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Viaje al centro de la Tierra (1977) HD online

Viaje al centro de la Tierra (1977) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Adventure / Family / Sci-Fi
Original Title: Viaje al centro de la Tierra
Director: Juan Piquer Simón
Writers: Carlos Puerto,Juan Piquer Simón
Released: 1977
Duration: 1h 30min
Video type: Movie
Like in the novel of Jules Verne four persons try to get to the centre of the world by entering into a world of caves by a volcano. On their way they discover among other things also prehistoric animals like some dinosaurs.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Kenneth More Kenneth More - Prof. Otto Lindenbrock
Pep Munné Pep Munné - Axel (as Pep Munne)
Ivonne Sentis Ivonne Sentis - Glauben
Frank Braña Frank Braña - Hans Belker
Jack Taylor Jack Taylor - Olsen
José María Caffarel José María Caffarel - Professor Fridleson (as Jose Mª Caffarel)
Emiliano Redondo Emiliano Redondo - Prof. Kristoff
Lone Fleming Lone Fleming - Martha
Ricardo Palacios Ricardo Palacios - Train ticket collector
George Rigaud George Rigaud - Professor (as Jorge Rigaud)
Fabián Conde Fabián Conde - (as Fabian Cone)
Ana del Arco Ana del Arco
Manuel Pereiro Manuel Pereiro
Barta Barri Barta Barri - Professor
Ángel Álvarez Ángel Álvarez - Professor (as Angel Alvarez)

Never shown in British cinemas, this was first shown on ITV at Christmas 1978.



Reviews: [20]

  • avatar

    Manarius

    "Where Time Began" is an adaptation of Jules Verne's "Journey to the Center of the Earth", with some variations to make it more salable (such as a love interest). It seems to have been aimed at a juvenile audience and is in the same vein as the Kevin Connors/Amicus Studios adaptations of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Like many genre films, "Where Time Began" has very hokey characters and dialogue. The ineptitude with which the journey to the center of the earth is conducted is quite startling, in fact. The stupidity of their dialogue (especially the exchanges between Glauben and her idiotic fiancee Axel) gives the film a strong tone of campiness and unintentional humor. When Olsen shows up to rescue them midway through and complains that he's had to listen to their stupid chatter for the past ten miles, the viewer can commiserate. However, given the fact that it is a low budget film, the sets, photography and giant creature special effects are actually pretty good, and they manage to maintain some atmosphere throughout the production. Once the characters arrive in the pseudo-prehistoric world at the center of the earth, the film especially picks up, and the revelation of the origin of Olsen provides an interesting twist. For this reason, "Where Time Began" is a reasonable entry in the journey-to-a-lost-world genre.
  • avatar

    Roru

    .Adventure tale full of colorful scenarios and pretty fierce monsters . Amusing and lighthearted romp for kids and teenagers based upon the Jules Verne novel . A scientist (Kenneth Moore), his niece (Ivonne Sentis) and boyfriend (Pep Munne) undergo a hazardous voyage to the center of earth , along the way they face numerous dangers and risks. During the trip , the scientific and his niece hire a wealthy scout (Frank Braña) for an expedition to the centre of the world . As four persons attempt to get to center of the earth by entering into an environment of caves by a volcano located in Iceland. The trio descend into deep caverns and discover a tunnel system leading to the planet's center. On their way they find among other things also prehistoric animals like some dinosaurs. They have to deal with lightning storms, endure torrential floods, volcanic eruptions, turtles, a big gorilla, and discover a forest of giant mushrooms, but not the lost city of Atlantis as happens in the classic novel.

