film Editing by
Georges Méliès (uncredited)
 
Production Design by
Georges Méliès (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Claudel (uncredited)
 
Costume Design by
Jeanne d'Alcy 
 
Thanks
Charles-Edouard Renault .... special thanks
Charles-Edouard Renault .... thanks
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Le voyage dans la lune" - France (original title)
"A Trip to Mars" - USA (copyright title)
See more »
Runtime:
13 min | 14 min (16 fps) | 8 min (25 fps) | Taiwan:16 min (Kaohsiung Film Festival)
Country:
Color:
Color (hand-colored) | Black and White
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Finland:K-7 (TV rating) (2012) | Germany:o.Al. | Singapore:G | USA:TV-G (TV rating)
Company:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The earliest film listed in '1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die', edited by Steven Jay Schneider.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: While on the moon, the astronomers watch the Earth rise over the horizon. To a person on the moon, the Earth never moves. It does not rise or set.See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

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32 out of 34 people found the following review useful.
Narrative Development: Magic, 2 August 2004
Author: Cineanalyst

"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".)

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