The resurgence of interest in Jules Verne following the release of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) led to a brief cycle of Verne-based films. Produced in Mexico by Benedict Bogeaus, From the Earth to the Moon stars Joseph Cotten as eccentric Civil War-era scientist Victor Barbicane. Claiming to have invented a source of "infinite energy" called Power X, Barbicane is able to secure financing for a rocket trip to the moon. Along for the ride is Barbicane's bitter enemy, Stuyvesant Nicholl (George Sanders), who feels that Barbicane is violating the laws of God and nature with his extraterrestrial dreams. Thus, Nicholl sabotages the space vessel, setting the stage for a suspenseful finale. The requisite romantic interest is handled by Barbicane's daughter Virginia (a newly blonde Debra Paget) and his assistant Ben Sharpe (Don Dubbins). Wandering in and out of the proceedings is a mysterious bearded character known only as J.V. (Carl Esmond). Hampered by a small budget, From the Earth to the Moon doesn't deliver the special effects highlights that its ad campaign implicitly promised, but the actors are convincing and the story is logically presented. Originally slated for RKO release, the film was ultimately distributed by Warner Bros.
by Hal Erickson synopsis