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The Land Unknown (1957)

5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 798 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 25 critic

Three men and a woman crash-land in a deep crater in Antarctica, where they find a prehistoric world.

Director:

(as Virgil Vogel)

Writers:

(screenplay), (adaptation), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jock Mahoney ...
Cmndr. Harold 'Hal' Roberts
Shirley Patterson ...
Margaret 'Maggie' Hathaway (as Shawn Smith)
William Reynolds ...
Lt. Jack Carmen
...
Dr. Carl Hunter
Douglas Kennedy ...
Capt. Burnham (as Douglas R. Kennedy)
Phil Harvey ...
Machinist's Mate Steve Miller
Edit

Storyline

On a naval expedition to Antarctica, three men and reporter Maggie Hathaway crash-land in a crater 1000 m below sea level. There, they encounter steamy tropical forest, dinosaurs, carnivorous plants, and human footprints, as Maggie's clothes become more and more abbreviated. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

DEEP IN THE ANTARCTIC WILDERNESS! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

August 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Flug zur Hölle  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was originally set to be an expensive sci-fi epic shot in color with a large cast and Jack Arnold directing. Arnold actually began pre-production work when Universal decided to slash the budget, shoot it in black-and-white instead of color and changed (and reduced) the cast, turning it from a big-budget "A" picture to a low-budget "B" picture. Arnold withdrew from the project and Universal assigned it to one of its contract directors, Virgil W. Vogel. See more »

Goofs

On landing in the crater, Maggie stands before a threatening carnivorous plant. Later in the film, after Maggie's clothing has been torn and her blouse has become sleeveless, she and Hal flee a T-Rex. She again nears the plant, but her clothing is complete and spotless, just as in the earlier shot. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Capt. Burnham: Your goal, gentlemen: Antarctica. Five million square miles of terra incognate, but your job to make it just a little less incognate.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Dinosaurs (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

Willis O'Brien's "War Eagles" --- almost.
5 July 2004 | by (Fayetteville, GA) – See all my reviews

This rip-roaring sci-fi adventure scores high marks in several categories. The story concerns four people whose helicopter lands in an unknown prehistoric valley, a freak temperate zone located thousands of feet below sea level in the Antarctic, kept warm by volcanically-heated water and a permanent cloud layer that traps the warm air.

The special effects are by Universal's FX wizard Clifford Stine, and even though the dinosaurs are not animated, they aren't badly done. The Tyrannosaurus Rex is a man in a suit, the flippered dinosaur is fairly convincing puppet, and the rest are enlarged lizards. All the dinosaurs are skillfully integrated with live action shots.

Stine loaded the film with wonderful scenes of the fog-shrouded prehistoric landscape, using marvelous matt shots and impressive sets, creating a Skull Island atmosphere.

In some ways, this is the perfect 1950's sci-fi film, because it proudly presents a wealth of facts about the Antarctic before it begins its fanciful story.

The music by Joseph Gershenson is extremely effective. Director Virgil Vogel ("The Mole People") keeps the action moving right along. Hero Jock Mahoney (who later played Tarzan) is a stalwart hero, and Shawn Smith (the stern lady astronaut in "It! The Terror from Beyond Space" and the luscious babe in a mini-skirt in "World Without End") makes a gorgeous heroine. Henry Brandon does a commendable job as a half-crazed survivor from a previous expedition -- and I read somewhere that he was actually a member of the 1947 Bird Expedition to the North Pole. Don't remember where I read it, so I might be misinformed.


19 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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