Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Cinema Cycle - Journey To The Center Of The Earth

(Cardio Workout And Reviewing Movies At The Same Time)


DATE: 04/23/2014

FORMAT: LaserDisc

SYNOPSIS: A noted Scottish Scientist and his pupil race against colleagues to the center of the earth after finding a hidden artifact that suggests that someone has been there before.

CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: High adventure and the mystery of the unknown.  The world has hidden treasures if you go out and explore it.  Love blossoms when a strong willed man and woman spend a lot of time together under stressful conditions.

PROS AND CONS: While not a great film, this has some redeeming qualities that make it worth watching.  Most notably some of the production design and the soundtrack by Bernard Herrmann.  The story based on a Jules Verne novel is laughable by today’s standards and it is evident that this was meant to be a big Saturday Matinee film for family viewing.  

There are a few cons in this work.  Most notably the inclusion of Pat Boone as one of the leading stars, who shares top billing with noted actor James Mason.  Evidently Mr. Boone was put in place to bring the younger generation into the theater back in the late 1950s.  The special effects in the film are awful.  Especially the large lizards filmed to be prehistoric monsters and the final scene where the survivors float to the surface on a rushing pool of lava are pretty ridiculous.  Arlene Dahl’s “O” face as they rush to the surface is hilarious at the end of the journey.  Then there is Hans (Peter Ronson) and his pet duck Gertrude along for the whole journey, which is just sort of odd.  

Some interesting notes on the film; if you want to know where George Lucas got the idea of Indiana Jones being chased by the rolling boulder, it may well have been from this film.  Also of interest at the end of the LaserDisc were the alternate scenes that were shown in the European release.  When James Mason’s character is serenaded by his Scottish college colleagues they sing in Gaelic and not English.  Pat Boone’s one musical number in the US version is edited out of the European version.  It appears that Pat wasn't the heart throb in England that he was in the States.

TIME RIDDEN: 2 hours 16 minutes



To read an overview of this project, check out the initial post for this series.

This film is a part of my LaserDisc Collection which is located on the LaserDisc Database

Clicking on the title will take you to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) entry for this film. 

This film was viewed while exercising on my recumbent cycle.  A summary of my time spent working out on my journey through movie-land can be found on