    This average adaptation is a special version of the Jules Verne adventure yarn . There're rip-roaring action, spirit of adventure, derring-do, thrills and results to be pretty entertaining . It's a brief fun with average special effects by Emilio Ruiz Del Rio and Francisco Prosper, passable set decoration , functional art direction and none use of computer generator. Fantastic adventures full of monsters in a lost continent on the center of earth . The rubber monsters are the real stars of this production , however being middling made . The fable is silly and laughable , and the effects and action are regularly made . Among the most spectacular of its visuals there are some deeply shrouded caverns , several monsters roaring menacingly towards the camera , a little tableau comprising attack and fighting two giant monsters and the colorful backgrounds of the lost land . Some monsters are clumsily but the movie has some good moments here and there . Some illogical parts in the argument are more than compensated for the excitement provided by the monsters, though sometimes are a little bit cheesy. It's a great fun with naive special effects , passable set decoration and functional art direction without use of computer generator. Highlights of the voyage includes a roller-coaster trip, strong storms, magnetic rocks, a terrifying odyssey in sailing, prehistoric reptile, a Tiranosaurius Rex, and many others. The motion picture is professionally realized by Juan Piquer Simon. Piquer who recently passed away was a craftsman expert on all kind of genres as Terror ( Slugs,Piezes, Cthulhu) and Sci-fi (The rift , The new Extraterrestres, Supersonic man) .Other renditions about this know story are the following : Classic version (1959) by Henry Levin with James Mason as Lindenbrook, Pat Boone,Diane Baker and Arlene Dahl; and TV adaptation by George Miller with Treat Williams, Jeremy London and Bryan Brown.
  • avatar

    Silly Dog

    Very nearly qualifying for 'so bad, it's good' status, Spanish director Juan Piquer Simon's take on Jules Verne's classic tale is poorly acted, has some truly awful effects, and features the most inept bunch of explorers ever to be committed to celluloid. With a touch more manky monster action, and its tongue a bit further in cheek, this one could have rivalled 70s favourite At the Earth's Core for schlock value; as it stands, it is a fairly entertaining low budget adventure flick that is just about enough fun for it to warrant a viewing.

    Kenneth More plays Prof. Otto Lindenbrock, a geologist who sets out on an expedition after discovering a secret route to the centre of the Earth. Together with his niece Glauben (Ivonne Sentis), a Prussian soldier, Axel (Pep Munné), and a shepherd named Hans (Frank Braña), Otto braves dangerous cave-ins, poisonous mushrooms, a perilous sea journey and prehistoric creatures.

    Unlike James Mason's more than capable Oliver Lindenbrook (in the far superior 1959 movie Journey to the Center of the Earth), More's character is something of a bumbling fool. He is totally unprepared for the trip he undertakes and doesn't seem at all fazed by any setbacks (he loses his guidebook and water supply along the way, but continues regardless). His companions, who all seem quite happy to tag along, are equally irresponsible; they frequently wander off on their own with absolutely no regard for their own safety.

    On discovering a huge underground ocean, the travellers build a raft, bump into some sea monsters (rubber glove puppets filmed in a bath), visit an island full of man-eating tortoises (the world's slowest predators) and get attacked by a giant ape (played by a man in a fancy-dress monkey suit). They eventually emerge from an erupting Stromboli, none the worse for wear.

    All of this, believe it or not, is fairly faithful to Verne's novel, but Juan Piquer Simon, apparently not content with its level of silliness, ramps up the ridiculousness even further. Halfway through their journey, our intrepid gang meet a mysterious stranger called Olsen, who eventually turns out to be a time-travelling scientist! Fans of bad monster movies and silly 70s sci-fi cinema will probably want to check this film out; everyone else would be better off giving it a miss.
  • avatar

    Anarius

    VIAJE AL CENTRO DE LA TIERRA was a Spanish live-action coproduction that received limited distribution in 1978 in the United States by International Picture Show under the title WHERE TIME BEGAN; it was initially titled JULES VERNE'S FABULOUS JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH. Made for $2 million, WHERE TIME BEGAN was shot over a period of five months, and uses most of Verne's major incidents. WHERE TIME BEGAN opens with a pre-credit discussion of the interior of the Earth by a group of geologists, with Professor Otto Lidenbrock (Kenneth More) commenting that the only way to prove any of the theories is through an actual descent. The credits follow, superimposed over a pleasant salute to the Vernian visual style of Georges Méliès, but marred by an inane song on the soundtrack.

