20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
gets a dose of On the Beach
in Irwin Allen's visually impressive but scientifically silly Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
. While the Seaview, the world's most advanced experimental submarine, maneuvers under the North Pole, the Van Allen radiation belt catches fire, giving the concept "global warming" an entirely new dimension. As the Earth broils in temperatures approaching 170 degrees F, Walter Pidgeon's maniacally driven Admiral Nelson hijacks the Seaview and plays tag with the world's combined naval forces on a race to the South Pacific, where he plans to extinguish the interstellar fire with a well-placed nuclear missile. But first he has to fight a mutinous crew, an alarmingly effective saboteur, not one but two giant squid attacks, and a host of design flaws that nearly cripple the mission (note to Nelson: think backup generators). Barbara Eden shimmies to Frankie Avalon's trumpet solos in the most formfitting naval uniform you've ever seen, fish-loving Peter Lorre plays in the shark tank, gloomy religious fanatic Michael Ansara preaches Armageddon, and Joan Fontaine looks very uncomfortable playing an armchair psychoanalyst. It's all pretty absurd, but Allen pumps it up with larger-than-life spectacle and lovely miniature work. --Sean Axmaker
A routine scientific expedition to the North Pole turns into a race to save all mankind when a radiation belt in space causes a fiery inferno on Earth. Admiral Nelson (Walter Pidgeon) and the crew of the atomic submarine Seaview battle saboteurs, giant sea-creatures and attacks by enemy submarines as they race to prevent global catastrophe. Renowned disaster film producer, Irwin Allen, produces and directs an all-star cast including Joan Fontaine, Barbara Eden, Peter Lore, and Frankie Avalon. The stunning visual effects and breathtaking underwater photography make this one of the most respected sci-fi adventure classics of all time.