source : http://webenhanced.lbcc.edu/
A TRIP TO THE MOON
Starring: Georges Melies, Victor Andre, Delpierre Farjauz-
Directed By: Georges Melies
Released By: Star (French)
Running Time: 13 minutes. Released in 1902
The motion-picture industry owes an immeasurable debt to French movie pioneer Georges Melies not only because he invented the science-fiction-film genre as well as countless special-effects techniques but also for the tragedy that it allowed to befall this incredible showman. A magician and newspaper cartoonist, Melies gave up both occupations in 1896 when he became fascinated with the medium that had been born only a year before. He came to it with an imagination that was unmatched by his contemporaries and turned the gimmick into a powerful narrative form. Starting with such pictures as his recreation of THE BLOWING UP OF THE MAINE IN HAVANA HARBOR (1998) and THE MAN WITH THE RUBBER HEAD (1901). Melies made the world's first science-fiction film by adapting Jules Verne's FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON and H.G. Well's FIRST MEN IN THE MOON as A TRIP TO THE MOON.
Fired from a huge cannon by a line of Folies-Bergere bathing beauties, a group of French scientists headed by Melies himself rides a large, hollow space bullet to the moon. The flight is brief: the projectile whizzes through the void, striking a none-too-pleased Man in the Moon square in the eye. (An alternate scene in which the lunar visage actually swallows the capsule was also filmed but discarded.) Landing in a crater, Melies and his comrades step unprotected to the habitable surface of the moon, where they watch an earthrise (remarkable reminiscent of the view seen during the Apollo Eight lunar orbit mission) and, with the coming of night, take a nap on the satellite's rocky terrain. The next morning the adventurers discover a vast cavern, within which they find bizarre flora and soil so fertile that umbrellas take root and grow! However, the most amazing sight of all is the short, lobster-like moon people called Selenities. The crustaceous beings attack the terrestrial party, and although the aggressors vaporize when struck, they are able to subdue the earthlings. The space voyagers are brought before the king of the moon. Showing little regard for the virtues of diplomacy, the Frenchmen bob the lunar tyrant and he evaporates. Hastening back to their projectile, the explorers push off from a cliff and fall back to earth, landing again rather prophetically in the Pacific Ocean.