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Journey to the Center of the Earth Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

There was neither a heroine nor a villain in Jules Verne's 1864 novel Journey to the Center of the Earth, but scenarist Charles Brackett evidently knew what he was doing by adding both to the 1959 film version. The picture proved to be a significant success in an otherwise disappointing year for 20th Century Fox. James Mason stars as amusingly absent-minded professor Oliver Lindenbrook, whose first step on a fabulous journey is prompted by a lump of lava brought to him by his student Alec McEwen (Pat Boone -- and, yes, he gets to sing). Melting down the curiously composed lump, Lindenbrook discovers a hastily scrawled message from long-lost explorer Arne Saknussem, with directions for reaching the earth's core. Accompanied by Carla (Arlene Dahl), widow of a famed geologist, and Icelandic guide Hans (Peter Ronson), Lindenbrook and Alec head down, down below. They are closely followed by the villainous Count Saknussem (Thayer David), descendant of the lost explorer who wrote the directions; the count hopes to use Lindenbrook's discoveries for his own personal and political gain (we know he's really bad when he eats Han's lovable pet goose). What follows is a festival of superb special effects, fabulous subterranean sets, and gigantized reptiles posing as dinosaurs, all brilliantly accompanied by Bernard Herrmann's ominous musical score. Journey to the Center of the Earth would later be adapted into a Saturday-morning cartoon series, again produced by 20th Century Fox. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Joseph Kish Best Color Art Direction 1959 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Lyle Wheeler Best Color Art Direction 1959 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Walter Scott Best Color Art Direction 1959 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Herman A. Blumenthal Best Color Art Direction 1959 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Franz Bachelin Best Color Art Direction 1959 Nominee

Cast

Pat Boone
as Alec McEwen
James Mason
as Prof. Oliver Lindenbrook
Arlene Dahl
as Carla
Diane Baker
as Jenny
Peter Ronson
as Hans
Thayer David
as Count Saknussem
Robert Adler
as Groom
Alan Napier
as Dean
Alex Finlayson
as Prof. Bayle
Ben Wright
as Paisley
Frederick Halliday
as Chancellor
Alan Caillou
as Rector
John Epper
as Groom
Edith Evanson
as Icelandic Proptietress
Kendrick Huxham
as Scotch Newsman
Owen McGiveney
as Shopkeeper
Molly Roden
as Housekeeper
Ivan Triesault
as Goetaborg
Edith Evanson
as Icelandic Proptietress
Ivan Triesault
as Goetaborg
Owen McGiveney
as Shopkeeper
John Epper
as Groom
Molly Roden
as Housekeeper
Kendrick Huxham
as Scotch Newsman

Crew

Henry Levin
Director
Charles Brackett
Producer
Charles Brackett
Screenwriter
Robert Gunter
Screenwriter
Walter Reisch
Screenwriter
Leo Tover
Cinematographer
Lionel Newman
Musical Direction/Supervision
Sammy Cahn
Songwriter
Bernard Herrmann
Composer (Music Score)
Jimmy Van Heusen
Songwriter
Stuart Gilmore
Editor
Herman A. Blumenthal
Art Director
Franz Bachelin
Art Director
Lyle Wheeler
Art Director
Robert Gunter
Co-producer
Joseph Kish
Set Designer
Walter Scott
Set Designer
David Ffolkes
Costume Designer
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