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Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959)

James Mason , Pat Boone , Henry Levin  |  G |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (391 customer reviews)

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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: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: March 4, 2003
  • Run Time: 132 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (391 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007JMD8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,907 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Journey to the Center of the Earth" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Restoration comparison

Editorial Reviews

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 Professor Lindenbrook (Mason) down into the earth's dark, threat-laden core. Members of the group include the professor's star student, Alec (Boone), and the widow (Dahl) of a colleague. Along the way lurk dangers such as kidnapping, death, sabotage by a rival explorer, and attacks by giant prehistoric reptiles. But they also encounter such magnificent wonders as a glistening cavern of quartz crystals, luminescent algae, a forest of giant mushrooms, and the lost city of Atlantis.

Remaining faithful to Verne's story, this is a sweeping adventure that offers enough thrills and entertainment to satisfy every explorer in the family.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
72 of 77 people found the following review helpful
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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81 of 92 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good DVD restoration of an uneven film August 1, 2003
By A Customer
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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131 of 157 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dolby Surround-Sound Magic 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Take the Journey!
I saw this movie in the theater when I was a kid. Still a thrill, and the DVD delivers! Classic!
Published 16 hours ago by Diane C. Lytwyn
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Better than the remake ten times over.
Published 11 days ago by N. J. Null
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
Exactly as described and received earlier than expected.
Published 12 days ago by Patrick J. Caulfield
5.0 out of 5 stars It follows a smooth story line with beautiful underground shots of...
Even for an old movie this is always entertaining. It follows a smooth story line with beautiful underground shots of caverns loaded with colorful minerals, stones. Read more
Published 12 days ago by sadsack
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 12 days ago by Anthony G. Marinello
5.0 out of 5 stars What more can be said? A masterpiece of the ...
What more can be said? A masterpiece of the 50's! Superb in every detail, from the effects to the music, from the acting to the sets. The quality of the production is first-rate. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Stephen A Fender
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of my favorites
Published 13 days ago by Mr. Lee A. Crochet
I wanna know why I see nothing but DVD reviews. This is listed as a soundtrack on cd. I don't care whether anyone liked the movie or not. Read more
Published 13 days ago by JACK LOBO
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie and a classic..
Published 22 days ago by Rick
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Got it for husband last year for birthday cause it brought back childhood memories.
Published 1 month ago by vickie dotey
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