|There is much to find unbelievable in this|
wacky sci-fi, but that's its charm.
First Men in the Moon was made in 1964 and there's kind of a made-for-Tv, Disney goofiness about it. This is not a white-knuckle "man meets alien" thriller, but there is coolness aplenty.
The movies of my childhood remain favorites. So shall they always be. There is some hidden feeble attempt in this to return to much more innocent and happier time or to obscure time's constant reminder that youth has long faded.
I wasn't a child who needed constant entertainment from his parents (according to my mother), but was happy being immersed in a book, TV or imaginary playtime.
Watching Saturday afternoon features is a big part of my nostalgic rewriting of my childhood. All memory is fiction, isn't it? It's certainly not very reliable. One thing's for sure, once watched, I never forgot these movies.
Why is this movie cool?
1. Lionel Jeffries as Joseph Cavor. Jeffries was an actor with obvious chops who perfectly plays Cavor with as an absentminded-scientist-cum-loopy-dreamer. Kate and Bedford play the romantic interests and hapless tag-a-longs to Cavor's wacky plans to go to the moon.
2. Hell's bells, boys! They fly to the moon in a giant metal sphere!
I'm not one of these idiots (on Amazon, for instance) who sits and cynically dissects all the flaws of a film. Why do that? Of course, it's all ridiculous and impossible: this is the realm of imagination and storytelling. In short, it's fucking stupid to do that.
The giant caterpillar is very cool, but the animated Selenites steal the show. The "actors" in the Selenite costumes have not aged well and there's a few laughs to be had, but when Harryhausen's creatures are on screen, then the film lifts off to another level.
Cavel's encounter with the Selenite leader is a nice turn. Personally, it's a bit too short because we could have learned how these moon insects colonized and maybe a bit more of their darker purpose and plans for the invading humans.
4. This film uses Dynamation!
The CGI of its time.
Yes, I know I should be watching The Notebook and learning the joys of humankind through mediocre and cliche love stories, but ya know? That shit seems just as unbelievable.
As Ray Bradbury said, "I'll keep my dinosaurs." Hells to the yeah, Ray.
I'll keep my fantasy films.