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The Land Unknown (1957)

5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 748 users  
Reviews: 39 user | 23 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
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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:

Behind a barrier of antarctic ice... a paradise of hidden terrors! 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

As Dr. Carl is kidnapping Maggie and bringing her to his cave for the first time, we see a long shot of the mouth of the cave - look close and you can see the rubber raft that Maggie will row there later in the film, tied up next to Dr. Carl's reed boat. At this point the rubber boat should be back at camp, with the crew. 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

 
50's Fun With Nostalgic Appeal
6 May 2005 | by (Biloxi, Mississippi) – See all my reviews

Today's kids, raised on computer-generated graphics, will probably sneer at it, but by 1957 standards THE LAND UNKNOWN was pretty hard to beat. Drawing inspiration from 1920s silent classic THE LOST WORLD and using film shot by Byrd during his polar expedition, THE LAND UNKNOWN presents the story of a helicopter forced down at a warm-water oasis in Antartica--where the crew discovers a prehistoric world where everything seems determined to gobble them up.

The special effects are a mixed bag, ranging from live-action shots of lizards-in-combat to Godzilla-style rubber suits to full size mechanics. While I wouldn't describe it as greatly sophisticated or even consistently executed, it is all a tremendous amount of fun. The script is more intelligent than you might expect--and the story takes an unexpected turn that tempers the action-heavy plot with a certain depth. The cast is no-name, but every one plays expertly, and THE LAND UNKNOWN moves at a cracking pace. This will never compete with the likes of Harryhausen's stop-motion classics, nor will it go down in the history of film as an equal to the truly great science-fiction and fantasy films of its day. But THE LAND UNKNOWN is a fun flick, and I recommend it to fans of 1950s creature features.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT Amazon Reviewer


10 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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