Man in the Moon (film)

This article is about the 1960 film. For the 1991 film, see The Man in the Moon.
Not to be confused with Man on the Moon (film).
Man in the Moon

Theatrical poster
Directed by Basil Dearden
Produced by Michael Relph
Written by John Foley
Bryan Forbes
Michael Relph
Starring Kenneth More
Shirley Anne Field
Music by Philip Green
Cinematography Harry Waxman
Edited by John D. Guthridge
Excalibur Films
Allied Film Makers
Distributed by J. Arthur Rank Film Distributors (UK)
Trans-Lux Distributing Corporation (U.S.)
Release dates
  • 31 October 1960 (1960-10-31)
Running time
98 min.
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget £202,000[1]

Man in the Moon is a 1960 comedy film directed by Basil Dearden. The film stars Kenneth More and Shirley Anne Field.[2]


William Blood (More) is a man who appears to be immune to all known diseases, and possesses extraordinary resistance to heat and cold – a fact he puts down to his carefree, single life, never being worried by anything. He makes a living working for medical researchers who are trying to find cures for various diseases and conditions (notably the common cold and seasickness).

Blood is offered a job to become the passenger of a high altitude test flight by Dr Davidson (Hordern), but the real job is to become the first man to land on the Moon. The truth is kept from him because of the danger involved. He undertakes training with three other potential astronauts (including Gray), all of which are more qualified for the job but do not possess his extraordinary resistances. Blood never really fits in with the others and, when a £100,000 reward is posted for the first man to land on the Moon, they seek to sabotage his chances and have one of their number selected instead.

When Blood meets and falls in love with an attractive stripper named Polly (Field), he begins to lose his immunity.



In order to make Man in the Moon appear to use authentic and accurate scientific information, the production company spent months "in scientific research to get authentic background for those scenes in which the space men are trained for their trip to the moon. With the consent of the British Air Ministry, certain top-secret information -including experiments in rocket propulsion, conditions under tests, and the reactions of bodies to extreme pressure – was made available. More data came from America and, strangely, even more from Russian sources."[3][Note 1]


Man in the Moon had a Royal Charity Premiere attended by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on 31 October 1960 at the Odeon Leicester Square[4] and went on general release on the Rank circuit (Odeons and Gaumonts) from mid-January 1961. On its United States release, film reviewer Bosley Crowther described it as "...appropriately wacky illogic". He further considered More the key to the "... utterly slapdash film, which qualifies for attention because of its cheerfulness and Mr. More."[5]

Unexpectedly, considering the talents involved, Man in the Moon performed disappointingly at the box office. It has been called "More's first real flop" since he became a movie star.[6] By 1971, the film was still £37,000 short of breaking even.[1]

DVD release

Man in the Moon is available on Region 2 DVD.


A novelisation of the Man in the Moon screenplay was written by John Foley and published in the UK by Four Square Books, Ltd. The copyright date of 1960 would indicate that it was released slightly in advance of the film, which is typical of the era. The book runs 160 pages and contains a four-page insert of black-and-white movie stills.



  1. In Man in the Moon, More drives a three-wheeled Messerschmitt KR200 car.


  1. 1 2 Walker 1974, p. 105.
  2. "Man in the Moon". AllMovie. Retrieved: 13 December 2014.
  3. "First man on the moon — or was he?" The Australian Women's Weekly via National Library of Australia, 12 July 1961, p. 18. Retrieved: 6 May 2012.
  4. The Times (London) online archive, 31 October/1 November 1960.
  5. Crowther, Bosley. "Man in the Moon (1960); The screen: British astronaut farce: Kenneth More stars in 'Man in the Moon'; Comedy treats space race irreverently." The New York Times, 13 June 1961.
  6. Shipman 1989, p. 415.


External links

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