Entertainment :: Movies

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

by Ed Tapper
Contributor
Sunday Oct 13, 2013
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When Earth is being incinerated by a meteor-induced layer of smoldering radiation, a pair of renowned scientists submerge in their supersonic submarine and devise a plan to save the planet. Such is the basic premise of Irwin Allen’s 1961 Sci-fi epic, "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea." Unlike many such fantasy films of the period, "Voyage..." is distinguished by an A-list cast.

Having starred in the classic "Forbidden Planet," Walter Pidgeon was no stranger to Sci-fi, and made an authoritative Admiral Nelson. Cast against type, sinister Peter Lorre was his amiable colleague, Commander Emery. After crooning the title song, heart-throb Frankie Avalon goes along for the voyage. As for the women, Joan Fontaine is virtually comatose as a research psychiatrist with a hidden agenda; but Barbara Eden manages to add some zest as the admiral’s shapely secretary.

...great job on a so-so film.

Aside from its creaky storyline, the film’s chief drawback is its verbosity -- too much talk and not enough action. (The viewer must suffer an entire hour of chatter before the giant squid finally emerges.) Most of the action takes place on the sub, so the majority of scenes are set-bound and claustrophobic. The special effects range from visually striking to dated and tacky. Yet the film’s faults are almost forgiven in Fox’s sensational new Blu-ray.

With respect to picture quality, the Blu-ray offers extremely realistic, high-def clarity. The sumptuous Technicolor, 2.35, Cinemascope photography is a real eyeful. The disc is filled out with an extensive documentary on science fiction cinema, and fairly recent interviews with Eden on the production. Extras also include commentary, score track and trailer -- great job on a so-so film.

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
Blu-ray
$24.99
www.foxconnect.com

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