Rating: ** Threat: Ring of fire in the sky
20th Century Fox. Written by Irwin Alien & Charles Bennett; Photographed by Winton Hoch & John Lamb; Special effects by L.B. Abbott & Davis S. Horsley; Edited by George Boemler; Music by Paul Sawtell & Bert Shefter; Produced & directed by Irwin Alien. 105 minutes.
Walter Pidgeon (Adm. Harriman Nelson, scientist who designed the Seaview); Peter Lorre (Com. Lucius Emery, Nelson's advisor and friend); Robert Sterling (Lee Crane, captain of the Seaview); Joan Fontaine (Dr. Susan Hitter, psychiatrist studying men under stress); Frankie Avalon (Lt. Chip Romano, Seaview officer); Michael Ansara (Miguel Alvarez, survivor picked up by Seaview); Barbara Eden (Lt. Cathy Connors, Nelson's secretary and Crane's fiancée); Regis Toomey (Dr. Jamieson, medical officer aboard Seaview); Henry Daniell (Dr. Emillo Zucco, Viennese physicist critical of Nelson's work); Howard McNear (Llewellyn Parker, congressman visiting the Seaview); John Litel (Vice Admiral B.J. Crawford, Naval Bureau of Marine Exploration officer); Mark Slade (Jimmy Smith, seaman who operates mini-sub); Charles Tannen (Gleason, chief petty officer aboard Seaview); Del Monroe (Kowski, volatile crew member); Anthony Monaco (Seaview cook); Robert Easton (Sparks, radio operator); Jonathan Gilmore (George Young, crewman anxious to see his newborn son); George Diestel (Lt. Hodges, engineer on Seaview who sabotages the generator); Kendrick Huxham (UN chairman); John Giovanni (Italian UN delegate); Art Baker (UN commentator); Skip Ward, William Herrin, Richard Adams, Michael Ford, Robert Buckingham, James Murphy (Seaview crew members).
Filmmaker Irwin Alien broke into films with an Academy award-nominated documentary, The Sea around Us, in 1950. He later concentrated on fantasy, adventure and disaster films, including a remake of The Lost World in 1960. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was inspired in part by the publicity generated by the exploits of the nuclear submarine Nautilus and its historic voyage beneath the polar ice cap. Alien was intrigued by the discovery of the Van Alien radiation belt in the late 1950s, and setting his story twenty years in the future, he based his submarine plot on an apocalyptic crisis resulting when this belt inexplicably catches fire.
The picture opens with Frankie Avalon crooning the pop title tune as the credits roll. The Seaview, undergoing a test run in Arctic waters, is an elaborate re-