An Edinburgh professor and assorted colleagues follow an explorer's trail down an extinct Icelandic volcano to the earth's center.
Wonderful fantasy adventure. 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 that 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
***Into the bowels of the earth with James Mason, Pat Boone, Arlene Dahl and… Gertrude, the duck*** In 1880, a professor from Edinburgh (James Mason) leads a team to follow a renowned scientist's path down an extinct volcano in Iceland to explore the bowels of the earth. Pat Boone plays the professor’s favorite student, Arlene Dahl the Swedish wife of the professor’s rival, Peter Ronson a towering Icelandic ranch hand and Thayer David the morally dubious descendent of the original pioneer. Very loosely based on Jules Verne’s book, “Journey to the Center of the Earth” (1959) is an amusing and imaginative family-friendly adventure flick with a superlative cast. It’s not great like “Mysterious Island” (1961) and is a little less serious, but it’s cut from the same cloth and is worth checking out if you can appreciate the quaintness of movies from that time period. Redhead Dahl is stunning, a true whoa-man. And Gertrude the duck is entertaining, but what happens to her is unforgivable. The film runs 2 hours, 12 minutes, and was shot in Edinburgh, Scotland; Carlsbad, New Mexico; and Malibu & Lone Pine, California; along with lots of stuff done in the studio. GRADE: B-