The First Men in the Moon (1919 film)
|The First Men in the Moon|
J. L. V. Leigh
R. Byron Webber |
H.G. Wells (novel)
|Distributed by||Gaumont British (UK)|
The First Men in the Moon (1919) is a black-and-white silent film, directed by Bruce Gordon and J. L. V. Leigh. The film is based on H. G. Wells' science fiction novel The First Men in the Moon (1901). There have been many subsequent adaptations of Wells' novel on film, radio and video.
As of August 2010, the film is not held in the BFI National Archive and is listed on the British Film Institute's "75 Most Wanted" list of lost films. Stills from the production and a plot synopsis exist.
The synopsis from The Bioscope trade paper of 5 June 1919 reads as follows:
In the company of Rupert Bedford, a grasping speculator, Samson Cavor, an elderly inventor-scientist, ascends to the Moon in a sphere coated with 'Cavorite', a substance which has the property of neutralizing the law of gravity. After strange adventures with the 'Selenites' (the inhabitants of the Moon), Bedford villainously deserts the professor and returns to Earth alone in order to make a fortune for himself out of Cavorite. By means of wireless telegraphy, however, Hogben, a young engineer in love with Cavor's niece, Susan, succeeds in getting in touch with the stranded inventor, who denounces Bedford and states that he has been amicably received by the Grand Lunar, overlord of the Selenites. Susan thereupon indignantly rejects the proposals of Bedford, who has represented it as Cavor's last wish that she should marry him, and, instead, accepts Hogben as her husband.
Robert Godwin credits the film as "the first movie to ever be based entirely on a famous science fiction novel." "Frankenstein", a loose adaptation of Mary Shelley's eponymous novel, however, had appeared in 1910. This earlier film, long also lost but rediscovered in the mid-1970s, has a running time of only 14 minutes.
- Bruce Gordon as Hogben
- Heather Thatcher as Susan
- Hector Abbas as Sampson Cavor
- Lionel d'Aragon as Rupert Bedford
- Cecil Morton York as Grand Lunar