AROUND THE WORLD UNDER THE SEA
US, 1966, 110 minutes, Colour.
Lloyd Bridges, Brian Kelly, Shirley Eaton, David Mc Callum, Keenan Wynn, Marshall Thompson, Gary Merrill.
Directed by Andrew Marton.
Around the World Under the Sea is standard adventure, like many television series, presided over by Lloyd Bridges. It is the story of a group of scientists travelling under the sea in a five-person submarine to lay sensors for detecting earthquakes. Most of the tension is in the voyage of the submarine, technical difficulties and a final confrontation with a giant eel.
The film has a good cast – but they were to move from cinema mainly into television at this period. A film which might entertain younger audiences.
1. How entertaining a film for younger audiences, family audiences?
2. The style of the film as an underwater adventure, using television stars, the conventions of modern science and politics, disasters both natural and with animals? Did the film transcend their conventions in any way?
3. The importance of the submarine structure, the scientific gadgetry, the use of this scientific gadgetry to save various people and the submarine at the end?
4. The importance of colour photography, Panavision? Seascapes and locations? Dangers? The special effects?
5. How credible was the plot? American political intervention? Scientific information about underwater volcanoes and eruptions? How important was this background for the purposes of the genre? The presentation of scientists?
6. How credible were the principal characters? Dr Doug Standish and his capacity for supervising the mission? His handling of the submarine, the tack of laying the sensors for the earthquakes? His relationship with Phil Folker about the treasure? His decisions to save the submarine at the end? Dr Maggic Hanford an the only woman on the submarine? The importance of the relationship of the sexes? The touch of sex appeal with her swimming? Her relationship with her fiance? Antagonism with the others? Her role in the dramatics? Dr Craig and his assisting Standish? Dr Phil Folker and his skill, ambition for the treasure? Hank Stahl and his idiosyncrasies, his home under the water, the way that he was persuaded to come, his contribution to the mission, the danger with the giant sea eel? Dr Hilliard? His contribution? Dr Boren and the initial information about earthquakes and volcanoes? The home base?
6. The build-up of introduction to make the film plausible? The scientific detail and the audience's identification with the need for laying down the sensors safely? The success with the first?
7. The build-up of the crises, interaction in the submarine, emotional crises, the giant eel, the dangers with the treasure, the danger at the end?
8. The themes of science, adventure, enterprise, skill? People's interactions on this kind of mission? How much insight into their characters?
9. A satisfactory film for younger audiences?