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Journey to the Center of the Earth

Journey to the Center of the Earth(1959)


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The film's title card reads "Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth." The film closes with the following written acknowledgment: "Carlsbad Caverns National Park served as the background for portions of the motion picture. Twentieth Century-Fox expresses its appreciation for the cooperation extended by the National Park Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior." According to studio publicity contained in the film's production files at the AMPAS Library, filming was allowed only at night because of daily public tours scheduled in the caverns. Location filming was also done in Edinburgh, Scotland; Amboy Crater, CA and Sequit Point, CA.
       A number of studios and producers considered filming Verne's novel prior to Twentieth Century-Fox's production. According to December 1955 and February 1956 Los Angeles Times news items, producer Eugene Lourie planned to film a version in Italy with Gerard Philipe and Michele Morgan as the stars. According to September 1956 items in Hollywood Citizen-News and Daily Variety, producer Bryan Foy bought the rights to the novel for release through Columbia, but Columbia withdrew its plans upon learning that RKO had begun extensive pre-production work on the same subject.
       In October 1958, a Los Angeles Examiner news item stated that Charles Brackett, in association with Twentieth Century-Fox, had bought the rights to the novel from the Korda estate and wanted Clifton Webb to play the role of "Oliver Lindenbrook." Although an April 1959 Hollywood Reporter news item added that Lincoln Barnett was to write the screenplay for Brackett, Barnett's contribution to the released film has not been determined. According to a March 1959 Hollywood Reporter news item, Cooga Mooga Film Productions was Pat Boone's production company. Under Boone'e deal with Twentieth Century-Fox, Boone was to produce and star in the film for a share in the profits, as well as a salary. Journey to tne Center of the Earth marked Boone's first production. In Verne's novel, the character of Lindenbrook was German. The characters "Carla" and "Saknussemm" were added for the film.
       Journey to the Center of the Earth was nominated for the following Academy Awards: Best Art Direction, Best Set Decoration, Best Sound and Best Special Effects. Modern sources add that Anna Jane Sitton worked as Arlene Dahl's stand-in and that Alexander Scourby was orginally cast as Saknussemm. According to modern sources, Pat Boone wrote and recorded a theme song that was never used in the film.
       Verne's novel has been filmed several other times. In 1976, Almena Films, a Spanish company, released Viaje al centro de la Tierra, starring Kenneth More and directed by Juan Piquer Simn, and in 1989, the Canon Group/Golan-Globus released a version directed by Rusty Lemorande and starring Erno Philips. From 1967-69, ABC television broadcast an animated series loosely based on Verne's novel. Although several new feature film versions of Verne's novel were announced in the early 2000s, none was in production as of spring 2005.