A journey into the heart of misguided Hollywood excess. Twentieth Century Fox pulled out all the stops – and the giant mushrooms – for this silly spectacle, adapted from the novel by Jules Verne. The movie is awful, and only occasionally in an entertaining way. Such “highlights” would include a shirtless Pat Boone crooning his way through spongy subterranean passages; James Mason and Arlene Dahl bickering about the place of a woman on a scientific expedition; and pet lizards that have been painted and magnified via trick photography to look like gigantic dinosaurs. Less amusing is the duck that inexplicably joins our heroes on this journey – though it does have good survival instincts, even rescuing them on occasion. Director Henry Levin, meanwhile, has the budget of a major Hollywood production but the instincts of a hack. When an earthquake strikes, he simply shakes the camera.