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4.7 out of 5 stars30
4.7 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 4 July 2009
The modern predilection for re-making old movies( The Time Machine [DVD] [2002] ,The Day The Earth Stood Still [DVD] [2008]) and giving them bigger scope and a CGI spin always seems to me to be missing one vital element. Charm .All those old films have a certain magic completely missing from any of the contemporary versions. Never has this been better exemplified after watching the 2008 version Journey To The Center Of The Earth 3D [2008] [DVD] and indeed the made for TV rehash starring Treat Williams .
Even taking into account the fact the modern version , isn't like the 1959 version an adaptation of the Jules Verne Journey to the Centre of the Earth (Wordsworth Classics) novel, though that is a fairly loose adaptation , there is simply no comparison between the two. The recent version is a gaudy event driven sequence of peril free situations , light on characterisation and despite all its, modern trappings failing to capture a sense of wonder. The 1959 version directed by Henry Levin from a screenplay by Walter Reisch and Charles Brackett does that effortlessly aided by some terrific sets, decent special effects and some weighty actors .The tangible sense of the Victorian era adds to the films appeal for me as well.
James Mason( replacing the originally cast Clifton Webbe) adds considerable gravitas to the role of Sir Oliver Lindenbrook who leads the titular expedition to the centre of the Earth tackling dinosaurs, seismic rumbles, whirlpools, an errant duck , Pat Boones singing and the evil Count Saknussem( Thayer David) .Along for the ride are the aforementioned Boone as Alexander Mckuen ,Arlene Dahl as the feisty nemesis of Lindenbrook ( James Mason reportedly had very little patience with the "movie star" preening of Arlene Dahl and the relationship between the two off set was very much like the audience see's on screen) Carla Goteborg , Diane Baker as Jenny Linden brook , Peter Ronson as the immense Icelandic guide Hans Belker who brings along Gertrude the duck whose inclusion is extremely silly but not too silly it drags the film down.
Neither does Pat Boone,s singing either , indeed he's rather good as the doughty but somewhat naïve Alex . This is one of those films like Mysterious Island [DVD] [1961], Jason And The Argonauts [DVD] [1963] ,The Time Machine [DVD] [1960] and the Sinbad Collection - Seventh Voyage Of Sinbad/Golden Voyage Of Sinbad/Sinbad And The Eye Of Tiger [DVD] films that is just great fun to watch just about anytime.
Fox gave the green light to this big-budget Cinemascope production partially on the basis of the success of the Jules Verne adaptations, Walt Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea [DVD] [1954] and Michael Todd's Around The World In Eighty Days [1956] [DVD] . The company wanted to go up against Disney and as with those films, the heavy cost proved to be a good investment, resulting in a big hit at the box office Like I said earlier the film has great charm but mostly it's just terrific family entertainment,appealling to both adults and kids, something hard to come by nowadays.
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on 2 April 2009
Classic version of this film, better than all of the remakes in their various forms. Because of its age has a much more "realistic" victorian feel to the whole adventure as it doesn't have to rely on CGI etc.

Great family film for a Sunday afternoon.

If you liked this , buy the original version of the "Time Machine".
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When a 19th century scientist (James Mason) embarks on a trek to find the centre of the earth, he takes with him a boyish student (Pat Boone), an attractive widow (Arlene Dahl), and an Icelandic strongman and his beloved duck. As the intrepid band descends into the earth's core, they find sparkling caverns, an underground ocean, and even the lost city of Atlantis, all the while being followed by an unscrupulous explorer.

This is good, clean, unsophisticated fun for the whole family. Pat Boone was at the height of his singing career in 1962 and does a good job here, but Mason is the real star. He brings maturity and class to the film while Dahl is the essence of plucky femininity.

There are many comic duck-related moments and minor thrills as the group encounters the inevitable prehistoric monsters. The DVD has been restored and the picture is exceptionally clear and bright with color by Deluxe. An exciting soundtrack by Bernard Herrmann keeps the mood intense. While the film bears little resemblance to Verne's novel, it is quite enjoyable and sweet in a 1950s sort of way.
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on 29 December 2010
`Journey To The Centre Of The Earth' is one of those great 1950's all-round adventure movies based upon the Jules Verne story. It came hot on the heels of `20,000 Leagues Under The Sea', both of which starred James Mason.

