Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959)

Movie review by
Randy White, Common Sense Media
Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959) Movie Poster Image
A fanciful sci-fi tale for the whole family.
  • G
  • 1959
  • 130 minutes

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Professor Oliver has no respect for women and verbalizes his opinions of the lesser sex. Of course, the women always end up right and the Professor mistaken.

Violence

The killing of prehistoric beasts.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this adaptation of Jules Verne's book is mostly clean fun, but the crew does face what appears to be certain death. The killing of some prehistoric animals may frighten young children.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byROBERTGAIL October 22, 2011

JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH

MY NAME IS ROBERT HAYES I SAW THIS MOVIE IN 1959 AND IT HAS SAIED WITH ME ALL YHESE YEARS I NOW AM 63 YEARS OLD AND STILL LIKE WATCHING THIS MOVIE
Teen, 13 years old Written bymoviegeek222 April 9, 2008
Kid, 12 years old January 19, 2015

surprisingly nice

i enjoyed it more than i would think. it is so sweet. it inspired me.

What's the story?

After a lava rock reveals a secret message, the recently knighted Professor Lindenbrook (James Mason) and his favorite student Alec (Pat Boone) are off to a volcano that supposedly leads to the center of the earth. Much to Lindenbrook's chagrin, he is forced to take along the widow of a recently deceased rival scientist, since she owns some valuable equipment. The journey takes several months and the group is nearly killed when attacked by a descendant of an Icelandic scientist, the source of the original communication. Eventually, hundreds of miles below the earth's surface, the group discovers beasts long thought extinct, as well as the lost city of Atlantis.

Is it any good?

A bit hokey to be sure, but this action/adventure movie has a rip-roaring premise taken from the classic novel by Jules Verne. It has charming characters, especially the overbearing professor who is proven wrong on a regular basis. JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH also boasts diverting action sequences, and a grand, old-fashioned score.

One 13-year-old girl enjoyed the movie, with caveats. She enjoyed the imaginative story, especially the delightful surprises that Jules Verne throws the viewer's way. She also liked the scenery inside the volcano, which was shot on location at Carlsbad Caverns National Park. The sometimes-clunky special effects and Pat Boone's smarmy singing impressed her less. The world of late 19th-century Scotland is gloriously realized but the movie's depiction of Iceland -- obviously not shot on location -- is more dubiously represented and a great deal stranger (check out the hats!).

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what they would imagine is under the earth, if they weren't tethered to what science tell us. What fanciful animals? What kind of society would you create?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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