#1 A Trip to the Moon (1902)


I’m sure that will be an image you’ll remember all day!

So “1001 Films” couldn’t have picked a better film to start this cinematic journey. Ever seen the film Hugo (2011)? Write in the comments if you remember this scene:

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Georges Méliès was a visionary pioneer. You’ve just witness the first ever science fiction film. This is a story of a bunch of astronomers (I know, you would never tell by their lack of space gear) who decide to take a trip to the moon. And they say Neal Armstrong was the first on the moon!Face With Rolling Eyes on Apple iOS 9.3 So they go to the moon in a very unconventional fashion (write in the comments what you would think NASA would say if they saw this film), land awkwardly on the moon as you can see above, and go to battle with the Selenites– the spiky skeleton-looking aliens. 

Georges Méliès let his imagination explode throughout this film where he came up with editing techniques that were never seen before at the time such as a close-up of the moon, characters disappearing through puffs of smoke, splicing techniques to alter the image where something is changed, added or taken away, and many others for its time. Comment your reactions to seeing these effects as well as the fact that this whole film was shot in a green house! All to add as much sunlight in. Let me know if you find that hard to believe.

A Trip to the Moon also uses theatrical techniques using real painted sets instead of relying too much on green screen. The settings would transition the way it would be done in a theatre. I could imagine a good portion of this film to be done live in a theme park.


This film definitely has a whimsical feeling to it where it’s not a mysterious film that delves into the unknown and then the scientists get a sneak attack by flesh-hungry aliens. This film is about a bunch of astronomers that basically don’t know what they’re doing. They literally shoot up into the moon like a flying bullet, sleep like angels, then deal with crazy Selenites. Comment what you would say when you come back to Earth from the moon (and don’t say “One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap for Mankind”).

You can check out this fantastic film here and please comment what your overall thoughts are of the film:  


3 thoughts on “#1 A Trip to the Moon (1902)

  1. Hi! I found you through your comment on YouTube, “The Great Train Robbery”. I’ve been working my way through the 1001, but in a much more hit-or-miss fashion than you have. You have inspired me to be a bit more methodical!

    This one certainly is a tour-de-force of imagination, and quite amazing technologically, considering how primitive the equipment was at the time! Of course it’s silly and unrealistic but it is certainly entertaining! I never realized how effective a weapon a simple UMBRELLA could be until I saw this!!!

    I’m pretty sure at some point scientists actually kicked around the idea of going to the moon by firing a huge bullet out of an enormous gun. And quickly realized that wouldn’t quite work in real life.

    Thanks for a great idea and KEEP GOING!


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