_First Men in the Moon_ DVD: a perfect Saturday matinee.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jack Briggs, Jun 16, 2002.

  1. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    I first saw David Juran's First Men in the Moon as a Saturday-afternoon matinee back in 1964. And that's the way I screened the marvelous DVD of the Ray Harryhausen-animated SF adventure yesterday.

    Talk about a uniquely satisfying experience. Superb transfer, good sound, and wonderful little motion picture.

    Thing is, even though the film was dated rapidly by the events of that decade, it holds up beautifully as a first-class adventure story. Too, for all its silliness, First Men captures and evokes a sense of wonder about traveling to our nearest natural neighbor in space that few modern films even seem capable of.

    There's an innocence to the film that's endearing and enduring.

    Nope, First Men in the Moon isn't as accurate to science as it could have been, but it works beautifully within its own ground rules, so to speak. One walks away from the film with a mind open to the possibilities and promises of exploring space. That sheer sense of adventure is one of the movie's strongest assets.

    Check this DVD out, and see if you notice some of those sense-of-wonder moments largely absent from today's work. If anything, you will find this film fun. Consider it strongly recommended. A movie for the kid in all of us--yet one that respects our intelligence. And Harryhausen is in top form here (check out those Selenites). How can you beat that for a Saturday matinee in the home theater?
     
  2. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    Can't find anything to disagree with in the above post. I watched the DVD a few days after it came out and was shocked by the beauty of it (remembering how disappointed I was in the washed-out and watery-sounding LaserDisc). The transfer holds up wonderfully, even when projected 6 feet wide on my SE13HD projector. There's a very "film-like" look to it.

    The film remains a lot of fun, on many levels. It represents some of Mr Harryhausen's finest work - the Grand Lunar and the Selenites, in particular - and has a great sense of the original Wells source. It also has the nerve to present *very* flawed central characters, Bedford and Cavor.

    My son also enjoys this picture. I love the fact that, even at age 7, he questions Bedford and Cavor's motives in going on a trip to the moon.

    Jack is also dead right about the great spirit of adventure present in the film - if only we could transfer some of that feeling into some more real space flights!
     
  3. Terry Hickey

    Terry Hickey Second Unit

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    I agree. It's a wonderful entertaining film!!!
     
  4. Maurice McCone

    Maurice McCone Stunt Coordinator

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    this film is a gem and one of my favourite movie memories as a kid.

    I am pleased to hear that the DVD is a good one - I am waiting for the Reg2 release announced for later this year.
     
  5. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    Thanks Jack. Missed this one being released. Have to pick up as it was a very fun movie![​IMG]
     
  6. soop.spoon

    soop.spoon Supporting Actor

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    Ah, what a great movie. The disc is terrific too.
     
  7. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    Jack, what do you mean technically innacurate. When their hands are exposed to the vacuum of space and are unaffected. [​IMG]
    I loved this film and it is nice to finally have it on dvd.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Jack,

    agreed 100%.

    Fantastic, no, "wonderful" film. And supurb transfer.

    Those of you who enjoy this film and appreciate it's transfer should also pick up MGM's "Time Machine" with Rod Taylor. Another great disc.

    (for the movie, I'd also recomment Forbidden Planet, which although has a 16x9 transfer, is not up-to-par with what this film should look like on DVD).

    And of course there's War of the World's from Paramount (which I won't buy bcs it doesn't have the stereo soundtrack available on the laserdisc) which boasts a stunning image transfer.

    -dave
     
  9. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    I actually like the (what I hope is) tongue-in-cheek
    portrayal of women. I also just really liked the whole
    tone of this film...so glad it is on DVD.


    Mark
     
  10. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    A classic Harryhausen SF movie, loved that idea of the US/Russian astronauts thinking they're the first men on the moon finding an old British flag already planted there!, probably the last thing they expected to see on the moon!
    Also very good was the Herrmannesque score by Laurie Johnson.
    It's greet mon, and I will def be picking this little 60's gem up. [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Strange that the Selenites downfall has similarities to the Martian invaders fate in that other HG Wells classic War of the Worlds, eh?
     
  11. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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  12. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    No not at all Jack! [​IMG] Well Herbert George was a Brit wasn't he? And probably still the greatest SF author of all time, with War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, Invisible Man and Things to Come all written by him, thats practically every SF concept/variation written by Wells a 100 years ago! No I'm not biased at all! [​IMG] (Actually I have a Greek heritage, Jack)
     
  13. GregK

    GregK Screenwriter

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    I think this is also the first time "First Men in the Moon"
    has been presented on video with it's original 4-channel
    soundtrack.
     

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