    The date of the story is shifted to 1898, to make it more contemporary for the audience, in both technology and social mores (such as the place of women). In Hamburg, an aged man tries to sell several old volumes at a book store; they are bought by Lidenbrock. Arriving home, he finds the soldier Axel accidentally kneeling before his niece Glauben, and assuming there has been a marriage proposal, gladly but offhandedly offers his consent. Glauben notices the small note that falls from the book, and together Lidenbrock, Axel, and Glauben, with the help of the cinematically referential device of a magic lantern, discover the key to Saknussemm's code.

    Under the same necessity to add a feminine lead as other versions, WHERE TIME BEGAN follows a vastly simpler method. Glauben wants to go on the trip, and her practicality proves a valuable assistance to the absent-minded Lidenbrock and equally ill-prepared Axel. By contrast, it is Axel who is uncertain, hesitant, and reluctant; the juxtaposition of his equivocation with Lidenbrock's certainty and Glauben's eagerness provides humor that was not in the novel.

    The exteriors of the expedition's beginning and exit through craters were taken at the Lanzarote volcano in the Canary Islands, providing a barren, other-worldly appearance that almost resembles a moonscape. Although the reddish plains scarcely resembled Iceland, a series of extreme dramatic zooms impressively isolates the cast amidst the desolate location, providing a more dynamic lead-up to the descent than in the 1959 movie. The plunge into the Earth was shot a half-mile inside caves near Madrid, with the lighting effectively dark and claustrophobic.

    When Hans's pickaxe thrust releases boiling water, it burns the hand of the man Glauben had seen in the darkness--who finally introduces himself as Olsen (Jack Taylor). The underground sea seems to have a healing physical power over the members of the expedition. Glauben notices that Olsen never seems to require sustenance, and his only tool is a copper-colored metal box he carries with him (which unfortunately resembles in size and shape nothing so much as a metal tea-kettle).

    The sequence around the underground sea is, as in the novel, the centerpiece of the story, and the full treatment of this setting and the incidents around it--the island, the dinosaurs, the storm--with a large degree of fidelity to Verne, make WHERE TIME BEGAN noticeably different from other films of the novel. Filters turn the ocean a deep shade of greenish-blue aqua, contrasting with the orange of the land; the striking color combinations make the setting all the more convincing.

    Washed ashore with the wreckage of their raft and their equipment after the storm, Axel and Glauben go in search of Olsen, passing through a field of fossils and into a forest. At this point, WHERE TIME BEGAN becomes increasingly far-fetched. Axel and Glauben are suddenly attacked, not by the ten foot prehistoric man of Verne's imagination, but by a giant ape, failing to connect with Verne's evolutionary link. Olsen comes to the rescue, and allowing them to glimpse a whole city of men who resemble him.

    Olsen sets off an explosion that will open an escape for Lidenbrock, Axel, Glauben, and Hans, saying he will find his own way to safety. The scene comes rather suddenly, and is confusing in its brevity and lack of explanatory dialogue. WHERE TIME BEGAN avoids saying whether the expedition actually reached their destination or not, so there is no sense of the downward distance they have traveled.

    In a coda, Axel and Glauben have married, Hans is once more a prosperous sheepherder, and Lidenbrock still haunts the old bookshop. One day, he learns that a parcel has been left for him, and, unwrapped, it proves to be Olsen's metal box. Looking toward the shop window, Lidenbrock sees an aged man, the same one who brought in Saknussemm's journal--and recognizes that he is "Olsen." This parallel closure brings the film back to where it began.

    Is Olsen perhaps meant to be Arne Saknussemm himself, or a representative of his pioneering spirit? Either or both could be true; Olsen stands in for the absent predecessor whose earlier journey they are recreating. Significantly, Olsen appears after Lidenbrock loses Saknussemm's original book, and will rescue the travelers at the point where Saknussemm's last carving of his initials appears. He is less of a full-fledged character than a symbol, a vivid reminder of the theme of time that, in the form of evolution, was such a motif of the novel.