It's silly of course. After a suddenly-discovered clue, an obdurate professor - played by Mason - sets off without preamble to the centre of the Earth. There are adventures galore. Bottomless pits, beautiful caverns, and spectacular scenery combine with dastardly villains, erupting volcanoes and prehistoric animals. At least 45 minutes elapse before our heroes even take the plunge, but so much happens beforehand that the movie never drags. There's great location-work and expansive, imaginative sets. James Mason makes a great lead with his enigmatic voice. Young Pat Boone who was also a popular crooner in his day with a couple of top-ten hits, co-stars and gets to sing a couple of songs. Arlene Dahl makes a feisty heroine with an imancipation agenda. There's a nice terse and witty script. Its visually stunning. Sound is simple, with trumpets in high key signifying altitude and thin air and depth implied by the bass tones of a colossal organ. It works very well, especially if you have a good sound-system. The monsters are just lizards with prosthetics, yet they set the standard until the arrival of Jurassic Park. They're very believable and even today kids will love `em.

The DVD is clear and bright, reputed to have been restored. Believe me; the case illustrations do not begin to do this movie justice. Wet Saturday afternoon? Put this on the player and break out the popcorn.
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on 19 November 2009
A magnificent movie, it has been re-mastered several times and to be honest, the quality now is probably better than it was at the cinema.

They dont make movies like this anymore, fantastic cast, no CGI, massive lizards for dinosaurs, great sets, it is a must have movie, a great addition to any collection.

I have watched the film many times, and i enjoy it every time.

Buy This Movie, You Wont Be Sorry.
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on 1 January 2010
Good quality DVD of an original good classic. I had been looking for this film on DVD, the newer versions with extra adventures are fun for the adventures BUT they are NOT true to the original book. This old original version is great to have. I look for DVD versions of the old classic films WITHOUT modern additions to the original script. For those who like the original story, I warmly recommend this DVD.
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VINE VOICEon 24 August 2008
A Professor (James Mason) is given a piece of lava for a present. It proves to be too heavy for the type of lava. Upon examination there is a message inside that will eventually take this professor through many adverse adventures eventually leading to a "Journey to the Center of the Earth"

I usually side with the book. However this time it is the movie that I will hold as the standard. This is better than all the subsequent attempts to re-interpret the story. They picked just the right people for the parts. Pat Boone as Alec McEwen, "Goodbye Charlie" (1964), James Mason as Professor Oliver Lindenbrook, and Arlene Dahl as Mrs. Carla Goetaborg. And Thayer David was the sinister Count Saknussmen. Many of the location scenes were at Carlsbad Caverns, NM. And it was a nice touch to include "My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose" a song using the words of Robert Burns.

The count had no scruples when it came to shooting or eating. However I was a little upset when he ate Gertrude.

I still watch this periodical. And kid about the three marks of Arny Saknussmen when they show the footprint of the Mantis "The Deadly Mantis" (1957), as it has the same three marks.
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on 9 June 2009
This is the kind of film that Saturday matinees were invented for. It's an adventure film following six people and a duck - I kid you not - as they attempt to follow in the footsteps of Arne Saknussem to the centre of the earth.

The cast led by James Mason acquits themselves as one would expect and for those with a musical bent there's Pat Boone who augments or detracts from the film depending on your point of view with a strange Scottish brogue and at least one song.

The special effects are excellent.
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on 17 August 2011
Just a silly old childhood whim to want to see this 1959 film once again. I suppose it comes across somewhat cardboardish nowadays, but as a young fellow I loved it! A great adventure and all the planning for the Lindenbrook expedition is more exiting than the actual journey itself in some ways! With Hollywood artistic license, this original version of the Jules Verne novel actually incorporates much of the latter part of the author's, '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea'.
I received this DVD within 4 days of ordering from Amazon and as usual it arrived in perfect condition. Thank you.
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on 19 March 2009
I have always enjoyed this film. The original is always the best. Prompt and quick delivery also meant that I didn't have to wait long.
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