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Welcome to : Son of red print theater !!

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  • Welcome to : Son of red print theater !!


    Hello fellow film fiends !
    Beginning this month I will review one of my finest Red prints from my film collection !
    With film synopsis , reviews and fun facts !
    This month's selection is …..JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH ( 1959 )...IN SCOPE !

    An Edinburgh professor and assorted colleagues follow an explorer's trail down an extinct Icelandic volcano to the earth's center.

    Prof. Lindenbrook leads his intrepid party on an expedition to the center of the earth, via a volcano in Iceland, encountering all manner of prehistoric monsters and life-threatening hazards on the way.

    "A Journey to the Center of the Earth" is a movie I see over and over again. Chiefly because the story is compelling and true to the quasi whimsical and scientifically speculative writings of Jules Verne. What I find appealing about Verne is that he is free from the cynical and existential bindings that have fettered other illustrious but more contemporary science fiction writers. Verne goes about his business unshackled by theorems, proofs and devastating world wars. The industrial revolution is barely a generation old and science is making great leaps. Anything is possible; a trip to the moon, a long voyage undersea, a journey to the innermost recesses of our planet. While you watch the film it is easy to suspend your belief because you are forced to place yourself in the context of the Great Explorations. The story simply draws you in for the same reason the tale of Sir Ernest Shackleton draws you in or the accounts of the last days of Pompeii; or, a superb story like Edgar Allen Poe's "The Gold Bug" draws you in.

    Levin's treatment of the tale is excellent. This is one of those rare examples where the film is better than the book. The dour trio of three male expedition members in the book is replaced by a balanced quartet, adding a greater range of human interaction, a little sexual tension (without it condescending or demeaning of the female character) and a side plot (the nefarious and righteous Count Saknussemm ). The preamble is longer and the conceit of using a plumb line as the key element (McGuffin if) you will) is a stroke of narrative genius. The movie loses no momentum by investing time in character development and the reasons for setting up the expedition. James Mason is perfect as the obsessed scientist. Pat Boone does a fairly good job as the "leading man" and male ingenue. Arlene Dahl is sophisticated and her Scandinavian background gives her role credibility. Hans in probably the only movie role he ever played is more than adequate as the practical, strong man. then there's Gertrude, played well by... a duck.

    The story is well paced, nuanced and served well by a stunning score by one of the true masters of mood: Bernard Herrmann. At times airy and light the music also comments brilliantly on the action via horn arrangements and sultry, chilling cellos that give a a deep sense of foreboding. One of his BEST soundtracks AND one of my favorites !

    A Journey to the Center of the Earth has adventure, whimsy and moments of awe with unexpected twists.

    This is one my favorite film of all time. I have seen it 40-50 times ( 1st time as a 6 year old - very impressed ! ) and always find a detail or two at each screening that is imaginative and inspiring. My print is in scope ; See it if you can in wide screen. You will appreciate it more.


    Last edited by David Baker; December 06, 2019, 08:03 AM.

  • #2
    I really have no issue at all with red prints.
    If it bothers me too much, I can use a filter to enhance a bit...but I am accepting that some films degrade over time...I live with it
    Great post David. I look forward to other 'red print' reviews!!


    • #3
      This film is one of my childhood favourites . I can remember my late father taking me into see it when i was only around 4-5 years old on it's first run .
      I have seen it lots of times since then on re -runs at cinemas and on television and DVD . Thanks for sharing this David even though your 16mm print has now faded to red.


      • #4
        Yes Both the "Journey to the Center of the Earth" Cartoon and Feature on 16mm are red on ebay


        • #5
          David Baker I remember sitting in our neighborhood theater in San Francisco watching Journey to the Center of the Earth. At that time they didn't empty the theater after each movie played. I would stay and watch the films all day. I haven't seen this movie for years. Surprising to see Pat Boone's name before James Mason on the credits. All I really remember is there was a duck in the film


          • #6
            Oh Janice , how WONDERFUL !! Recently " Hans " passed away . He went to meet up with " Gertrude " , his duck .


            • #7
              Thank you , David Hardy , for those sentimental memories . Yes , my print had aged and turned the color of fine wine !


              • #8
                What a COOL Blu ray version ! /


                • #9
                  Arlene Dahl, Actress Who Made Beauty Her Business, Dies at 96

                  The redhead, who stood out in such films as ‘Slightly Scarlet’ and ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth,' wrote a newspaper column and designed boudoir apparel.
                  Dahl looked magnificent in Technicolor as Dennis Morgan’s muse in the romantic musical My Wild Irish Rose (1947). And in Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959), she played a determined widow who heads to the planet’s core with Pat Boone and a pet duck.


                  • #10
                    Thank you Ed for that link . A very interesting look at the Beauty Queen !