JOUR­NEY TO THE CEN­TRE OF THE EARTH

Eu­reka En­ter­tain­ment, £14.99 (Blu-ray)

Fortean Times - - REVIEWS / FILMS -

A rol­lick­ing fam­ily ad­ven­ture in the clas­sic Hol­ly­wood style, this blends the best of the stu­dio sys­tem with old school Euro­pean charm. Based (loosely) on Jules Verne’s clas­sic novel, it stars James Ma­son as Pro­fes­sor Lin­den­brook, a man con­vinced that ex­plo­ration deep be­low the Earth’s sur­face – per­haps even all the way to the cen­tre – is not only pos­si­ble but has been tried be­fore. Tag­ging along for the ride with the Prof are Pat Boone as his en­thu­si­as­tic stu­dent, Ar­lene Dahl as the love in­ter­est, and Peter Ron­son as the man-moun­tain beast of bur­den Hans. Oh, and Gertrude the duck. It’s great stuff and packs an enor­mous amount into its two- hour run­ning time, even if it does take a lit­tle while to get go­ing. There are cave tun­nels, wa­ter­falls, salt moun­tains, giant mush­rooms, lost civil­i­sa­tions and, per­haps best of all, mon­sters! It’s all done in the stu­dio of course, on real sets, as op­posed to the CGI that would be used today; it looks mar­vel­lously fake, but then that’s part of its ap­peal for modern view­ers. Ad­ven­ture films like this still get made today but meth­ods have changed dra­mat­i­cally and some­thing of the child­like won­der cru­cial to such fan­tasy has been lost. Great fun. Daniel King

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