Finally, I got to see the prototypical science fiction film. I was interested in seeing the full movie at last.
The basic ‘story’ has a scientist proposing to travel to the moon. Despite the Academy’s reservations, the voyager hires a bunch of leggy engineers and travels to the moon. There the crew has an uncomfortable evening in the snow. Then they meet a horde of aggressive aliens who attack them. Fortunately, the voyagers discover that they can pop the aliens by jabbing them with umbrellas and whatnot. They land in the water on Earth and there is a celebratory parade.
It was disappointing. I think if you’ve seen any clips, you’ve seen the best part. You know, the rocket into the moon bit.
Other people feel differently:
From Three Movie Buffs: “By today’s standards this movie looks like drawings on a cave wall. Historically though it represents a huge leap in the art of the motion picture. Everyone should see it at least once.”
From Filmsite.org: “It has all the elements that characterize the science-fiction genre: adventurous scientists, a futuristic space voyage, special effects such as superimpositions, and strange aliens in a far-off place.”
From Scifilm.org: “Unfortunately, Melies never quite mastered cinematic story-telling techniques, so it can be quite difficult to tell what is going on at times.”
This is the problem I had with it too. It seems to be all spectacle and special effects and not enough plot to sustain it. Still, it’s a classic piece and short enough to make it easy enough to watch.