    The cast credibly enact their roles, particularly Kenneth More, despite his age. The special effects (by Emilio Ruiz) are variable; the dinosaurs are far less convincing than those of the 1959 version, but WHERE TIME BEGAN also attempts to do far more with them, the previous film not even attempting to stage the battle at sea. The most consistent virtue is the impressive photography by Andres Berenguer, especially the volcanic surfaces, the caves, and the underground ocean. Judged by its own standards and scale, WHERE TIME BEGAN must be rated a very satisfactory although uneven effort.
  • avatar

    Chuynopana

    Oh, it's okay. I guess. Maybe. As has already been stated, it is very much a recast version of the 1950s version with James Mason. There are some

    unusual twists, mostly toward the end. The special effects are on par with Kevin Connor's assorted 1970s monster flicks (e.g. The Land That Time Forgot,

    People that Time Forgot, At the Earth's Core, Warlords of Atlantis). While many find those films to be entertaining and campy cheese, this film lacks their humor and spark. Nevertheless, it is a decent enough time killer, but is probably not worth recommending to the vast majority of viewers. For what it's worth,

    Kenneth More is a credible Lindenbrock. The rest of the cast is at least okay save for Pep Munne who plays Axel. During an extensive rafting trip, I was

    really hoping to see Axel slip overboard for the duration.
  • avatar

    Boyn

    A cheaper remake of the 1959 classic, with more cheesy dialogue and effects (guy in a gorilla suit) Although in a way, the more campy nature helps it along somewhat. The female character (Glauben) does tend to whine a lot and gets lost and at one point almost swallowed up in a subterranean mud-pit, which with hindsight might have been a blessing. Sadly she helped out by a stranger, who promptly disappears when the others arrive and they don't believe her (who would when she's so annoying?)Later he makes himself known and helps them out of other perilous situations. They encounter a forest of giant poisonous mushrooms, build a raft to cross an inland sea, avoiding sea monsters along the way and managing to outrun ravenous killer tortoises! Overall this is a storyline that deserves more respect to Jules Verne, the characters are very much token here. Here's hoping a newer version is on the books soon.
  • avatar

    Gadar

    Essentially a recasting of the 1959 version as opposed to a remake (think a traveling version of your favorite Broadway play and you get the picture). Now that video allows us to experience the original over and over again, this film becomes less unique. The overall film is not so bad (considering the genre) if it weren't for the fact that this film was done so much better twenty years earlier. As far as casting Kenneth More in the James Mason role...what can I say? More is Less. This film was made during the time when films such as THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT, THE PEOPLE THAT TIME FORGOT, and AT THE EARTH'S CORE were successful, and this version shares much with those films regarding style. I think if I were a kid in 1977 watching this in a theater and never seeing the original I would have thought it would be great. If only the director would have introduced new themes or viewpoints to the familiar story it could be enjoyed today. The film can be recommended however for a great gimmick for it's opening credits...a montage of the original Georges Melies silent films of Jules Verne's works set to the film's theme song. I've never seen them used in any other adaptation and it was a nice tribute.
  • avatar

    Kison

    A piece of advice:avoid at all costs this piece of garbage and do pick

    the wonderful "journey to the center of the earth" starring James Mason and featuring Bernard Hermann's impressive score (1959).

    This version is abysmal :the only real actor in it is Kenneth Moore and he acts as if he does not care :he seems to be wondering why he got involved in that business;the others' playing is amateurish,particularly the young lovers .The guide keeps on counting the sheep and (innovation) he can speak with the others!The special effects are cheap :cardboard set and cardboard characters .

    Probably made to capitalize on the success of "the land that time forgot" .

    Jules Verne must be turning in his grave!
  • avatar

    Ƀ⁞₳⁞Ð Ƀ⁞Ǿ⁞Ɏ

    The 2nd feature adaptation of the Jules Verne classic is oddly a Spanish effort, and is worse than the 1959 version (Which was only bad because of one scene).

    I'm sure I don't need to recite the plot of such a classic novel but needless to say that it doesn't entirely follow the source material.

    Our heroes must contend with giant lizards, giant turtles, a giant gorrilla and more in their journey and though it looks okay for it's time it manages to be a combination of baffling and entirely un-engaging.

