Iconic Images: A Trip To The Moon

The most iconic image from early cinema has to be the crashed spaceship in Georges Melies’ A Trip To The Moon from 1902. It is the moon’s “face” which makes it so memorable.

There are few images that represent early cinema as memorably as this screen capture from George Melies’ A Trip To The Moon. Audiences were first wowed by the film in 1902. It remains widely recognised as cinema’s first science-fiction film and is loosely based on the popular novels by Jules Verne and H.G. Wells – From Earth to the Moon and The First Men in the Moon.

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More Iconic Images

2001 A Space Odyssey – There are few directors who could make this image so sinister. Top 10 Films presents the computer Hal 9000 from Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey.


E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial – Trying to escape the authorities, Elliott takes flight thanks to E.T.’s magical powers. With E.T. sat in the bicycle’s front-mounted basket, the pair fly in front of a beautiful blue moon.


Jaws, Steven Spielberg, Daniel Stephens, Top 10 FilmsJaws – Shark expert Matt Hooper gets a big surprise when investigating the wreck of a local fisherman’s small boat. One of Jaws’ most memorable moments.

About the Author
Editor of Top 10 Films, Dan Stephens is usually found pondering his next list. An unhealthy love of 1980s Hollywood sees most of his top 10s involving a time-travelling DeLorean and an adventurous archaeologist going by the name Indiana.

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    niels Reply

    One of the most influential images/scenes of all time. Incredibly imaginative if we consider the context and the limitations of film at the time. Melies was a genius.

  2. Avatar
    Pete Turner (@ilovethatfilm) Reply

    I get to watch this every year when I show it to my students as an example of early in-camera editing and special effects.

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