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The Incredible Petrified World (1957)

 -  Adventure | Sci-Fi  -  April 1960 (USA)
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Four adventurers descend to the depths of the ocean when the cable on their underwater diving bell snaps. The rest of their expedition, believing them to be lost, abandons hope of finding ... See full summary »



(original screenplay)
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Title: The Incredible Petrified World (1957)

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Complete credited cast:
Prof. Millard Wyman
Robert Clarke ...
Craig Randall
Phyllis Coates ...
Dale Marshall
Allen Windsor ...
Paul Whitmore
Sheila Noonan ...
Lauri Talbott
George Skaff ...
Dr. J.R. Matheny
Maurice Bernard ...
Old Man in the Caverns
Joe Maierhouser ...
Jim Wyman
Lloyd Nelson ...
Wilson - Sonar Man
Harry Raven ...
The Captain
Milt Collion ...
Robert Carroll ...
Lowell Hopkins ...
Jack Haffner ...
Jimmy - Reporter


Four adventurers descend to the depths of the ocean when the cable on their underwater diving bell snaps. The rest of their expedition, believing them to be lost, abandons hope of finding them. Exiting the diving bell, the party finds themselves in a network of underwater caverns. They encounter a shipwreck survivor. He tells them he has been there for 14 years and that there is no way out. The two men in the exploring party believe him only after a hike to a volcanic vent that supplies the caverns with oxygen. On the surface, Prof. Millard Wyman, the elder scientist who designed the original diving bell, decides to try again to explore the depths of the ocean. He finds out that there is another diving bell in existence that is identical to the one that was lost... Written by Jim Cobb <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


See women trapped in fantastic caverns at the center of Earth! See more »


Adventure | Sci-Fi



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Release Date:

April 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Incredible Petrified World  »

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| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Phyllis Coates accepted the role of Dale Marshall as a favor to director Jerry Warren, who was a former boyfriend; the actress originally cast in the lead couldn't do it and Warren couldn't find anyone else in time. He convinced Coates to do it by telling her that the film would not be shown in California. However, after it was completed, she found out that Warren did indeed release the film in California, and she was told by at least one studio executive (at Columbia) that the film was so inferior and shoddy that the studio would not be hiring her again. On top of that, Warren never paid her. See more »


When the characters are trapped undersea in the diving bell, they simply leave by climbing up to a hatch, supposedly at the top of the bell. Such an action underwater would immediately flood the bell. Yet, not even a drop of water enters the bell when they exit. See more »


Dale Marshall: [to Lauri] You just listen to me, Miss Innocent. There's nothing friendly between two females. There never was. There never will be.
Lauri Talbott: Sorry you feel that way. I was hoping we could help each other.
Dale Marshall: You don't need help - neither do I. Not as long as we have two men around us.
See more »


Edited from One Million B.C. (1940) See more »

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User Reviews

"The Ocean is a Dangerous Jungle."
6 April 2006 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

"We are now prepared to invade this black wilderness." Well, actually they weren't, since the cable of the diving bell snaps, sending them to a tourist attraction with nice stalactites and stalagmites that I guess is supposed to resemble petrified wood or something. A very long technical explanation about the snapped cable is given later but that comes off like gibberish to me.

The only part worth watching is the genuinely exciting octopus and shark battle at the beginning, but which looks as if it was filmed in a small fish tank which had only a bit of sand poured over the bottom. You might as well turn it off after that part and have a nice nap instead.

The diving bell seems as big as a rocket-ship on the inside, but only about the size of an overinflated beach ball on the outside. This makes for some real laughs, especially when it is hanging and swaying about from the ship's crane and the actors are near it. It doesn't look like even one child could fit inside it, let alone the two men and two women, with a lot of room to spare, and the high ceiling.

Absolutely nothing happens in this movie after they get into the diving bell. They don't even show the implied trip to the volcano area with the lead characters! Instead, we get some sort of senseless and brief argument between the two women and Popeye's grandfather (or so he appears) making bizarre faces, as if he were in a "make the weirdest face and win fantastic prizes" contest. Silly beyond words and certainly belonging in a movie other than this one. At one point, his eyes are popping so far out, they look like they could just fall out of his face.

Later, "Popeye's grandfather" actually moves closer to the cave wall and slowly leans against it so that more rocks can hit him! (You can actually tell that he is trying to get under the path of the larger fake falling rocks! Hilarious!)

The ending made no sense to me, either. I may be wrong, but I got the idea that they weren't really that far under the surface at all. And where was the volcano (which sounded like the amplified recording of a rolling bowling ball and a bit from a storm) relative to the surface? Why wasn't it more of a noticed event from the ship?

The orchestral soundtrack on my DVD copy is really sour, and sounds more like two tomcats having a stand-off.

2/10. A two only because of the octopus and shark battle before the actors come in and ruin everything.

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