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A Trip to the Moon

A Trip to the Moon

A Trip to the Moon is a 1902 French adventure short film directed by Georges Méliès. Inspired by a wide variety of sources, including Jules Verne's 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon and its 1870 sequel Around the Moon, the film follows a group of astronomers who travel to the Moon in a cannon-propelled capsule, explore the Moon's surface, escape from an underground group of Selenites (lunar inhabitants), and return to Earth with a captive Selenite. It features an ensemble cast of French theatrical performers, led by Méliès himself in the main role of Professor Barbenfouillis, and is filmed in the overtly theatrical style for which Méliès became famous.

Plot

At a meeting of the Astronomy Club, its president, Professor Barbenfouillis, proposes an expedition to the Moon. After addressing some dissent, five other brave astronomers—Nostradamus, Alcofrisbas, Omega, Micromegas, and Parafaragaramus—agree to the plan. A space capsule in the shape of a bullet is built, along with a huge cannon to shoot it into space. The astronomers embark and their capsule is fired from the cannon with the help of "marines", most of whom are played by a bevy of young women in sailors' outfits. The Man in the Moon watches the capsule as it approaches, and it hits him in the eye.