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Journey to the Center of the Earth (16-Dec-1959)

Director: Henry Levin

Writers: Walter Reisch; Charles Brackett

From novel by: Jules Verne

Music: Bernard Herrmann

Producer: Charles Brackett

Keywords: Fantasy, Sci-Fi

A Scottish geology professor and three other intrepid explorers plus a duck named Gertrude venture into the depths of the Earth, following the trail through an Icelandic volcano pointed to by another scientist a century earlier. Best version by far of this classic Jules Verne tale, though talky and starting off slow. Received Oscar nominations for Best Set Decoration, Best Sound and Best Special Effects.

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Diane Baker
25-Feb-1938   Mirage
Pat Boone
1-Jun-1934   Lounge singer, 45-million records sold
Arlene Dahl
11-Aug-1928   Three Little Words
Thayer David
4-Mar-1927 17-Jul-1978 Jergens in Rocky
James Mason
15-May-1909 27-Jul-1984 North by Northwest
Alan Napier
7-Jan-1903 8-Aug-1988 Alfred on Batman


Pat Boone   ...   Alec McEwen
James Mason   ...   Prof. Oliver Lindenbrook
Arlene Dahl   ...   Carla
Diane Baker   ...   Jenny
Thayer David   ...   Count Saknussem
Peter Ronson   ...   Hans
Robert Adler   ...   Groom
Alan Napier   ...   Dean


Review by James D. Haeberle (posted on 29-Apr-2007)

Considering its age and the limited special effects which were available then, this film is still a timeless success. The screen play, scenery, and casting all contribute to its memorable excitement. James Mason and Thayer David (sometimes known as David Thayer) give the film more class than it would otherwise have had. Jewel-encrusted caverns and constant adventure make this an appealing film to the eye and the mind. This reviewer first saw the film at the age of 9 or 10 and has never tired of it. Dimetrodons and other prehistoric creatures are done quite well. Pat Boone's poor Scottish accent doesn't detract much from the enjoyment of the film after the first half-hour or so. His acting is otherwise quite good. If you think you've seen David Thayer somewhere before, you probably have. He was a star of the famous spooky soap "Dark Shadows" on TV. He also announced the results of the title fight at the end of the original Rocky. His diction and beautifully modulated voice make him one of the few actors who could really hold his own on the screen with James Mason.

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