Search - Unknown World (B&W) on DVD

Unknown World (B&W)
Unknown World
Actors: Bruce Kellogg, Otto Waldis, Jim Bannon, Marilyn Nash, Victor Kilian
Director: Terry O. Morse
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy
NR     2002     1hr 14min

Platform:  DVD MOVIE Publisher:  ALPHA VIDEO Packaging:  DVD STYLE BOX Living under the threat of an atomic holocaust a group of scientists build the Cyclotram a vehicle capable of drilling to the center of the earth. Dr. ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Bruce Kellogg, Otto Waldis, Jim Bannon, Marilyn Nash, Victor Kilian
Director: Terry O. Morse
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Classics
Studio: Alpha Video
Format: DVD - Black and White
DVD Release Date: 11/19/2002
Original Release Date: 10/26/1951
Theatrical Release Date: 10/26/1951
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 14min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Matt B. from GETZVILLE, NY
Reviewed on 12/10/2011...
An eminent geologist figures our species faces unavoidable doom through nuclear annihilation. He wants to locate a place inside the earth to which to flee when the dirty bombs do their dirty work.

He and like-minded scientists build a Cyclotram, a drill on treads that can bore down to the center of the earth. It can also carry the scientists in relative comfort to a new inhabitable world 1500 miles below the planet’s surface. As usual, funding such an odd plan doesn’t come easy until a rich playboy, in search of kicks, agrees to pony up the cash to build and equip the vehicle as long as he can tag along. Once the long trip inward starts, nerves fray, anxiety cooks, personalities conflict, and Mother Nature plays her usual tricks.

My Bride, whose critical sense is more in tune with the majority of movie goers, rolled her eyes at the shaky science, poor pacing, and mediocre acting. She grants some of the effects were interesting but they were too few and far between.

I saw the movie as a noble if rickety effort to explore existential themes in a conventional SF movie. That is, a couple of times the members of the crew ask the fundamental question, “Should we go on or turn back” which speaks to our incessant dilemma, should we continue pursuing the new, unknown, and risky or should we return to older ways. The crew members give reasonable arguments for both sides. Plus, clashes come out of the conflicts between the members of who embrace life and take risks versus those who fear life and still take risks. People with both approaches to life have their own reasons for embracing the risks of boring into the planet. That’s what makes horse races, I guess.

Movie Reviews

Kinda deep down there, isn't it?
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 01/22/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This 1951 offering from Lippert Pictures takes us 2500 miles underneath the surface with a group of somewhat annoying scientists. Dr. Morley (dubbed the Prophet of Doom by at least one newspaper reporter) is an obsessive opponent of all things nuclear. Fearing that atomic weapons will destroy all life on earth, he recruits a group of scientists for his Society to Save Civilization, and they make plans to find a living space deep within the earth where man can survive and rebuild from the nuclear holocaust they see just over the horizon. After the group fails to secure any funding, a rich newspaper publisher's son forks over the cash and accompanies them on their monumental journey. It's your typical group of B-movie scientists: there is Morley, who seems lost and mad at the world all the time, a couple of scientists who basically push buttons and read dials, a young and attractive feminist scientist, an explosives man, and the paperboy. Of course, the group is constantly bickering and fighting, and no one likes the paperboy at all-at first. This had to change somewhat because, as you would expect, he has to put the moves on the lady scientist and she has to pretend to resist. How do our intrepid explorers go about their task? They design a cyclotram, basically a great big ugly metal boxcar with a humongous drill for a nose, ascend to the top of an extinct volcano, go down into the crater and start drilling through rock as they make their way downward. Every so often, they stop for a minute to fight or to provide an opportunity for one of them to die. They are rather bumbling amateurs when it comes to the deep exploring gig; you would have thought one of the scientists would have remembered to pack a lot of water. They sometimes even seem surprised to discover that it's actually pretty dark miles underground. I was led to believe the group ran into dangerous animals in the depths of the earth, but that is not true. There are similarities between Unknown World and Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth, as you would expect, but this film never develops the aura of plausibility that Verne's work had. To answer the question of how they will survive the intense heat of the earth's core, the geologist amongst them simply announces the fact that the temperature at the earth's core is actually lower than that on the surface. This movie is only about 70 minutes long, so it's short enough to not become too aggravating too quickly. Taken in the context of its time, it's really not such a bad movie. Some may also be interested to know that part of the movie was actually filmed inside New Mexico's Carlsbad Caverns."
A Happy Childhood Memory!
Nostalgic for the '50s | 04/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This movie used to be a perennial on local television in L.A. in the early 1950s, and has always been a particular favorite of mine, then and NOW--REGARDLESS of the fact that it may not be one of the "greats" in the world of film. In fact, as a child, I was so enamored of the film's concept (digging your way into the center of the Earth), that I used to use my family's home laundry room as the "Cyclotram's" cockpit as I imaginarily tunneled my own way into the Earth! Reviewers who smugly dismiss this film as just a piece of junk should be themselves dismissed; ALL films are not "Citizen Kane", gang! INTERESTING FOOTNOTE: Victor Kilian, who plays the more-or-less leading character in the film (Dr. Jeremiah Morley) is NOWHERE listed in the cast credits, as he had been "blacklisted" as a suspected Communist in the infamous Hollywood witch hunts just prior to the film's release. In later years, he came back for a time as a regular on the "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" satirical television series."
Don't Judge A Man By The Size Of His Drill...
Bindy Sue Frønkünschtein | under the rubble | 08/02/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"The world may be doomed, due to all those nasty atomic bombs. It's a good thing Dr. Morley has a plan! We'll send him and his team (in the cyclotram drilling machine) to the earth's core to find out if mankind can take refuge there after the impending nuclear holocaust. Well, the government laughs at Morley's idea and refuses to fund it. All seems lost until a young millionaire comes to the rescue. Soon, our heroic scientists and technicians are drilling through solid rock in their search for a subterranean paradise. It's a rough journey, as they encounter poison gas, cave-ins, floods, and many deaths along the way. UW isn't great, but it is good enough for any sci-fi collection. I enjoyed it, even though there were no monsters or prehistoric-type humanoids involved. There are some stretches of boredom, but at just over an hour in length, it still manages to move rather quickly. Watch it with VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, FANTASTIC VOYAGE, JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH, and FIRST SPACESHIP ON VENUS for an adventure-filled mega-marathon..."