Search - Journey to the Center of the Earth on DVD

Journey to the Center of the Earth
Journey to the Center of the Earth
Actors: James Mason, Pat Boone, Arlene Dahl, Diane Baker, Thayer David
Director: Henry Levin
Genres: Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy
G     2003     2hr 12min

The accent is on fun and fantasy in this film version of Jules Verne's classic thriller that stars James Mason, Pat Boone, and Arlene Dahl. With spectacular visuals as a backdrop, the story centers on an expedition led by ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: James Mason, Pat Boone, Arlene Dahl, Diane Baker, Thayer David
Director: Henry Levin
Creators: Leo Tover, Jack W. Holmes, Stuart Gilmore, Charles Brackett, Jules Verne, Walter Reisch
Genres: Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction, Classics, Classics
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 03/04/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/1959
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1959
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 2hr 12min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: G (General Audience)
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish

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Member Movie Reviews

Patricia S. (anniemae) from LANCASTER, OH
Reviewed on 9/22/2009...
I really enjoyed this movie, It has held up well over the years, This version of the of Journey to the center of the earth is just as good as the recent versions, but that might be because I adored Pat Boone, love to here him sing. The color is good, pretty much action packed, well worth watching.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Aimee M. (AimeeM)
Reviewed on 2/4/2008...
This is a great movie. You've gotta love James Mason, he seemed made for Jules Verne's Characters.

Although this doesn't exactly follow the book, and there is an additional character (a woman) the spirit of the story is the same.

This story has humor, excitement, action (even if the special effects are a little old) and a little romance (don't worry it is kid friendly).

Enjoyable for when you are in a "classic old movie" mood.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Dolby Surround-Sound Magic
Brad Baker | Atherton, Ca United States | 03/14/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)

"A 19th century French businessman, Jules Verne decided rather late in life to give up the stock market and write children's fantasy novels. I'm so glad he did. The movie version of his "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea", in 1954, set off an explosion of major Jules Verne film adaptions(over 12 movies in 10 years). One of the finest was "Journey to the Center of the Earth". As the story opens, an Edinburgh professor receives a gift; a meteorite fragment from his student. Intuition fires Prof. Lindenbrook's imagination: Could an historic scientific message be hidden inside? After testing, the rock explodes. Lindenbrook assembles an expedition to follow an explorer's trail down into an extinct Icelandic volcano. Enemies surround him. Mysterious creatures are everywhere. For Prof. Lindenbrook and his party, a fantastic adventure is about to begin. "Journey to the Center of the Earth" stars Pat Boone, Arlene Dahl, Thayer David, Alan Napier, and the magnificent James Mason. But the real "star" is composer Bernard Herrmann, who's thundering, booming film score is nothing short of classic(and actually, only one of many). Director Henry Levin fashioned a lively, colorful saga in 1959's "Journey to the Center of the Earth". Extensive shooting in Hollywood, Scotland, and Carlsbad Caverns produced sweeping set-pieces of subterranean caverns, a giant mushroom forest, and even the lost temples of Atlantis. Special effects include miniature constructions, matte painting, and more. Sadly, the film's main draw-back is a horde of painted lizard "dinosaurs" thrown at the camera in the exciting finale. This brand new widescreen anamorphic (2.35:1) DVD is an excellent transfer. Fox found the original 1959 camera negative worn and faded. A search for viable film elements led to a black-and-white silver print; from this came a 35mm interpositive. Finally came digital restoration and video enhancement. DVD extras include 40 chapter stops, 8 trailers, and a conclusive restoration documentary. Famous and wealthy in his time, Jules Verne predicted the future use of submarines, space-travel, and crustaceous exploration. Over 80 motion picture and TV productions around the world have heralded his work. The first science-fiction movie was made in 1902 by George Melies. And yes, you're right. It was written by Jules Verne."
A film for the whole family
Allen Eaton | Longmont, CO USA | 05/13/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Fox Studios was so successful with this film that they immediately made another Verne classic, "The Lost World" with Claude Raines as Professor Challenger. "Lost World" didn't fare as well. The reasons were obvious."Journey" was put together by a team of Hollywood professionsls at all levels: script, direction, actors, production deisgners. They were all dedicated to one goal: to entertain the audience while not pandering to them. The actors take their roles seriously, bringing them to vivid life.This is a long film for a general release, family oriented project. It goes into good, solid character development, rather than settling for action over story, as they did with "The Lost World." The only thing both films have in common appear to be dinosaurs.The special effects are excellent. Try not to compare them to what can be computer-generated today. Matte painting artists of the old Hollywood studio system could truly be called artists; this film is a prime example of this art.Bernard Hermann's score is one of the true stars of the picture. It supports the film; it is like a character all its own; it complements the story rather than overpowering it.This is a movie that can be seen over and over through the years and it still appeals. Once again, the DVD format presents the film in its original CinemaScope aspect ratio, which is the only way to appreciate a truly excellent example of the old Hollywood in its finest form."
Good DVD restoration of an uneven film
R. Monteith | 08/01/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)

