In Victorian England, an American showman uses a wealthy Frenchman's finances to build a German explosives expert's giant cannon designed to fire a people-filled projectile to the Moon but spies and saboteurs endanger the project.
Anthony Hancock gives up his office job to become an abstract artist. He has a lot of enthusiasm, but little talent, and critics scorn his work. Nevertheless, he impresses an emerging very talented artist.
Based on the Stephen Potter "One Upmanship" and "Lifemanship" books, Henry Palfrey tries hard to impress but always loses out to the rotter Delauney. Then he discovers the Lifeman college ... See full summary »
Phineas T Barnum and friends finance the first flight to the moon but find the task a little above them. They attempt to blast their rocket into orbit from a massive gun barrel built into the side of a Welsh mountain, but money troubles, spies and saboteurs ensure that the plan is doomed before it starts.Written by
JULES VERNE'S ROCKET TO THE MOON is a clear rip-off of the British ensemble comedy THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES, employing much of the same cast in a second attempted bite of the apple. Despite the best efforts of the actors involved, this is second rate stuff indeed, badly written and deeply disjointed throughout.
First off: the title is a misnomer as this isn't based on a Verne story, instead simply "inspired" by his work. Secondly, the narrative is just very poor. There are too many characters spoiling the broth and the story just kind of meanders all over the place. There's no real consistency in tone and the characters veer from good to bad to in-between. Thirdly, the laboured humour just feels forced and unfunny.
It's a shame, because there are some great stars here, including Burl Ives making a decent stab of the larger-than-life P. T. Barnum. Gert Frobe is an eccentric oddball as always, Terry-Thomas is reliably Terry-Thomas, and Jimmy Clitheroe is good value for money, although underused. Lionel Jeffries and Dennis Price bag the best roles as two driven Empirical men but too much screen time is given to the wooden Troy Donahue; Hammer star Edward De Souza (KISS OF THE VAMPIRE) is much better but barely seen.
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