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From the Earth to the Moon (1958)

In 1868, American inventor Victor Barbicane develops a powerful military explosive that he also uses as fuel for a moon-bound rocket manned by himself and a motley crew.



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Complete credited cast:
Carl Esmond ...
Melville Cooper ...
Ludwig Stössel ...
Aldo Von Metz (as Ludwig Stossel)


Set just after the American civil war, businessman and inventor Victor Barbicane invents a new source of power called Power X. He plans to use it to power rockets, and to show its potential he plans to send a projectile to the moon. Joining him for the trip are his assistant Ben Sharpe, Barbicane's arch-rival Stuyvesant Nicholl, and Nicholl's daughter Virginia. Nicholl believes that Power X goes against the will of God and sabotages the projectile so that they cannot return to earth, setting up a suspenseful finale as they battle to repair the projectile. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Amazing Story of the Boldest Adventure Dared by Man!


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Release Date:

26 November 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rumbo al infinito  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Among the last-minute cost-cutting measures inflicted upon this film was the elimination of all scenes taking place on the moon. See more »


When Victor Barbicane says that the wind speed is 10 miles per hour, there is an American flag in the background dangling straight down to the ground. If the wind were 10 miles per hour, that flag would be extended straight out. Additionally, when he puffs on his cigar, the smoke encircles his head. Obviously the wind is not blowing at all. See more »


Version of From the Earth to the Moon (1979) See more »


Electronic Tonalities
from Forbidden Planet (1956)
composed by Bebe Barron and Louis Barron
heard during the scenes on board the rocket
See more »

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User Reviews

Was This Trip Really Necessary?
15 May 2003 | by (nashville, tn) – See all my reviews

If you have a lifetime goal of viewing every sci-fi film ever made, then watch this movie -- if you can -- once, just so you can say you've seen it. But if you don't have this kind of masochistic streak, change the channel or go do something more interesting, like watching paint dry.

Despite the presence of undeniable talents like George Sanders and Joseph Cotton, everything about this movie is lackluster; the script manages to jettison every last bit of charm in Jules Verne's original story, including his broadly satirical take on post-Civil-War America and its industrial magnates. Besides the tepid romantic interest, in an attempt to be more contemporary the filmmakers added another plot element in the guise of a super-explosive called "Power X", and then proceed to beat you over the head with the obvious parallels to atomic power and nuclear weapons. Yawn.

While the sets don't achieve the stark cheesiness of, say, a "Queen Of Outer Space", they're not that great, either. There's even an fx shot in which you can clearly see the armature attached to the model projectile. (Shades of "Robot Monster" although at least there's no hand in the frame, too.)

They also have these mildly interesting (but ultimately silly) props called "acceleration tubes" which -- besides looking extremely uncomfortable for the actors -- are supposed to protect them against the terrific g-force of being shot out of an enormous cannon. (I think the tubes are a sort of lame homage to the deceleration sequence in "Forbidden Planet".) But then Nichol's daughter stows away simply by hiding in a space suit hanging from a rack. That is, she endures the launch standing up and suffers no ill effects. So why did they need the tubes in the first place?

I guess she was made of sterner stuff.

Since the producers were also apparently too cheap to spring for the wire work involved in simulating the effects of free-fall, they turn Verne's cannon shell into a rocket ship with a constant 1-G acceleration. But if they had rocket engines that efficient, why bother with the cannon?

I know the last place you're likely to encounter accurate science is in a science-fiction film, but still ...

To me, though, the worst offense this movie commits is its appropriation of Louis and Bebe Barron's electronic "tonalities" from "Forbidden Planet" as sound effects for the spaceship. Far from lending a touch of borrowed class, they're simply jarring. More than anything else, it throws the sloppiness, the utter shabbiness of this awful film into sharp relief.

Even the similarly cheapjack "Master Of The World" -- the last gasp of the Verne cycle that began in the 1950s -- is far more entertaining than this gobbler.

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