Jules Verne’s Rocket To The Moon

In DVD/Blu-ray by Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Cast very much in the mould of It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad World, and Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying MachinesJules Verne’s Rocket To The Moon, is a classic screw-ball comedy, featuring an ensemble cast of some of the ‘60s biggest stars.

When Phineas T. Barnum’s (Burl Ives) “Greatest Show on Earth” burns to the ground, he heads to England with Tom Thumb (Jimmy Clitheroe) and quickly becomes embroiled in a project to send a rocket to the Moon. As the intrepid team of Victorian inventors and bunglers assembles, romance, double-dealing, sabotage, and espionage ensues.

Directed by Don Sharp (The Thirty Nine Steps, 1978), Journey features Gert Fröbe (Goldfinger), Hermione Gingold (The Music Man), Lionel Jeffries (Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang), Dennis Price (Kind Hearts And Coronets) and the inimitable Terry Thomas (School For Scoundrels).

In exchange for funding, each of the film studios involved in the production insisted that their stars received equal screen time. The result is a sadly bloated and, at times, rambling screen-play that struggles to make use of the embarrassment of talent on offer. The storyline is slow to ignite, and even slower to reach its destination. 

Yet, for all its faults, Journey has a certain charm. If your idea of the perfect rainy Sunday-afternoon-film involves well-known faces of yesteryear dishing out lashings of amiable nonsense, then this may well tick your boxes.

STUDIOCANAL’s brand-new restoration makes the film available for the first time on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital download– and is released as part of their Vintage Classics Collection, which showcases iconic British films, full restored and with all-new extra content. 

Extras include:

  • New: Interview with journalist and film historian Matthew Sweet.
  • New: Interview with journalist and film critic Kim Newman.
  • On the set of Rocket to the Moon – Silent footage from British Pathé News.