On an archaeological dig in Asia, Dr. Roger Bentley finds a cuneiform tablet referring to an ancient society, the Shadow Dynasty, that was destroyed. An earthquake soon after reveals an ancient artifact and the scientists discover the ruins of an ancient temple world on a remote mountain site. It leads them to an underground world, lost in time, where people have adapted to low light. The High Priest Elinu doesn't welcome the presence of the new arrivals and wants them eliminated.Written by
Coming from 1956 is another of Universal-International's science-fiction pleasures. They made about twenty of them in the 1950s, brought on by the enormous successes of "It Came From Outer Space" (1953) and "Creature From the Black Lagoon" (1954). An interesting prologue with a real professor on the Earth's interior cores is followed by a great title sequence accompanied by a superb score. John Agar leads an archaeological expedition in Himalayan mountains to search for an underground lost civilization. Eventually they find them, an albino tribe (although I think, they would be blonde, not with dark hair, due to lack of melanin), who have trained the half-human "Mole People" to be their slaves. Agar falls in love with the lone pigmented character, lovely light-haired Cynthia Patrick, who brings a quiet dignity and gentleness to the part which is most appealing. She's beautifully photographed, appearing simply radiant in her close-ups. Her part is like the eye of a hurricane in story terms, and her scenes are the only ones that permit the audience to relax. Sacrifices, revolt and chaos ensue, with the Mole People actually the sympathetic characters, an unexpected ending, shadowy cinematography, and solid direction by Virgil Vogel, make this enjoyable. And it started a mini-trend of "..... People" movies: "The Gamma People" (1956), "Attack of the Puppet People" (1958), "Invasion of the Animal People" (1959), "The Alligator People" (1959), "The Slime People" (1963), "Isle of the Snake People" (1971), "The Twilight People" (1972), "The Bat People" (1974), more.
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