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The Land Unknown (1957)

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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 672 users  
Reviews: 37 user | 23 critic

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


(as Virgil Vogel)


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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

August 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Land Unknown  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The cover photo of Best Buy's "Classic Sci-Fi Ultimate Collection - Volume 2" is adapted from Maggie's encounter with a man-eating squid-plant. See more »


When the tarsier mammal is captured by the plant, the wires controlling the plant's tentacles are clearly visible. See more »


[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 »


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

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User Reviews

There's Dinosaurs in Antarctica, people! Dinosaurs, I tell you!
24 May 2008 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

Long before I ever knew about the existence of "The Land Unknown", I had already seen clips of its legendary T-Rex in various TV-shows spoofing bad movies and even wannabe funny commercials promoting the strength of cornflakes. It was like THE archetypal bad 'man-in-a-suit' monster that supposedly had to look ferocious but actually couldn't even fright the smallest child. Granted, the T-Rex looks ludicrous and pitiful, but bear in mind the movie remains a product of the 1950's and – in fact – the T-Rex is the only truly weak element in an overall decent and spirited little Sci-Fi effort. "The Land Unknown" also boosts an adequate screenplay, solid performances and direction and a couple of other and far more successful monster designs, including a Pterodactyl and some kind of Dino living underwater. Heck, the imaginative photography even manages to make smaller and "harmless" animals like iguanas and lizards look menacing. The story revolves on a scientific expedition heading for the continent of Antarctica to investigate why it could possibly have warm-watered seas and lakes amidst all the mountains of ice. A four-headed crew, one woman and three men, become trapped in a sudden storm and their helicopter lowers down a crater, far out of reach of all the headquarters' radars and search parties. For nearly 30 days, they are stuck in a subtropical landscape far below sea level and – even more astonishingly – where times didn't evolve and dinosaurs still prowl around. As paranoia amongst them rises and the hope for rescue lingers, the team faces the biggest ordeals in their lives. Okay, so "The Land Unknown" is rather tacky and often tedious, but it's undeniably charming and the opening quarter is even somewhat educational, with actual footage of the historically fundamental Admiral Byrd expeditions. The footage inside the crater and amongst the dinosaurs is obviously very grotesque and implausible, but hey, so was "Jurassic Park" and yet everybody loved that. Worth watching, but probably not for nowadays Sci-fi target audiences.

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