The Moon at the Movies

Suggest additions to this list


A Trip to the Moon (1902) - a Jules Verne story
  • Starring: Victor Andre
  • Director: George Melies
  • Synopsis: Victorian astronauts travel to the moon in this inventive and -- for its time -- innovative fantasy. Probably too quaint for today's viewers, but a worthwhile curiosity item for avid film buffs.
  • Runtime: 14 minutes [sic]

Things to Come (1936)

  • Starring: Raymond Massey, Ralph Richardson
  • Director: William Cameron Menzies
  • Synopsis: Generation-spanning story of humankind's post-war struggle to build a futurist utopia. Features grand set design and big ideas to please sci-fi fans, though some may find it artificial and melodramatic.
  • Runtime: 92 minutes

Destination Moon (1950)

  • Starring: Warner Anderson, Tom Powers
  • Director: Irving Pichel
  • Synopsis: Early, realistic space flight saga features script by Robert Heinlein, Oscar-winning effects, and serious, intelligent treatment. Mandatory viewing for fans of pre-Star Wars space adventures.
  • Runtime: 91 minutes

From the Earth to the Moon (1958)

  • Starring: Joseph Cotten, George Sanders
  • Director: Byron Haskin
  • Synopsis: Very dated, slow-moving, well-crafted adventure about Victorian inventor who uses explosives to launch missile to moon. Quaint period story may interest sci-fi fans familiar with Verne's story.
  • Runtime: 100 minutes

First Men in the Moon (1964)

  • Starring: Martha Hyer, Edward Judd
  • Director: Nathan Juran
  • Synopsis: Faithful, light, somewhat slow-paced British adaptation of Wells' fantasy novel has Victorian inventor encountering evil ant-men on moon. Highlights are jaunty attitude, Harryhausen effects. Mainly for patient sci-fi buffs.
  • Runtime: 103 minutes

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

  • Starring: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood
  • Director: Stanley Kubrick
  • Synopsis: Highly influential mind-bending tale of space travel, mysterious monoliths, and too-smart computers. Plus lots of special effects and an old-school sci-fi look. Not to mention a sinister, passive-agressive computer named Hal.
  • Runtime: 138 minutes

Moontrap (1989)

  • Starring: Walter Koenig, Bruce Campbell
  • Director: Robert Dyke
  • Synopsis: Two astronauts go to the moon and mistakenly reactivate alien machinery designed to invade the Earth.
  • Runtime: 92 minutes



Plymouth (ABC-Disney made for TV 1991)Never released to VHS or DVD
Dale Midkiff fan site for Plymouth (best film write up)
  • Directed by Lee David Zlotoff
  • Writing credits Lee David Zlotoff
  • Plot Summary: The inhabitants of the small town of Plymouth have to evacuate their homes. Collectively they move to a moon base. Despite the agreement that no babies should be born there, because of the risks involved, the base's doctor does get pregnant. And then a sun flare hits the moon and everybody has to seek shelter.
  • Cast :
    • Dale Midkiff as Gil Eaton
    • Cindy Pickett as Addy Mathewson
    • Richard Hamilton as Mayor Wendell Mackenzies
  • Run time 2 hours with commercials
  • Aired Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend, 1991
  • Re-aired Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend, 1992



Apollo 13: To the Edge and Back (1994)
  • Directors: Noel Buckner, Rob Whittlesey
  • Synopsis: Tremendous journey of near-tragic Apollo 13 lunar mission is examined in retrospect in this well-made documentary. NASA-nuts will be ecstatic, as will history-minded and space scholars.
  • Runtime: 87 minutes

Apollo 13 (1995) Tom Hanks

  • Starring: Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise
  • Director: Ron Howard
  • Synopsis: The story of the Apollo mission which encountered trouble in orbit, putting the three-man crew in a life threatening situation.
  • Runtime: 140 minutes

From the Earth to the Moon (1998) HBO Miniseries, 4 DVDs or 6 Tapes

  • Starring: Tom Hanks, Tony Goldwyn
  • Directors: David Carson, Sally Field
  • Synopsis: Outstanding, award-winning 12-episode HBO mini-series providing an in-depth dramatization of the American space program from Kennedy's famous call to action in 1961 to the eventual moon landing.
  • Runtime: 720 minutes (12 hours)

Apollo 13 IMAX January 05

Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D IMAX: Walking on the Moon 3D Fall 2005

"will take audiences to the surface of the Moon to walk alongside the extraordinary Apollo astronauts who have stepped upon its surface. With never before seen photographs, CGI renditions of the lunar landscape and previously unreleased NASA footage, audiences will be immersed in the life-changing experiences of these astronauts by showcasing what they saw, heard, felt, thought and did while on the lunar surface."


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