AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
Director: Irwin Allen (Dir)
Release Date:   1961
Premiere Information:   Washington, D. C., opening: 12 Jul 1961
Duration (in mins):   105
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Cast:   Walter Pidgeon (Adm. Harriman Nelson)  
    Joan Fontaine (Dr. Susan Hiller)  
    Barbara Eden (Cathy Connors)  
    Peter Lorre (Commodore Lucius Emery)  
    Robert Sterling (Capt. Lee Crane)  
    Michael Ansara (Miguel Alvarez)  
    Frankie Avalon (Chip Romano)  
    Regis Toomey (Dr. Jamieson)  
    John Litel (Admiral Crawford)  
    Howard McNear (Congressman Parker)  
    Henry Daniell (Dr. Zucco)  
    Mark Slade (Smith)  
    Charles Tannen (Gleason)  
    Delbert Monroe (Kowski)  
    Anthony Monaco (Cookie)  
    Robert Easton (Reynolds ("Sparks"))  
    Jonathan Gilmore (Young)  
    David McLean (Ned Thompson)  
    Larry Gray (Dr. Newmar)  
    George Diestel (Lieutenant Hodges)  
    Skip Ward    
    Michael Ford (Crew members)  

Summary: As the U. S. O. S. Seaview , a mammoth glass-nosed atomic submarine designed by scientist Harriman Nelson, makes its trial run near the polar icecap, the Van Allen radiation belt suddenly bursts into flame and threatens to destroy the Earth. Nelson is convinced that the only hope for survival is to shoot a Polaris missile into the belt and thereby cause it to explode backward into space. When the United Nations rejects his proposal as being too dangerous, Nelson commandeers the Seaview and heads for the Marianas, where he plans to launch the missile. Also aboard the submarine are Susan Hiller, a psychiatrist studying the effects of prolonged confinement on human behavior; Cathy Connors, Nelson's devoted secretary; Lucius Emery, a noted physicist who concurs with Nelson's theory; Capt. Lee Crane, the Seaview 's skipper; Miguel Alvarez, a civilian scientist; and Chip Romano, a brash young officer. Once the vessel is underway, several of the personnel begin to question Nelson's sanity; and there are repeated attempts at sabotage. After a run-in with a giant squid and a passage through a World War II mine field, the Seaview is attacked by U. N. submarines sent to prevent the launching of the missile. But Nelson, knowing that the Seaview can withstand depths far greater than any other undersea vessel, takes his craft down deeper and deeper until the tremendous pressure causes the pursuing submarines to explode. When the Seaview reaches its destination, Susan is revealed to be the saboteur. Convinced Nelson's actions will destroy the world, she makes a last effort to prevent the launching; but she is accidentally killed. Crane then sets the detonator, and the Polaris is sent into space. The wild experiment proves successful as a shattering explosion restores the burning sky to a tropical stillness. 

Production Company: Windsor Productions, Inc.  
Production Text: An Irwin Allen Production
Distribution Company: Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.  
Director: Irwin Allen (Dir)
  Ad Schaumer (Asst dir)
Producer: Irwin Allen (Prod)
Writer: Irwin Allen (Scr)
  Irwin Allen (Scr)
  Charles Bennett (Scr)
Photography: Winton Hoch (Dir of photog)
  John Lamb (Underwater photog)
Art Direction: Jack Martin Smith (Art dir)
  Herman A. Blumenthal (Art dir)
Film Editor: George Boemler (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Walter M. Scott (Set dec)
  John Sturtevant (Set dec)
Costumes: Paul Zastupnevich (Cost des)
Music: Paul Sawtell (Mus)
  Bert Shefter (Mus)
  Max Reese (Orch)
Sound: Alfred Bruzlin (Sd)
  Warren B. Delaplain (Sd)
Special Effects: L. B. Abbott (Spec photog eff)
Make Up: Ben Nye (Makeup)
  Helen Turpin (Hairstyles)
Production Misc: Albert Gail (Asst to the prod)
  Fred Zendar (Tech adv)
Country: United States

Songs: "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea," music and lyrics by Russell Faith.
Composer: Russell Faith

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Windsor Productions 12/7/1961 dd/mm/yyyy LP20072

Physical Properties: col: De Luxe
  Sd: Westrex
  Widescreen/ratio: CinemaScope

Genre: Science fiction
Subjects (Major): Mariana Islands
  Mines, Military
  Guided missiles
  Nuclear energy
  Submarine boats
  United Nations
  United States. Navy
  Van Allen radiation belt

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
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