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 <email@example.com>
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 »
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 »
Your goal, gentlemen: Antarctica. Five million square miles of terra incognate, but your job to make it just a little less incognate.
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This film is a very good entry in the late '50s sci-fi cycle, about a group of explorers and scientists who discover a lost tropical world below sea level in Antarctica (!) Reynolds (the pilot), Mahoney (the scientist), Smith, and Harvey crash-land and encounter dinosaurs and a survivor from an earlier expedition (Brandon). Great (although obviously indoor) sets, literate script, and good acting are the pluses. The dinosaurs are pretty shaky, especially the Tyrannosaurus (a guy walking around inside a dinosaur suit).
Mahoney seems a little miscast, but Brandon steals the show as the loner...his acting actually conveys the feeling that he's been stuck here alone for years. This is a very good B+/A- sci-fi film that should better known than it is.
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