    I can't quite put my finger on why but at no point did I find myself even remotely engrossed into this. The cast are passable, the sfx are ahead of their time and the material for the most part is okay. Sadly it just isn't strung together very well and makes for less than enjoyable viewing.

    I'm binge watching the adaptations and can only assume someone does the novel justice.

    The Good:

    Looks okay for its time

    The Bad:

    Same nonsensical tale

    Some silly additions to the story

    A few of the logistics are painfully stupid
  • avatar

    Quellik

    This version of Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth (aka Where Time Began) was made in 1978 and is better than some of the later remakes.

    Professor Lindenbrook (a decent performance by Kenneth Moore), his niece, her fiancé and Hans embark on an adventure to the centre of the Earth, entering through a cave in Iceland. They encounter poisonous gases, storms, poisonous mushrooms, monsters (more on them later), a vast underground sea, a graveyard full of dinosaur skeletons and a strange, creepy guy called Olsen. Finally, after encountering a huge volcanic eruption, they make it back up to the surface.

    Now to those Prehistoric monsters, we get to see 2 giant sea reptiles battle it out, loads of rather unfriendly giant tortoises, a gathering of Brontosaurus and Dimetrodons and, best of all, a giant ape (played by a man in a monkey suit).

    In all,watching this movie is a good way to spend nearly an hour and half one evening, great fun.

    Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
  • avatar

    Mazuzahn

    This movie really takes me back as I remember seeing it as a not-so-wee lad of roughly ten or eleven or twelve(with age my memory has become increasingly hazy). It must have made a rather strong imprint on me as I remembered its title, Kenneth More, and the beginning and closing scenes involved with a man selling books. I knew I liked the film a lot and so sought it out and viewed it again - thirty years or so later. Well, the film was much better for an adolescent me than a more cynical, less-fun me. Though to be fair, I did enjoy watching this again and many scenes came to me as I watched. I had totally forgotten that it was a Spanish production and assumed it was English because of More. No way Jose. This is all Spanish EXCEPT for More. The sets, the acting, the costumes, and even many of the special effects are much better than you might think; however. Kenneth More really helps lend this film credibility as he was a very good actor with an ease about him. He seems very comfortable in the role of Professor Lindenbrock. I don't know any of the other thespians, but none of the actors is less than average for this kind of film. The movie is based on Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth and does meander quite a bit away from the source material. We get some strange creatures, a sophomoric love between Lindenbrock's niece and her Prussian lover, and we get Olsen. Olsen is an inexplicable character and makes the plot of this film really stretch. Unfortunately for me, it stretched too far and snapped! What is with the box? How about that scene in the land of the fake King Kong "monster" that had us looking at some little alien-like village with cloned versions of Olsen? We never hear anything about it again. What was the director trying to achieve here? More importantly the screenwriter? Putting these unanswerable queries aside, I still will have a soft spot in my heart and memory for this film. It did awaken an interest in Verne for me. Where Time Began(the title by which I always knew it) is a fun, very flawed film with adventure and little else.
  • avatar

    Dangerous

    That is probably why I loved this movie as a child. The movie was called "Where time Began" when I saw it and it is based on the Jules Verne novel, but it is so absolutely different that it makes this movie almost unique. I prefer it a bit more to the 1959 version, granted I liked that one too. This one just has such curious elements that make it to me a more strange and different film. It is cheesy to be sure, but I have said many times that I enjoy cheese so I do find this film fun. The film is like any other "Journey to the Center of Earth" adaptation to start out with. However, the film has points where it goes totally crazy, I recall giant turtles or something, strange dinosaurs and a weird facility and a strange man called Olsen. Of course, that is a problem with the movie as well, there are many questions surrounding this strange individual and as a kid I did not understand what was with that character. I would love to see this one again and perhaps now that I am older, maybe I can see what the movie was trying to convey in regards to that character. This one pretty much ends on the same note though as the 1959 version. Then it has a very surreal ending involving Olsen. So while the film is not without its faults and while others may not like this one, I find this cave movie really entertaining to watch.
  • avatar

