Exploring the Core

Journey to the Center of the Earth is an epic expedition beneath the surface. Famed French author Jules Verne is known for his spot on predictions about the future. 1864 novel Journey to the Center of the Earth accurately predicted subterranean exploration. Though this story is more science fiction than science fact. Jules Verne more so popularized the idea that there could be a prehistoric realm located at the center of the Earth. I’ve seen the idea parodied so many times, but it was time I saw the 1959 original. My parents are big fans of the movie and always recommended it.

The 20th Century Fox film ironically has a lot in common with the Disney film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Both Jules Verne adaptations were released 5 years apart and cast James Mason in a starring role. A lot of the book is altered in terms of names, locations, and additional characters. Mason plays the similarly egotistical Scottish geological Professor Oliver Lindenbrook. Journey to the Center of the Earth has a great understanding of scientific discovery. How when a scientist has an idea, they have to pursue it. Singer Pat Boone is Lindenbrook’s dashing science student Alec who joins him when a volcanic rock inspires their expedition. Boone’s presence does make the movie feel like a musical from time to time.

The adventure itself takes some time to take off, but it is thrilling when it does. They’re joined by a strong Icelandic guide and their group’s lovable duck mascot Gertrude. Original character Carla joins the group since Lindenbrook is so against having a woman around (of course they fall in love). They’re also pursued by a villainous Count, but that’s the least of their worries. The center of the Earth is filled with many wonders and dangers. Including bioluminescent geodes, giant mushrooms, enormous bodies of water, the lost city of Atlantis, and even prehistoric creatures. Much like One Million B.C., forced perspective is used to make lizards look like dinosaurs. Journey to the Center of the Earth is a sight to behold.

Journey to the Center of the Earth

The Lindenbrook expedition encounters a Megalania

6 thoughts on “Exploring the Core

  1. Love this film, so fun and exciting. I kinda wish James Mason would’ve done more entertaining style films like this, though I do love the range of performances he gave over the years. Still gotta pick up the UK Blu Ray of it.

    Liked by 1 person

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