JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH (1959)
Article #231 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 11-2-2001
Posting date: 3-18-2002
When a scientist discovers an artifact from a long-vanished explorer, he embarks upon a journey into the bowels of the planet.
It was nice that the Disney version of 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA caused a revival of interest in Verne, and this is one of the movies that appeared in its wake. It features James Mason doing his usual very good job. It also features Pat Boone, who does all right except he does feel the need to remind you he’s Pat Boone when a song comes around. It also features Arlene Dahl as a strong-willed woman quite willing to stand up to Professor Lindenbrook, and this is quite refreshing. I also found it quite interesting and unusual that the big Scandinavian with the duck never learns to speak English; it’s not a choice that would usually be made in a Hollywood movie. On the down side, it does have some of the same problems that bothered me with 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA; namely, it runs on a bit long, and it has some of the same incessant cuteness that plagued that movie, which goes a long way to explain the presence of the duck (though the duck’s fate in the movie is a big surprise). It’s a fairly good movie, but I have to admit to preferring my Verne served up with less cuteness.