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Journey to the Center of the Earth [VHS]

473 customer reviews


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Frequently Bought Together

Journey to the Center of the Earth [VHS] + 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea [VHS] + Jason and the Argonauts [VHS]
Price for all three: $31.95

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Product Details

  • Actors: James Mason, Pat Boone, Arlene Dahl, Diane Baker, Thayer David
  • Directors: Henry Levin
  • Writers: Charles Brackett, Jules Verne, Walter Reisch
  • Producers: Charles Brackett
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, HiFi Sound, NTSC
  • Language: English, French, Icelandic, Italian
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • VHS Release Date: January 2, 1996
  • Run Time: 132 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (473 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6302098424
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,564 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

James Mason plays Professor Oliver Lindenbrook, a scientist hoping to find the world's core in this 1959 adaptation of the Jules Verne novel. He leads his unusual party on an expedition to the center of the earth, by way of a volcano in Iceland. On the way, they encounter enormous mushrooms and giant prehistoric monsters. Produced by Michael Todd with then-spectacular special effects, the story was modernized to 1950s sensibilities. Mason gives this class, while Arlene Dahl and Diane Baker are the romantic interests. And Pat Boone is more palatable than you might expect as a secondary lead. You can watch this with your children and not be bored, and they will surely love it. --Rochelle O'Gorman

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 84 people found the following review helpful By R. Monteith on March 8, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
OK, there's been some controversy here about the quality of this release, so let me put it to rest. This DVD is spledid! I think this adaptation of Jules Verne's 1864 French novel is a prime example of 1950's wide-screen motion picture family entertainment -- it's wholesome and has a little something for everyone. This is the best film version of this story, the most recent of which was done for the USA Channel on cable in 1999 and was very campy. They couldn't match the 1959 production values of this 20th Century-Fox film that has excellent color photography and art direction, and Bernard Herrmann's wonderfully atmospheric music score. These elements have continued to make it a favorite with fantasy film fans who can appreciate older movies, though it's true that some of it is silly at times, but I don't think the film's makers were trying for a serious movie. It also contains one of James Mason's best performances (He was always good). It's wonderful "Cinemascope" escapism from the bygone Eisenhower-era of the 1950s. Even though I've been watching it on TV since I was a kid in the sixties, I'd only seen pan&scan versions, and it wasn't until I got it letterboxed on laserdisc that I finally saw what a big-screen entertainment this movie was meant to be. It has splendid scope and a score by Bernard Herrmann that takes you right down into the bowels of the earth. Listen to it and you'll notice what I mean, as the movie progresses the music keeps going into a lower and lower register. Five organs were used, including one meant for a Cathedral. (The complete original recordings of the score are available on CD from Varese Sarabande.Read more ›
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87 of 99 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 1, 2003
Format: DVD
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.
Read more ›
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134 of 160 people found the following review helpful By Brad Baker VINE VOICE on March 14, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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.Read more ›
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