143 user 68 critic

Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959)

Approved | | Adventure, Family, Fantasy | December 1959 (UK)
3:21 | Trailer
An Edinburgh professor and assorted colleagues follow an explorer's trail down an extinct Icelandic volcano to the earth's center.


Henry Levin


Walter Reisch (screenplay), Charles Brackett (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Pat Boone ... Alec McEwan
James Mason ... Sir Oliver S. Lindenbrook
Arlene Dahl ... Carla Göteborg
Diane Baker ... Jenny Lindenbrook
Thayer David ... Count Saknussemm
Peter Ronson ... Hans Belker
Robert Adler ... Groom
Alan Napier ... Dean


Edinburgh university professor Sir Oliver Lindenbrook believes he has found an very old message from a long lost scientist who may have found the way to journey to the center of the Earth. With his assistant, student Alec McKuen, he sets off for Iceland where an entrance in a volcanic range is to be found. They are soon joined by Carla Goetabaug, whose scientist-husband was recently murdered, and Icelander Hans Belker as they descend into the bowels of the Earth. There they will find fantastic creatures, exotic plants, the lost city of Atlantis and a foe who wants to keep knowledge of this underworld to himself. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A fabulous world below the world See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


In some European versions of the film, the "Prof of Geology's Song" was re-dubbed into the "Gaudeamus Igitur" song. See more »


(at around 2h) When the altar stone is being pushed upward in the volcano, the distance shot of the model shows it remaining in a fixed position. But in the close-ups of the actors, the stone is turning and moving back and forth as it travels upward. See more »


Sir Oliver Lindenbrook: Where are you eating tonight?
Alec McKuen: U-uh... this being Tuesday, I-I'm not eating.
Sir Oliver Lindenbrook: Oh?
Alec McKuen: I-I find it very healthy to... to eat only every other night.
See more »

Alternate Versions

There's a 35 mm copy on the "Filmoteca Española" in Madrid, Spain with some differences:
  • The song "My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose" is cut. Even the dialogues before the song stars: "You know how I've felt since that day you entered the classroom and brought your uncle the galoshes he forgot. You looked like spring itself." The funny thing is that they kept a few shots o Pat Boone singing, but you can only hear the piano, there's no sound coming of his mouth.
  • There's an alternate ending. Alec and the rest of the students sings the "Gaudeamus Igitur" song and there's and additional shot. The camera starts from Lindenbrook and Carla Göteborg and it opens to Alec and the rest of the students singing.
  • All the end credits are in orange color, not white.
See more »


Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Sci-Fi Movies of the 1950s (2014) See more »


My Heart's in the Highlands
Written by Robert Burns
Sung by Pat Boone
See more »

User Reviews

Wonderful fantasy adventure.
29 April 2008 | by hitchcockthelegendSee all my reviews

Intrepid professor Sir Oliver S. Lindenbrook leads an expedition towards the center of the Earth via an extinct Icelandic volcano. The journey is sure to be fraught with danger and little do they know that their trip will take in many unchartered wonders.......both good and bad!

As adventure films go, Journey To The Center Of The Earth has few peers, it's a wonderful film based around the Jules Verne story of the same name. There are no hidden agendas here, no wry social commentary or satirical edginess, it is pure fantastical entertainment that wants you to enjoy its science heart whilst you have a blast following this group into the wondrous unknown. Lost cities, prehistoric lizards, underground oceans, crystal caves, sand mines, murder, sabotage, and on it goes for just over two hours of delightful movie making, it even has time for a bit of cheeky sexual tom foolery for the knowing adult.

I'm sure the likes of Spielberg & Lucas were nodding in approval back in the day.

The sets, the sound, and the special effects were all nominated for academy awards, and sure enough all may well seem tame by todays bloated standards, but this is 1959 and let your mind be back to that time and you surely will be taken in by this joyous experience. While I must also mention that location footage shot in the beautiful Carlsbad Caverns adds to the dynamic feel of the picture. Lead acting duties fall to the irrepressible James Mason as Lindenbrook, perfectly cast as he nails all the traits of this dyed in the wood professor. Support comes from Pat Boone, Arlene Dahl {the colour photography perfectly showing her piercing eyes}, Peter Ronson and star of the show Gertrude The Duck.

It was magical to me as a child, it's still as magical to me now I'm in my advancing years, wonderful indeed. 9/10

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English | Swedish | French | Italian | Russian

Release Date:

December 1959 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Journey to the Center of the Earth See more »


Box Office


$3,440,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)| Dolby SR (re-issue)


Color (DeLuxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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