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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 (349 customer reviews)

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Journey to the Center of the Earth + Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (Two-Disc Special Edition) + The Time Machine
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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: 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
  • 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 (349 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007JMD8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,260 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
63 of 67 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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74 of 83 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
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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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best movies ever made. August 11, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
I LOVE it!. There's absolutely nothing bad to be said about this wonderful film. It's one of the 10 best movies ever made, and it's lost none of its magic.(I like it just a tiny bit more, than that other famous 50's fantasy/adventure favorite of mine: "20.000 Leagues Under The Sea".) When I'm with Mason & co., I'm like a little kid again. There are movies you never stop loving; and this is one of them for me. They just don't make 'em like this anymore. If you're "old and wise", I trust you'll agree.(I'm 32, by the way.) -They can show me all their latest computer effects, I don't care, they're all empty like a balloon, and they have no soul. Any kind of real and interesting magical atmosphere, is almost impossible to capture in modern movies. Older films have a facinating, almost other-worldly quality to them. It all boils down to the look of a movie, and today they all look the same. Sad, but true. -At least one can spend the rest of his or hers life, watching nothing but old movies; and that's just exactly what I intend to do.
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130 of 155 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 Great Collector
There were two movies that were made of this great adventure. Great special effects and real colorful with all the scenes
of this movie. You have my great recommendations.
Published 10 hours ago by Randall Canter
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Adventure.
James Mason and Pat Boone team up for a great outdoor adventure. Even with "50's-era" special effects, it keeps you entertained from start to finish. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Michael J. Gibbons
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent acting
James Mason is an excellent actor and along with the rest of the actors is was an enjoyable movie to watch. I like this adventure better than the more modern version. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Jim
5.0 out of 5 stars very good movie
this movie is an oldie but a goodie. for the whole family. it is clean and funny i think even the kids will like this.
Published 3 days ago by gary
1.0 out of 5 stars sorry great movie but to expensive in blu-ray fromat
Unfortuntaly i cannot give 5 stars for the movie 1 star for the price so i choose price
REALLY 104 dollars for a single disc blu-ray are you for real charging this amount for... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Enrique mino
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure enjoyment!
This adaptation of the Jules Verne classic has something for everybody: lots of creepy suspense and adventure for kids, irony and satire for grown-ups, and a lot of... Read more
Published 15 days ago by Ballet Fan
4.0 out of 5 stars 20th Century Fox Varese Sarabande VSD-5849 cd
Of the tracks listed on the product entry, track 1 is the 53 version by Newman, and tracks 4, 7 (March), 9 and 14 have music by Van Heusen. Read more
Published 18 days ago by C. Andrews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic
I've been looking for this movie for over two years and I'm so happy it's here. The movie looks good, and well restored. Read more
Published 18 days ago by The Movie Wizard
3.0 out of 5 stars I like it
This was made during my youth. I like it because Disney still had some class and made decent movies. The whole idea for the film is far fetched but is presented in a likeable way.
Published 21 days ago by C.B.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great family film
Very good movie good story line and Pat Boone and James Mason are very good together. Special effects were great for the time.
Published 1 month ago by Lynn
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