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First Men In The Moon

A still from the film.

The First Men in the Moon is a 1919 British sci-fi film directed by Bruce Gordon and J.L.V. Leigh, based on the classic novel by H.G. Wells and starring Gordon, Heather Thatcher, and Lionel d'Aragon. The plot is fairly well-known, but the film departs slightly by making Bedford into the main antagonist and adding a romantic subplot. It is notable mainly for being the first direct film adaptation of the author's work, as there had previously been several loose adaptations and imitative works by several filmmakers, such as Invisibility and Le Voleur Invisible.

Upon its initial release, The First Men in the Moon received a rather divided response by critics, with some criticizing the crude nature of the visual effects, and others praising the film for preserving the appeal of the original novel despite its low budget and other shortcomings. Afterwards, the film faded into obscurity. It is now listed by the British Film Institute as one of their 75 Most Wanted features. Apart from some publicity material and a few stills, very little survives of the film, and it is unknown if it will ever resurface.

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