Along with H.G. Wells, Jules Verne was a pioneer in science fiction writing. Both men were active in the late 19th Century and their books have been widely adapted to film. Due to the expiration of copyright on his work, Verne’s novels were regularly brought to the big screen as part of the huge burst of interest in the genre in the 1950s. Most famously in Around the World in 80 Days, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Journey to the Centre of the Earth. The original adaptation of the latter was directed by Henry Levin in 1959.
A random gift from a student, and his daughter’s sweetheart, Alec (Pat Boone) leads Professor Lidenbrock (James Mason) to make a fantastical discovery. He has found proof that there’s a passage to the centre of the Earth through a volcano in Iceland. However, they’re not the only ones trying to make history. Along with the wife of a rival (Arlene Dahl), a non-English speaking Icelander (Pétur Ronson) and his duck called Gertrud, they set-out to make history.
The definitivee 4k restoration looks absolutely fantastic and Journey to the Centre of the Earth still stands up today, over 50 years later. With its mix of good-humoured camaraderie and innovative action sequences, it’s perfect Sunday afternoon viewing. Indeed, it’s great fun. This is largely down to the personableness of Mason and the way in which Levin keeps the action flowing. Journey to the
Centre of the Earth is marvellous rip-roaring entertainment.
Special Edition Contents:
- 1080p presentation from a definitive 4K restoration
- Optional stereo PCM soundtrack and 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio options
- Isolated music and effects track
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Audio Commentary with Actress Diane Baker and Film Historians Steven C. Smith & Nick Redman
- New video interview with critic and author Kim Newman
- Featurette on the film’s restoration
- Original theatrical trailer
- PLUS: A booklet featuring an original review of the film from 1959; a poster gallery; and a selection of rare archival imagery
Journey to the Centre of the Earth is released on Blu-ray by Eureka Classics on 18 September.