First Men in the Moon (1964)

“filmed in Dynamation the miracle of the screen and Panavision” [released in Cinerama in Germany], 35mm, 70mm [blow-up], Lunacolor by Pathe, 2.35:1
mono, English

A British/American science fiction film directed by Nathan Juran, co-scripted by Nigel Kneale from the H.G. Wells story.

Plot Summary

A team of United Nations arrive on to find that someone has beaten them to it. They find a tiny Union Jack flag and a note proclaiming the moon as the property of Queen Victoria and investigations lead to an aged author, Arnold Bedford, who tells how he, his fiancé Katherine Callender and an eccentric inventor, Joseph Cavor, had made it to the moon in 1899. He also tells them of the strange creatures they met there…


Directed by: Nathan Juran
© MCMLXIV [1964] by American Films Ltd
Columbia Pictures presents a Charles H. Schneer production
Produced by: Charles H. Schneer
Associate Producer: Ray Harryhausen
Production Manager: Ted Wallis
Screenplay by: Nigel Kneale & Jan Read
From the original story by H.G. Wells
Assistant Director: George Pollard
Continuity: Eileen Head
Photographed by: Wilkie Cooper
Camera Operator: Harry Gillam
Lunacolor by Pathe
Editor: Maurice Rootes
Music by: Laurie Johnson
Sound Recordists: Buster Ambler, Red Law
Westrex Recording System
Creator of Special Visual Effects: Ray Harryhausen
Selenite Designer: Brian Kneale [uncredited]
Technical Staff: Les Bowie, Kit West
Title Designer: Sam Suliman
Art Director: John Blezard
Technical Advisor: Arthur Garrett
The Producer acknowledges with thanks the co-operation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington D.C. and The Ministry of Aviation, Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough, England in the making of this film.
Made at: Shepperton Studios – England

Edward Judd as [Arnold] Bedford
Martha Hyer as Kate [Callender]
Lionel Jeffries as [Joseph] Cavor
Miles Malleson (Dymchurch registrar)
Norman Bird (Stuart)
Gladys Henson (nursing home matron)
Hugh McDermott (Richard Challis)
Betty McDowall (Maggie Hoy)
Erik Chitty [Gibbs – uncredited]
Laurence Herder [Glushkov – uncredited]
Marne Maitland [Dr Tok – uncredited]
Paul Carpenter [reporter from the Express – uncredited]
Huw Thomas [announcer – uncredited]
Gordon Robinson [Sergeant Andrew Martin – uncredited]
Sean Kelly [Colonel Rice – uncredited]
John Murray Scott [Cosmonaut Nevsky – uncredited]
Peter Finch [bailiff's man – uncredited]

Alternative Titles

Base luna chiama terra – Italy
Ensimmäiset miehet kuussa – Finland
Die Erste Fahrt zum Mond – Germany
Först på månen – Sweden
Første mand på månen – Denmark
La gran sorpresa – Spain
Les premiers hommes dans la lune – French Belgian title

Extracts included in
The Martians and Us: From Apes to Aliens (2007)

See also
First Men in the Moon (1919)
First Men in the Moon (2010)



  • The Daily Cinema no.8873 (7-8 February 1964) p.8 – note (Production-wise)
  • The Daily Cinema no.8942 (22 July 1964) p.17 – credits, review (by M.H.)
  • The Daily Cinema no.9026 (10 February 1965) p.7 – note
  • The Dark Side no.54 p.18 – review
  • Eagle 12 Augsut 1964 – competition (winners receive 100 Mach X rocket models)
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.182 no.35 (16 October 1964) p.3 – credits, review (by James Powers)
  • Kine Weekly no.2965 (30 July 1964) pp.6; 8 (UK) – article (Sparkling campaign from Columbia for Schneer's adventure double); credits, review (by Graham Clarke)
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.31 no.368 (September 1964) p.134 – credits, review, synopsis
  • Motion Picture Herald vol.232 no.9 (28 October 1964) p.153 (Product Digest) – credits, review (by William R. Weaver)
  • Showtime September 1964 – competition (Spot the Difference)
  • Sight & Sound vol.3 no.4 (April 1993) p.70 – note
  • Variety 5 August 1964 p.6 – credits, review (by Rich)
  • Widescreen Review no.61 (June 2002) p.87 – illustrated DVD review


  • Sunday Citizen 9 August 1964 – competitions (Trip to the Stars, winner takes 4 day trip to London, including a day at Shepperton Studios)
  • Sunday Citizen 18 August 1964 – competitions (part two of Trip to the Stars)


  • Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed) p.230-231 – credits, review
  • The Columbia Checklist: The Feature Films, Cartoons, Serials and Short Subjects of Columbia Pictures, 1922-1988 by Len D. Martin p.103
  • Columbia Pictures Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Films, 1928-1982 by Michael R. Pitts pp.78-80
  • Feature Films, 1960-1969: A Filmography of English-language and Major Foreign-language United States Releases by Harris M. Lentz III p.141
  • Hoffman's Guide to SF, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.136 – credits, review
  • Reference Guide to Fantastic Films by Walt Lee p.140 – credits
  • The Stop-motion Filmography by Neil Pettigrew pp.241-247

Other sources

  • British National Film Catalogue vol.2 (1964) – credits