From the Earth to the Moon (film)

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This article is about the 1958 film adaptation of the Jules Verne novel. For the 1865 novel itself, see From the Earth to the Moon. For the non-fiction 1998 HBO miniseries about the Apollo Program, see From the Earth to the Moon (miniseries).
From the Earth to the Moon
theatrical release poster
Directed by Byron Haskin
Produced by Benedict Bogeaus
Screenplay by Robert Blees
James Leicester
Story by Jules Verne
Starring Joseph Cotten
George Sanders
Debra Paget
Narrated by Robert Clarke (uncredited)
Music by Louis Forbes
Cinematography Edwin B. DuPar
Edited by James Leicester
Waverly Productions
RKO Radio Pictures
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • November 6, 1958 (1958-11-06) (US)[1]
Running time
101 minutes
Country United States
Language English

From the Earth to the Moon (1958) is a Technicolor science fiction film adaptation of the Jules Verne novel From the Earth to the Moon. It stars Joseph Cotten, George Sanders, Debra Paget, and Don Dubbins. The film began as an RKO Pictures movie but when RKO went into bankruptcy the film was released by Warner Brothers.


Shortly after the end of the American Civil War, munitions producer Victor Barbicane (Joseph Cotten) announces that he has invented a new explosive, "Power X", which he claims is much more powerful than any previously devised. Metallurgist Stuyvesant Nicholl (George Sanders) scoffs at Barbicane's claims and offers a wager of $100,000 that it cannot destroy his invention, the hardest metal in existence. Barbicane stages a demonstration using a puny cannon and demolishes Nicholl's material (and a portion of the countryside).

However, President Ulysses S. Grant (Morris Ankrum) requests that Barbicane cease development of his invention, as other, nervous countries warn that continuing work on Power X could be considered an act of war. Barbicane agrees, but when he discovers that pieces of Nicholl's metal retrieved from the demonstration have somehow been converted into an extremely strong yet lightweight ceramic, he cannot resist the chance to construct a spaceship to travel to the Moon. He recruits Nicoll to help build the ship. Meanwhile, Nicholl's daughter Virginia (Debra Paget) and Barbicane's assistant Ben Sharpe (Don Dubbins) are attracted to each other.

After completing the spaceship, Barbicane, Nicholl, and Sharpe board it and, amid much fanfare, take off. Once they are in outer space, the strongly religious Nicholl reveals that he has sabotaged the vessel, believing that Barbicane has flouted God's laws. However, when it is discovered that Virginia has stowed away, Nicholl cooperates with Barbicane in a desperate attempt to save her. Sharpe is knocked out, and he and Virginia are placed in the safest compartment of the ship. Barbicane and Nicholl then fire rockets that send the young couple on their way back to Earth, while the two scientists land on the Moon in another section, with no way off. However, they are able to signal to the young couple that they have managed to reach the Moon safely.



Location shooting for From the Earth to the Moon took place in Mexico.[2] Some of the electronic effects in the score of the film came from the Forbidden Planet soundtrack.[3]


  1. ^ "From the Earth to the Moon: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  2. ^ "From Earth to the Moon – Notes". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved December 31, 2014. 
  3. ^ Arnold, Jeremy. "From the Earth to the Moon". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved December 31, 2014. 

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