From the Earth to the Moon (1958) is a Technicolor science fiction film adaptation of the Jules Verne novel From the Earth to the Moon. It stars Joseph Cotten, George Sanders, Debra Paget, and Don Dubbins. The film began as an RKO Pictures movie but when RKO went into bankruptcy the film was released by Warner Brothers.
Shortly after the end of the American Civil War, munitions producer Victor Barbicane (Joseph Cotten) announces that he has invented a new explosive, "Power X", which he claims is much more powerful than any previously devised. Metallurgist Stuyvesant Nicholl (George Sanders) scoffs at Barbicane's claims and offers a wager of $100,000 that it cannot destroy his invention, the hardest metal in existence. Barbicane stages a demonstration using a puny cannon and demolishes Nicholl's material (and a portion of the countryside).
However, President Ulysses S. Grant (Morris Ankrum) requests that Barbicane cease development of his invention, as other, nervous countries warn that continuing work on Power X could be considered an act of war. Barbicane agrees, but when he discovers that pieces of Nicholl's metal retrieved from the demonstration have somehow been converted into an extremely strong yet lightweight ceramic, he cannot resist the chance to construct a spaceship to travel to the Moon. He recruits Nicoll to help build the ship. Meanwhile, Nicholl's daughter Virginia (Debra Paget) and Barbicane's assistant Ben Sharpe (Don Dubbins) are attracted to each other.
After completing the spaceship, Barbicane, Nicholl, and Sharpe board it and, amid much fanfare, take off. Once they are in outer space, the strongly religious Nicholl reveals that he has sabotaged the vessel, believing that Barbicane has flouted God's laws. However, when it is discovered that Virginia has stowed away, Nicholl cooperates with Barbicane in a desperate attempt to save her. Sharpe is knocked out, and he and Virginia are placed in the safest compartment of the ship. Barbicane and Nicholl then fire rockets that send the young couple on their way back to Earth, while the two scientists land on the Moon in another section, with no way off. However, they are able to signal to the young couple that they have managed to reach the Moon safely.
Joseph Cotten as Victor Barbicane
George Sanders as Nicholl
Debra Paget as Virginia Nicholl
Don Dubbins as Ben Sharpe
Patric Knowles as Josef Cartier
Carl Esmond as Jules Verne
Henry Daniell as Morgana
Melville Cooper as Bancroft
Ludwig Stössel as Aldo Von Metz
Morris Ankrum as President Ulysses S. Grant (uncredited)
Les Tremayne as countdown announcer (uncredited)
Location shooting for From the Earth to the Moon took place in Mexico. Some of the electronic effects in the score of the film came from the Forbidden Planet soundtrack.