A scientist is nearly assassinated. In order to save him, a submarine is shrunken to microscopic size and injected into his blood stream with a small crew. Problems arise almost as soon as they enter the bloodstream.
Prof. Lindenbrook leads his intrepid party on an expedition to the center of the earth, via a volcano in Iceland, encountering all manner of prehistoric monsters and life-threatening hazards on the way.Written by
Mark Hockley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Gertrude was supposed to be an Eider duck from Canada but Ralph Helfer couldn't get one into the United States because the USDA insisted that a permit be issued before one could enter so he decided to make his own Eider duck. See more »
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 »
More entertaining than many contemporary fantasy films
"Journey to the Center of the Earth" was produced at the height of studio dominance in the film business. 20th Century Fox would soon be nearly bankrupt from the red ink of "Cleopatra" (later saved by the success of "The Longest Day" and "The Sound of Music"). Consequently, every department contributed tons of production value and I would say the matching of studio sets with actual locations in Carlsbad Caverns was pretty flawless. Like a lot of fantasy adventure films of the 1950s and 1960s (ie. Jason and the Argonauts, The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad and The Wonders of Aladdin), "Journey to the Center of the Earth" focuses firmly on the characters and the special effects support the performances. Today, sadly, so much effort and time is spent in designing the special effects that the human characters suffer and become clichés (with the exception recently of Tobey Maguire's wonderful "Spiderman" and the recent "Superman"). Those of us who grew up in the 1950s, think of this film fondly as a perfect Saturday matinée entertainment. I can still remember sucking on my giant cherry lollipop, flipping popcorn boxes against the screen and enjoying that very ominous Bernard Herrmann musical score. For a singer, Pat Boone plays drama and adventure quite well and even looks good with his shirt off. Arlene Dahl is sexy in her tight bodice and Peter Ronson also performs well considering he had zero acting experience. James Mason's Professor Lindenbrook ties it all together nicely - it was probably his most physical role ever. And, of course there was Gertrude, who, unfortunately, probably ended up on someone's plate, rather than be retired to the Motion Picture Home for old ducks. Kai aye professor, indeed.
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