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Admiral Harriman Nelson (Walter Pidgeon) ist ein moderner Kaitän Nemo, der mit seinem futuristischen Atom-U-Boot Seaview im Auftrag der US-Regierung unterwegs ist, als ein Meteoritenschauer den die Erde umgebenden Van Allen-Gürtel in Brand setzt und alles Leben auf der Erde zu vernichten droht. Mit dem gezielten Abwurf einer Atombombe in der Atmosphäre will Nelson die Katastrophe verhindern, stößt dabei aber auf erbitterten Widerstand bei Regierung und Crew. Als er sich auf eigene Faust daran macht, den Weltuntergang zu verhindern, stellt sich ihm auch die maritime Unterwasserwelt mit ihren gefährlichsten Kreaturen in den Weg... (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment)


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Englisch Poster tagline: RACE FROM SPACE TO SEVEN MILES UNDER THE SEA, WITH AMAZING AQUANAUTS OF THE DEEP, BOARD A FABULOUS ATOMIC SUPER-SUB MAKING ITS THROUGH A SEA OF CRASHING  ICEBERGS!!!!!! You would expect a Verne-esque story, with the rich fauna of the underwater world, and what you get is something completely different. For the first 50 minutes or so, it's more like a chatty stage play, where characters are introduced, a threat to the world is implied, which is supposed to be a newly discovered phenomenon of the science of the time, the so-called Van Allen radiation belt around the Earth, which is being attacked by a meteoric swarm and threatens to fry the planet with rising temperatures, and the stern Admiral Nelson has a last-minute meeting with the scientific establishment in New York. Then, after almost an hour of runtime, we get to see some underwater excursions. I'm sure you'll be amused by a scene that in later decades would look like it was cut from a parody: the crew of a submarine can't radio the US president because of the high temperature in the air, so they devise a plan where somewhere at the bottom of the sea off the Canary Islands they tap into a phone cable to call him :o) It kind of goes a bit wrong because the divers have to fight an unfriendly octopus (one of two in the whole movie) and including this one, the entire movie has 4 action scenes, almost all in the second half if you can get through the chatty first half. There's a duel with an enemy submarine, an incomprehensible scene of ice floes sinking to the bottom and threatening the vessel (the cork effect probably didn't mean anything to the filmmakers), and a voyage through an agonizing tangle of minefields left behind during World War II. The most absurd part of the story is its twist: simply by firing a nuclear warhead from the Mariana Trench at an impending meteor shower in the Van Allen Belt, the sky will clear and everything will be rosy again, with colourful unicorns in the sky farting fragrant rainbows. OK, I'm exaggerating, but the twist is really so dodgy that even the experienced Walter Pidgeon can't sell it as an actor. The highlight of everything here, however, is the legendary Peter Lorre – that’s what I call the most useless role in the history of cinema, he's there just to hold a dummy shark in a pool and occasionally utter a crappy line. I considered 2* for a while, but the fact that the film looks nice, the production values are not to be dismissed and the 35mm Panavision format is beautiful to look at deserved the higher rating. ()

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