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From the Earth to the Moon

From the Earth to the Moon(1958)

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NOTES

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The opening credits are presented in a leatherbound book, the cover of which states: "Warner Bros. presents From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne." A hand then opens the book to the first page which reads "Benedict Bogeaus Presents." The next page repeats the title and author credits as listed on the book's cover. Carl Esmond, who portrays a character referred to throughout the picture only as "J.V.," addresses the camera directly and identifies himself as "Jules Verne" at the end of the film.
       According to a June 1948 Los Angeles Examiner article, producer-director William Castle intended to make a documentary based on French author's Verne's novel De la terre la lune (From the Earth to the Moon), but that film was not produced. A June 1956 Los Angeles Times item stated that the novel would be made into a film to be produced by an unspecified company abroad, starring Genevieve Page. An October 1957 Hollywood Reporter news item indicates that Warner Bros. producer Bogeaus was to make From the Earth to the Moon and hoped to sign Errol Flynn for the lead role. A Daily Variety news item states that Lucienne Auclair, Miss Belgium 1957, would make her debut in the film, but her appearance in the film has not been confirmed.
       Although a review indicates that the film was set in Florida, as was the novel, the exact location is not stated, only that the longitude and latitude of "Victor Barbicane's" mansion was "a day and night's journey from New York." The longitude and latitude stated in the film would place the story in Nebraska. The film was shot on location in Mexico. An August 1958 ^LAEx news item states that Bogeaus and special effects man Lee Zavitz, in collaboration with Technicolor engineers, had developed a new process called "Giantscope" which was said to be adaptable to color projection on all screens and would be used to photograph From the Earth to the Moon. There is no further information on the process.
       On the print viewed, the closing credits include the RKO Radio Pictures logo. A March 1961 Daily Variety news item discloses that Bogeaus lost a suit filed against him by RKO General, Inc. for failure to deliver two films, including From the Earth to the Moon, to RKO for foreign distribution, an agreement made before RKO's exchange system was abandoned. Reviews of the film made note of contemporary international interest in space flights following the 1957 launch by the Soviet Union of the Sputnik satellite. In 1958, the National Aeronautical Space Agency (NASA) was established and America launched its first satellite, Explorer I, from Cape Canaveral, FL.
       Verne's popular novel De la terre la Lune was also published in English under the titles The Baltimore Gun Club and The American Gun Club as well as From the Earth to the Moon. The story's actual flight to the moon took place in the novel's 1870 sequel Autour de la lune (Round the Moon). Verne's novels were used as the basis for numerous films, including the early 1899 silent film by French filmmaker Georges Mlis, Le voyage dans la lune, and an expanded version by Mlis, with the same title, in 1902. In 1967 American International Productions released another version of the story, Those Fantastic Flying Fools, starring Burl Ives and Troy Donahue and directed by Don Stark (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70).