Engineers Richard McAllan and Frederick Robinson manage to get financial backing for a gigantic project to build a tunnel from England to America. His biggest supporter is Varlia Lloyd, daughter of one of the backers, and she uses her influence more than once to keep the project going. Mack's wife Ruth is also supportive, although his constantly being away on the tunnel project strains their marriage, and affects his relationship with their son. After years of financial skulduggery and physical obstacles under the ocean floor, the tunnel proceeds as Mack's marriage and his friendship with Robbie deteriorate. Written by
Ron Kerrigan <email@example.com>
It's always interesting to see science fiction from the past and see what the conception of the world is from years past. How close are we to realizing a tunnel across one of earth's oceans?
In 1994 the English Channel Tunnel commenced operations and at that it is only the second largest tunnel on the planet. The Seikan Tunnel which connects the Japanese islands of Hokkaido and Honshu is the largest. At that the Swiss will have beaten both of these when the Gotthard tunnel is finished which will be under several Alps speeding transportation across Switzerland and Europe in general.
Politics as well nature delayed the construction of the English Channel Tunnel. So when and if we're ever ready to cross the Atlantic Ocean, by that time we may be rocketing to different worlds.
In the world that The Tunnel is set in the construction of this undersea passage will forever cement the home world of the British Empire to the United States of America. At that point the English speaking people's of the planet will take on anybody. At least President Walter Huston of the USA and future Prime Minister George Arliss hope that the powers will be joined at the hip forever so to speak.
The reason this is all possible is a radium drill that scientist Leslie Banks has invented. The Colonel Goethals of the project is hard driving American Richard Dix. Dix sacrifices all for the project including family because he believes in it so. The women in both their lives at different points are Madge Evans and Helen Vinson.
The sheer idea of the technological achievement dwarfs the story and the players. The special effects are primitive by today's standards, still the film does entertain. When we get into the personal lives of those involved, the film veers over into the melodramatic.
Some thirty years after this film there was this Grade C science fiction film that involved a trans Pacific tunnel. But that was being worked on in secret by the Communist Chinese to invade the United States. That epic was called Battle Beneath the Earth and it is the worst nightmare of every demagogic politician who worked up the crowds concerning the yellow peril.
I guess the moral of both stories is when Occidentals build it, it's a good thing, when Orientals do it it's bad.
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