Jules Verne

Unknown world

Preparing for a potential nuclear winter, a team of scientists test the theory that the Earth is hollow, in this 1951 cheapo from visual effects wizards Jack Rabin and Irving Block. Loosely based on Verne and Burroughs, Unknown World has the makings of a good film, but stumbles in all departments. 4/10.

Tales of Tomorrow

The first SF anthology TV show aired live in the US from 1951 to 1953. With material by some of the greatest SF authors of all time, its adult-oriented, intelligent scripts are often unsettling to watch even today. The cast boasts Leslie Nielsen, Rod Steiger, Paul Newman, Eva Gabor, James Dean, Joanne Woodward and many more. 6/10

Tainstvennyy ostrov

The most accurate adaptation of Jules Verne’s novel Mysterious Island that has ever been put on screen was made in Soviet Ukraine in 1941. This doesn’t necessarily work in the film’s favour, as it is rather talky and static. Look out for Robert Ross, long-time leader of the African American community in Moscow. 5/10

The Mysterious Island

Borrowing the name of Jules Verne’s bestseller, this problem-ridden 1926-1929 production features good acting, some remarkable special effects and a solid-ish script, but alas, the schizophrenic semi-talkie-semi-silent film is just as equally horrible in many ways, with toy submarines and crocodiles substituting for dinos. (4/10)

The Conquest of the Pole

∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗ (6/10) Georges Méliès’ last science fiction film, released in 1912, was a magnificent swansong for an era of filmmaking. Perhaps his most accomplished film technically, but the polar adventure […]

The Pirates of 1920

∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗ (7/10) Pirates of the air get more than they bargained for when they kidnap a resourceful damsel in this well-made British short feature film from 1911. And there’s an […]

A Little Jules Verne

∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗ (4/10) Gaston Velle’s 1907 film is a fairly entertaining underwater fantasy short, made hastily to cash in on Georges Méliès epic Under the Seas. Velle directs the imitation professionally, […]

The Impossible Voyage

∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗ (7/10) Pioneering film maker Georges Méliès’ 1904 follow-up to the groundbreaking A Trip to the Moon is perhaps his most beautiful film, but the master is starting to repeat himself. The […]

The Trailblazers

Early cinema was the pulp fiction of its time: a crude and undistinguished novelty, and just as with other lower-tier entertainment, there were surefire moneymakers: nudity, shock, thrills and escapism. […]

A Trip to the Moon

This 1902 film about a trip to the moon and an encounter with aliens is in many senses the first of its kind, notable for its large budget, entertaining and fantastical story, state of the art special effects and lavish, moving sets. A true benchmark not only for sci-fi films, but for the medium of film as a whole.