It is the 50th anniversary of the Moon landings this year. A century-defining achievement for mankind. A journey which took over 110 hours (that’s 4 days). Carrying astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins aboard Apollo 11 to be the first men to set foot on the Moon, on 20th July 1969. With Bluedot festival just around the corner, taking place at Jodrell Bank whose observatory helped monitor the path of the NASA spacecraft over those fateful days, we thought we’d celebrate in our own unique way. The momentous occasion of when “humanity first stepped foot on another celestial body” has been played out in movies many times before. But which are in our all-time top 5 Moon movie moments? Strap yourselves in – and if you haven’t seen any of these, order them online now!
TOP 5 MOON MOVIE MOMENTS
- Moon (2009) Dir. Duncan Jones
Made with not the biggest budget in the world, Duncan Jones deserves all the credit here for putting together a film that captures space exploration in the same way as 2001. As well as futuristic tech, wonderful minimal design (hello Gertie!) and the usual things that tend to go wrong in space – there’s an outstanding lead performance from one of our favourite actors, Sam Rockwell. It’s a must-see. And like all sci-fi films – a must-see in high definition…
- It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) Dir. Frank Capra
Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon, Mary.
Giving us all the feels. This film defines Love. It gives us the meaning of life. A great Christmas film. As a matter of fact it is the most perfect film of all-time.
- 2001: A Space Odyssey (1969) Dir. Stanley Kubrick
The Sun–Earth–Moon alignment seen at the very beginning of the film is one of the most beautiful in cinematic history. It’s mind-blowing that this film was made in 1969, but then I guess they were putting people on the moon that year too, so maybe it shouldn’t be too much of a shock… Makes you wonder what we’ve achieved since, eh?
- Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) Dir. George Lucas
A planet with 2 suns.
And 3 moons.
It was a curious feature of Tatooine, where Luke Skywalker resided at the beginning of this epic saga. Furthermore, it gave us one of the nicer moments from the prequels, with the end of Episode III showing how he ended up there with baby Luke secure in the arms of his Aunt.
- Apollo 13 (1995) Dir. Ron Howard
Tom Hanks in space, with the moon the real hero of the piece? Yes please!
And one more, for good luck…
- A Grand Day Out (1989) Dir. Nick Park
Aardman Animation’s loveable duo build a rocket to see if the moon is made out of cheese. And it is. And it’s brilliant. Fantastic stop-motion animation (it only lost out on the animation short Oscar to Nick Park’s Creature Comforts), great humour and expression despite not many words being spoken, admittedly this isn’t peak Wallace and Gromit (see its sequel The Wrong Trousers four years later) but in its simplicity it stands the test of time.
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