Journey to the Center of the Earth
Released on December 16, 1959
Budget: $3.44 Million
Box Office: $10 Million
Starring: James Mason, Pat Boone, Arlene Dahl, & Diane Baker
Director: Henry Levin
Plot: A Scottish Professor by the name of Sir Oliver Lindenbrook is a noted geologist. When a student gifts him a present of a volcanic rock. Though when Lindenbrook holds this rock, he notices that the weight is a bit off. On further investigation he finds an object in the middle of the rock with an inscription from a famous scientist who went missing years earlier. A scientist who was obsessed with traveling to the center of the earth. Using the information on the inscription Lindenbrook and his student head out in search of the same path found years earlier to get to the center of the earth. Along the way they are met by long thought to be dead creatures and other obstacles that could not be possibly predicted.
Final Thoughts: Though this movie is one of the 20th Century Fox buys that Disney made, it still holds up as if it truly was a Disney film. This is also my second viewing of a movie on Disney + from the great mind of Jules Verne. The first being 20,000 League Under the Sea. This movie I found to be good, but not as good as its predecessor. One of the acting roles that made this movie for me was James Mason, which if you remember played Captain Nemo in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. He has such an iconic voice that lends itself well to the roles that he plays. Especially here where he plays Sir Oliver Lindenbrook a noted professor of geology.
When looking at the special effects of movies like this you have to take yourself back to when this was made to truly appreciate how much effort was taken to pull the effects off. Like a lot of movies at the time they used different camera angles to make things look either bigger or smaller depending on how they wanted to make things look. Seeing how they used live lizards to play the roles of dinosaurs, the camera angles they used to make them look gigantic and humans as small little specks compared to them is amazing. The Academy thought a lot of how this movie was made because it was nominated for 3 awards for special effects and sound.
Overall I thought this movie was good but not great. I would of loved to have seen more adventures that they went on. Watched them explore more of Atlantis instead of seeing them quickly get through it. One criticism of the movie that I found via Wikipedia from New York Times Film Critic Bosley Crowther who wrote, “… really not very striking make-believe, when all is said and done. The earth’s interior is somewhat on the order of an elaborate amusement-park tunnel of love. And the attitudes of the people, toward each other and toward another curious man who happens to be exploring down there at the same time, are conventional and just a bit dull.” Which to be honest is a fair critique of the movie. It leaves you wanting more, and then get disappointed when you don’t get more. Besides that it was a fun watch and a cool movie to watch if you have the time to view it.
Final Score: 3 out of 5
Next Review: Pollyanna (1960)