Le Voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon)


Le Voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon) (1902)



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A Trip to the Moon is the most famous of the over 500 short films produced by cinema pioneer Georges Méliès betwen 1896 and 1912, and its signature image of a bullet-shaped rocket lodging itself in the eye of a smirking moon is one of the most recognizable images in cinema history. An accomplished magician, Méliès moved from simple recordings of his stage shows to dazzling fantasy epics which were among the first narrative films ever made. These "trick films" combined fantastic yarns, intricate painted sets, and elaborate costumes with such simple but effective special effects as slow motion, dissolves, and superimpositions. Like Méliès's other long films of the period, Trip to the Moon is composed of a series of tableaux, each featuring chaotic action and multiple camera tricks photographed with a stubbornly static camera, which work together to tell a simple story. It proved sensationally popular with audiences, though Edwin S. Porter's The Great Train Robbery rode a slightly more sophisticated narrative to greater success the following year. As one of the earliest examples of cinematic fantasy, A Trip to the Moon paved the way for such filmic flights of fancy as The Wizard of Oz and Star Wars, as it proved that the seduction of the audience through special effects has roots deeper than the blockbusters of the Seventies.

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Critic Reviews for Le Voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon)

All Critics (9)

But it's fun for a whimsical getaway that will take you away from reality for a 87 minutes.

Apr 11, 2018 | Rating: B | Full Review…

...suddenly we have the cinema - that glorious mutt art.

Aug 13, 2013 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

... a work of pure, playful imagination, a picture-book fantasy brought to life with intricate, hand-painted sets and a whimsical portrait of science as wizardry by way of the industrial revolution ...

May 19, 2012 | Full Review…

A treat for cineastes and sci-fi fans alike, with Melies borrowing from both Jules Verne and H.G. Wells.

Apr 25, 2012 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Seeing A Trip to the Moon on Blu-Ray can leave one bedazzled.

Apr 25, 2012 | Full Review…

Cinema's first science fiction story.

Mar 14, 2009 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Le Voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon)

A Trip to the Moon is worth the short runtime. It's the first sci-fi film and has been an influence to everything that has come after it. This is a nice little imaginative sci-fi film from one of filmmaking first pioneer. Putting into context when this was made and how short a period of time it had been since making films had even been possible, is pretty crazy to think about. Definitely give this one a look. It's nice to see where cinema started.

Melvin White
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Ladies and Gentlemen: the world's first sci-fi film! Based on works by Jules Verne and H. G. Wells, this is a landmark film from essentially the king of the silent era, one Georges Melies. What we have here is the story of a group of curious astronomers who, fascinated by space, construct a rocket, travel to the moon, have a run in with the locals, raise a ruckus, then escape back home to planet Earth. It's simple, and sounds a bit hokey, and does come off as a tad silly, but, at the time especially, and, to an extent today, this is still a work which evokes a sense of awe and wonder. Yeah, it's rough in comparison to contemporary films, but for something that's 111 years old, I think it holds up reasonably well. There's innovative special effects, the pioneering use of now common cinematic techniques, and a great amount of energy and excitement, especially with the performances. Yeah narratively speaking some of it seems rough, especially since there's no title card inserts, and, even though I don't mind having to figure stuff out based purely on visuals, for a few bits I think it would have been nice to get some specific clarification on things. Apparently during some screenings, someone would read a script to provide some basic narration as things played out. I think that's kinda cool, and a touch ambitious. I recognize that this is an important and influential film, and it's more successful in those regards than it is when looked at as just a stand alone film, but even then it's still pretty cool and entertaining. And of course, if not for this movie, there wouldn't be one of the greatest music videos ever ("Tonight, Tonight" by The Smashing Pumpkins).

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer


This film was the turn of innovative film narratives to come. For its time, this must've been absolutely incredible. During a time when the world received little to no exposure to films, they were introduced with special effects and cuts with disappearing and revealing objects. This must've really blown everyone's minds away. Now if you're ready to jump in, you're really gonna needa wipe the dust off "A Trip to the Moon"; its really showing its age by now, but its easy to see why this is considered a masterpiece for its time. Can't exactly recommend it to the average joe, but for those film enthusiasts, "A Trip to the Moon" is a must watch for its the Godfather of all films.

Albert Kim
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

Le Voyage dans la lune is a very important film in the history of cinema. This is a wonderful short film that should be seen by every serious film buff. I first became aware of this film when watching the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, and afterwards I lost sight of this film. Fortunately upon watching the trailer to Hugo I was able to rediscover this film, and check it out. This is a terrific sci fi short film that captures the imagination. The film is really something to see, The film uses simple, yet very creative tricks for special effects. Georges Méliès influence on cinema is important, and as one of the first directors in the medium, he pioneered something that 100 years later would still be exciting to see. This film is simple, yet effective and shows that even all the way back in 1902, the cinematic medium had the power to capture the imagination. This is a classic film that is a pleasant treat to watch. The film is fun to look at, and despite for its slight silliness, no one can dismiss this film. This film served in a way as a prediction that we would land on the moon. Before there was Sci fi as we know it, there was this film. This film is an important landmark in film history. This film shows that even in the early days of cinema, great ideas for films were striving to entertain audiences. Georges Méliès is a true pioneer of the cinematic medium and his imagination, vision and skill to create something wonderful on-screen is a testament that outclasses even the biggest films of today. If you're curious about the early of cinema, and are passionate about the medium, then give this work a shot. This is truly a fun silent film that is memorable and worth your time.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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