Man in the Moon (1960)

Article 3240 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-3-2010
Posting Date: 6-28-2010
Directed by Basil Dearden
Featuring Kenneth More, Shirley Anne Field, Michael Hordern
Country: UK
What it is: British comedy

A man whose happy-go-lucky attitude makes him immune to diseases and stress is discovered by a team of scientists intent on sending a man to the moon. However, complications arise when a huge reward is offered to the first man in the moon, and the competing astronauts begin to resent the new man…

This is an amusing, amiable, and somewhat aimless comedy about the British space effort. Actually, I think it’s most amusing at the beginning, when we discover our hero is employed by an institute studying the common cold; the methods they use to try to get their subjects to catch colds are fairly funny. Most of the middle of the movie involves gags about the various methods of training the astronauts; this section is a little disappointing. The actual trip to the moon doesn’t come until the end of the movie, and I won’t say what happens except to warn those hoping for some more pronounced science fiction content will be disappointed. Still, the acting is strong, with Kenneth More very good as the immune man. I initially didn’t recognize Charles Gray as competing astronaut Leo, largely because I’ve never seen him without grey hair before. All in all, the movie is likable enough, but it’s largely content to just wend its way through a series of comic scenarios without any real point to it all.

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