    Porgisk

    This movie is one of the worst adaptations of the Jules Verne book "Journey To the Center Of the Earth". The 1959 movie with the same title, starring James Mason, is much better. The cast of "Where Time Began" is very uninspired - especially Kenneth Moore (usually a very good actor) is very disappointing. The sets are look cheap, and one can almost smell the paint and rubber the prehistoric monsters are made of. Besides I didn't really figure out where this 'Olsen'-character came from and disappeared to. He seemed to have figured out a way to travel through time, as well as through space. Overall, this movie is a big disappointment - I wouldn't even recommend it for a rainy afternoon.
  • avatar

    Vichredag

    Based on the popular novel by Jules Verne originally called "Journey To The Center Of The Earth", and filmed previously under that title by 20th Century Fox in 1959, this version stars Kenneth More as a scientist who has discovered a way to enter the center of the Earth through Iceland. He takes with him his niece and her fiancée, along with a helper called Hans. Once there, they encounter the usual menaces one can expect, like dinosaurs on the land and sea, as well as a mysterious human named Olsen who will play an important part later... Mediocre film isn't bad but is pretty forgettable; saw this on DVD as a double feature paired with the superior "Encounter With The Unknown".
  • avatar

    Alister

    Jules Verne's novel Journey To The Centre Of The Earth has been a perennial favourite of movie-makers over the decades. The best remains the 1959 version starring James Mason. This 1978 attempt is the first feature-length movie to come from Juan Piquer Simon, a largely inept Spanish director who would go on to make us all suffer with movies like Mystery On Monster Island, Supersonic Man, Extra Terrestrial Visitors and Pieces later in his "career". It is a terrible film, crammed with poor acting, preposterous dialogue, ineffective monsters, irritating characters and pointless touches of slapstick. Verne would turn in his grave at this abysmal excuse for a film.

    German Professor Otto Lindenbrock (Kenneth More) comes into possession of a book describing a route to the centre of the Earth. He persuades a Prussian soldier named Axel (Pep Munné) to accompany him on a journey of exploration into the bowels of the planet, starting from a vast volcano in Iceland. Just prior to embarking, they are joined by the Professor's niece Glauben (Ivonne Sentis) and a hardy Icelandic shepherd named Hans (Frank Braña). Their adventure takes them deeper and deeper underground, where they discover many bizarre things such as prehistoric monsters, giant mushrooms, a subterranean ocean and even a time-travelling scientist, Olsen (Jack Taylor), who has also been exploring this dark underworld.

    It is rather sad to find More, a stalwart of British cinema for many decades, slumming in this cheap and cheerless Spanish quickie. Thankfully this was not his very last film – to bow out on this note would have been an even bigger shame – but it was his final leading role for the big screen. More is the only good thing about the film, giving an effortless performance which serves only to highlight how amateurish everyone else in the film really is. The whole production is presented in glum colour, with no sense of pace, character development or excitement. The first time I tried to watch it was late at night, and I had to switch off after fifteen minutes because the film was sending me to sleep. I gave it another go the next day in the middle of the afternoon when I was fresh and wide awake… and it nearly had me snoozing again! Even when the monsters appear, they prove so derisive that any chance of excitement soon vanishes in the ensuing unintentional hilarity. Maybe one for lovers of bad movies, but everyone else should steer clear!
  • avatar

    Hawk Flying

    Professor Lindenbrook takes a small party exploring towards the centre of th earth, and encounters various underground adventures including sea monsters, giant gorillas, giant turtles etc.

    On seeing the title The Fabulous Journey To The Centre Of The Earth, and knowing how I love this sort of movie, I wondered how come I had never heard of it, let alone seen it. Answer: it is a Spanish production, never really available in the UK.

    All-purpose stolid British protagonist Kenneth More holds things together in a moderately effective adaptation of Verne's novel. The rest of the cast are unknowns, but do OK.

    The visuals are a real curate's egg. There is some nice location work, and much of the underground material is shot in genuine caves, not sets. Stock footage is effectively used, all of which gives the impression of high production values.

    Then we come to the fact that the underground ocean sequences are all shot from a high camera angle: we sea the water, but we never see the background, thus eliminating the need for special effects. Because, when we do see special effects - the battle between two sea monsters, for instance - they are shockingly and hilariously bad.

