Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
USA, 1959. Twentieth Century Fox, Cooga Mooga, Joseph M. Schenck Enterprises. Screenplay by Walter Reisch, Charles Brackett, based on the novel Voyage au Centre de la Terre by Jules Verne. Cinematography by Leo Tover. Produced by Charles Brackett. Music by Bernard Herrmann. Production Design by Franz Bachelin, Herman A. Blumenthal, Lyle R. Wheeler. Costume Design by David Ffolkes. Film Editing by Stuart Gilmore, Jack W. Holmes.
New advances in stop-motion animation technology were encouraging movie producers of the fifties to create lots of deliciously pulpy science-fiction films for mass audiences to enjoy. For a few years following the success of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea and Around The World In 80 Days, Jules Verne’s more fantastical novels enjoyed their share of time on the silver screen as well, and in this enjoyable adventure, James Mason plays an eager scientist who takes a crew on a dangerous journey into the Earth’s core. The travellers experience huge lizards, dangerously violent tidal waves and…giant mushrooms? Its tongue-in-cheek nature is part of the fun, as are the jovial performances by Mason, Pat Boone as his shirtless assistant and Diane Baker as the daughter to one, sweetheart to the other who just can’t wait to darn everyone’s socks.
Academy Award Nominations: Best Special Effects; Best Art Direction-Colour; Best Sound