Sunday, December 4, 2016

Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea (1961)

Starring Walter Pidgeon, Joan Fontaine, Barbara Eden, Peter Lorre, Robert Sterling
Directed by Irwin Allen
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

When a radiation belt circling the Earth ignites and threatens the planet, Admiral Nelson sends his high-tech submarine on a mission to blow up the belt with a nuclear missile.

One of disaster film specialist Irwin Allen's earliest features, the movie is entertaining with some well-done special effects and big names in the cast, including Pidgeon, Fontaine, and Lorre.  There's a few plot holes in the script, and those expecting the beauty and scope of an underwater picture like Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea will be disappointed.  Nevertheless, the production is well-assembled, with convincing interior sets for the submarine, and a compelling mystery behind the identity of an onboard saboteur, although a subplot casting doubt as to Pidgeon's sanity isn't as believable.  The film paved the way for one of Allen's first forays into television, a series of the same name, with Richard Basehart and David Hedison taking over Pidgeon and Sterling's roles.

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