Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is the 1961 action film produced by Irwin Allen. Admiral Nelson has just created the atomic powered submarine the Sea View and it is on its first voyage. However, disaster strikes when the Van Allen belt slowly heats the Earth to dangerous levels. The crew figures out that they need to go to the Marina Strait by August 30, in order to shoot a missile into it. Nobody except Nelson believes it will work and somebody is actively sabotaging them. It’s a race against time as the crew of the Sea View rush to save the planet.
One look at this movie and it is very easy to see why a TV studio would want to make a series out of this. It’s a pretty good adventure story with a nice level of suspense. The casting is pretty good too, Peter Lorre plays a good guy convincingly in this movie. It’s a shame that his looks led him to be typecast as a villain, because he can do both types of role well. Walter Pigeon is great as Admiral Nelson, the strict but unorthodox Navy leader. Despite what Captain Crane thinks, Nelson is actually fairer than you’d think. Not only is he willing to try out unorthodox ideas, he even lets some of his men leave the sub, even though a more normal Navy admiral would either have stopped and arrested them. The only problem is the temperature of the Van Allen belt; had it really been 135 degrees, they all would have been dead by then. It would have worked better had it been around 100 degrees, then you would still have your fantastical story, but also have some plausibility to make it work. The saboteurs are obvious, but make some sense, as they both thought Nelson’s plan was insane. Honolulu action film fans should watch this movie.
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