"To anyone considering this DVD, know that the gentleman claiming this DVD was colorized from black-and-white prints is quite mistaken. This DVD is from a new internegative, and what that means is that they made a new color film using what is known as "black-and-white separations." These separations are a B&W film of each of the 3 primary color spectrums (cyan, magenta, blue - tech talk for these separations is Y-C-M) which put together make real full color. They are made that way to preserve a color film. The B&W doesn't fade like color negatives and most prints do (the color spectrums also fade unevenly). So you'd always be able to put them together to make a fresh new color print. You can also control the color better by blending the intensity of each color spectrum. They used this technique for this movie in order preserve the badly aged and neglected negative and to use the blending ability in making a new print to compensate for much of the fading of the negative. Separations should exist for all color films but sadly they don't.You can now figure out that the question of how this will look depends on how bad the negative was before making the "separations" from it, the quality of workmanship, and how carefully they blended the separations when making the film we see on this DVD. They did a good job. It isn't perfect, but it does more or less reflect the color scheme the filmmakers went for in 1959, which is why it might seem a little like fake color to some. If you have a good monitor, it looks colorful in a slightly artful way that many older films intentionally strove for. The sound is a bit out of synch at times but not much. Many videos have that problem. It could be better but most people won't notice. The hiss is fine since it doesn't distract and is better left in than having the sound muffled by filtering it. There are some other strange artifacts in the sound that shouldn't be in there. What is sloppier is that they get the left and right channels reversed at times! This is also not uncommon in the second rate attention usually given older films. In fact this DVD sounds unusually good! It even allows the bass end to remain intact, a big plus in the music for this film. Fox needed to proofread this DVD. It says it is modified (cropped to fit the TV) while in fact it is in its original widescreen on this DVD. This DVD is a commendable job and far superior to the horrid junk this studio released in previous releases of this movie.You must have an appreciation of the absurd to enjoy this movie. If you like absurd or have an appreciation of the absurd, you will find this movie amusing and enjoyable. If you expect clinical or hyper-reality, hyper-violence or gritty realism, you will not like this film. You should also be able to enjoy a story that is in no hurry and be able to enjoy hand-made special effects and some simple stage-like backdrops. I did enjoy the Atlantis setting, it's a shame it didn't make more use of that. There are many things it glosses over in favor of things I wouldn't have bothered with. You may agree. Of course the lady stays a '50's movie lady, and extravagantly made-up and coiffed no matter how long away from a salon. As you no doubt know, many shows still pull that trick. At least she is given a backbone. If the handling of the villain is a little dubious, at least the lead, James Mason's role, is well played and easy to associate with if you have that appreciation for the absurd. If you are fine with all that then you should enjoy this movie.The score is the best element of this movie. I'm not talking of the transient ditties Pat Boone throws off. I mean the scoring by Bernard Herrmann. Many people like the score far better than the movie itself. I agree. Music and film students will find this score a must. Particularly of interest is the instrumentation. There are superb uses of organ including the seriously low registers (a subwoofer is worth using for this film). Another interesting thing is the extremely rare use of the distinctive, long-obsolete medieval instrument called a "serpent." This instrument is used for the unnerving tones portraying the (what else!) giant serpent. This movie is not as dramatically valid or creatively solid as Walt Disney's 'Twenty-Thousand Leagues under the Sea' (1954). 'Twenty-Thousand Leagues' has also aged better. If you want a classic Jules Verne film, get the excellent DVD of 'Twenty-Thousand Leagues'. Then consider this one. 'Mysterious Island' is another, but I'd suggest it after the aforementioned. Also of possible interest to you is a film also requiring an appreciation of the absurd and a taste or tolerance of the "cheesy" in even larger measures, but possibly also stronger in its strengths than this film, 'In Search of the Castaways' (1962 - not on DVD at this time). 'First Men in the Moon' (1964) is also in a similar spirit to this. I hope you'll now be able to chose whether to buy this DVD and what to get if you enjoy this film.- C.J."