JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH

Adapted from the Jules Verne novel this science fiction classic was first made in 1959 and then remade in 1999 and 2008, with most critics today agreeing that the first was the best by far.

This starred the late James Mason, who took the lead role of leader of the underground expedition at the last minute when the first choice of director Henri Levin, Clifton Webb, suffered a double hernia requiring urgent surgery. Singer Pat Boone was already on board having been persuaded to participate by the inclusion of some songs for him to croon, and a generous percentage of the profits, and Arlene Dahl had agreed to star as the love interest, eventually, for Mason. Other stars were the fabulously colourful sets, the rockslides, the exploding volcanoes, the lost city of Atlantis, the giant flesh-eating lizards and the musical score, some of which was definitely effectively creepy Hammer Horror.

Journey to the Center of the Earth was released by Eureka Entertainment on Blu-Ray last month as part of its Eureka Classics range. The pack includes an audio commentary, a new video interview and a featurette on the film’s restoration.

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