From the Earth to the Moon (film)

From the Earth to the Moon is a 1958 American Technicolor science fiction film, produced by Benedict Bogeaus, directed by Byron Haskin, that stars Joseph Cotten, George Sanders, and Debra Paget. Production of the film originated at RKO Pictures, but when RKO went into bankruptcy, the film was acquired and released by Warner Brothers.

From the Earth to the Moon
Directed byByron Haskin
Produced byBenedict Bogeaus
Screenplay byRobert Blees
James Leicester
Story byJules Verne
StarringJoseph Cotten
George Sanders
Debra Paget
Narrated byRobert Clarke (uncredited)
Music byLouis Forbes
CinematographyEdwin B. DuPar
Edited byJames Leicester
Waverly Productions
RKO Radio Pictures
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • November 6, 1958 (1958-11-06) (US)[1]
Running time
101 minutes
CountryUnited States

From the Earth to the Moon is the only film adaptation of the Jules Verne science fiction novel of the same name.


Shortly after the end of the American Civil War, munitions producer Victor Barbicane (Joseph Cotten) announces that he has invented a new explosive, "Power X", which he claims is much more powerful than any previously devised. Metallurgist Stuyvesant Nicholl (George Sanders) scoffs at Barbicane's claims and offers a wager of $100,000 that it cannot destroy his invention, the hardest metal in existence. Barbicane stages a demonstration using a puny cannon and demolishes Nicholl's material (and a portion of the countryside).

President Ulysses S. Grant (Morris Ankrum) requests that Barbicane cease development of his invention after several nervous countries warn that continuing work on Power X could be considered an act of war. Barbicane agrees, but when he discovers that pieces of Nicholl's metal retrieved from the demonstration have somehow been converted into an extremely strong yet lightweight ceramic, he cannot resist the chance to construct a spaceship to travel to the Moon. He recruits Nicholl to help build the ship. Meanwhile, Nicholl's daughter Virginia (Debra Paget) and Barbicane's assistant Ben Sharpe (Don Dubbins) are attracted to each other.

After completing the spaceship, Barbicane, Nicholl, and Sharpe board it and, amid much fanfare, take off. Once they are in outer space, the strongly religious Nicholl reveals that he has sabotaged the vessel, believing that Barbicane has flouted God's laws. When it is discovered that Virginia has stowed away, Nicholl cooperates with Barbicane in a desperate attempt to save her. Sharpe is knocked out, and he and Virginia are placed in the safest compartment of the ship. Barbicane and Nicholl then fire rockets that send the young couple on their way back to Earth, while the two scientists land on the Moon in another section, with no way off. They are able to signal to the young couple that they have reached the Moon safely.



Location shooting for From the Earth to the Moon took place in Mexico.[2]

Various electronic sound effects in the film score were reused from MGM's soundtrack for Forbidden Planet (1956), composed by Louis and Bebe Barron.[3]


  1. "From the Earth to the Moon: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
  2. "From Earth to the Moon – Notes". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
  3. Arnold, Jeremy. "From the Earth to the Moon". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
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