(1964) dir: Nathan Juran; w/ Edward Judd, Martha Hyer, Lionel Jeffries. Fx by Ray Harryhausen.
A modern moon landing discovers evidence of an 1899 expedition that got there first – which leads us into the flashback, er, film. A crackpot 19th century tinkerer and his hapless neighbors hurtle off to the moon and punch out some big bugs. Okay, it’s kind of cute in spots, but really, it’s a tepid effort. Even Harryhausen is throttled by the budget, and it’s all weighed down by a dreary script with drearier caricatures. It’s full of the sort of lightweight & half-hearted humor that one normally is subjected to at office parties with the bosses present – and it can be hard to tell if Jeffries is trying to save the flick or sabotage it with his… erm, vigorous performance. Suitable for the young’uns, certainly, but not much else.