    It doesn't mean the film isn't entertaining, but it certainly drags it down.
  • avatar

    Malogamand

    I am perplexed by some of the critics who claim that "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" (1959) was a great classic and the Spanish version falls short of the mark. In truth, this obscure version handled the story as well as could be expected -- even though 21st century breakthroughs with digital media obviously could have done something to make the dinosaurs and King Kong look more genuine.

    The 1959 version was filled with childish situations and bad acting, ranging from Pat Boone's idiotic performance to James Mason doing a bad Scottish accent. The only interesting character in the whole film was Alrene Dahl, an attractive middle-aged woman with a independent personality.

    "When Time Began" was a big improvement. The important thing to remember with these types of films is that many of the situations in them are ridiculous. It's ridiculous to think you can travel to the centre of the earth. It's even more ridiculous to think you can find dinosaurs there. Additionally, the 1959 version had a ridiculous scene where an erupting volcano lifted James Mason and his crew up to the surface. Don't you think they would have been burnt to a crisp before they even saw the mouth of the volcano?

    But you're not supposed to ask questions like these, because the whole point of this film is to sit back and have fun. And on that basis, "When Time Began" is a lot more fun than the 1959 film. Two great reasons to see this film are Kenneth More's performance as the ambitious and dedicated scientist and Jack Taylor's performance as the mysterious and fascinating Olsen (who, it is inferred, might be the descendent of the first man to journey to the centre of the earth or some sort of alien being). These two actors not only create fascinating characters, but perhaps more importantly their characters seem right at home in the 19th century with their taboo attitudes. Taylor is a bit different, since he is both a 19th century man and also someone who appears to have a deeper understanding about what is going to happen in the future. Additionally, the sets look far more convincing than those of the previous film. You actually get a sense that these explorers are going down into caves, have reached an internal sea, have landed on an island with hostile tortoises, and have found a secret city. Are these sets the best ever? No, but they are an improvement over the sets of the 1959 film. Lastly, there are more interesting situations in this movie. I liked the beginning of this film where Professor Lindenbrook is talking to other academics first at a conference room and then at a huge Icelandic library. I liked the scene where they descend into the caves, the different kinds of dinosaurs, and Jack Taylor inject a bit more mystery and spice into this movie and the scientific profession.

    So if you are looking for a fun version of this Jules Verne classic, this film is worth a gander. It's not the best by any means, but it is entertaining enough to inspire the imagination and hold your interest to the end.
  • avatar

    watchman

    1898. Hearty geologist Professor Otto Lindenbrock (a solid performance by Kenneth More), his sweet and gutsy niece Glauben (lovely Ivonne Sentis), her eager, but clumsy soldier fiancé Axel (affable Pep Munne), and rugged shepherd porter Hans (brawny Frank Brana) embark on a stirring, but perilous expedition into the center of the earth. They discover a strange and startling subterranean world populated by warring sea beasts, huge poisonous mushrooms, lethal giant tortoises, and a gigantic ape ala King Kong. Our intrepid group also run across mysterious arrogant scientist Olsen (ubiquitous Spanish horror film mainstay Jack Taylor in peak haughty form). Director Juan Piper Simon, who also gave us the splendidly sleazy slasher schlockfest "Pieces" and the deliciously ridiculous killer animal hoot "Slugs," delivers a pretty lively and entertaining fantasy adventure outing that moves along at a steady clip and offers a reasonable amount of diverting thrills throughout. Andres Berenguar's vibrant cinematography and the lush, robust orchestral score by Juan Carlos Calderon and Juan Jose Garcia Caffi are both up to par. Moreover, the endearingly hokey rubbery monsters, laughably shoddy (much less than) special effects, the flavorsome period setting, priceless dopey dialogue (favorite line: "A prehistoric boneyard is no fit place to bring up babies"), the good-natured tone, and an exciting climactic volcanic explosion all further enhance this picture's infectiously goofy charm. A pleasing piece of amiably silly piffle.
  • avatar

    Quamar

    Back in the mid 70's there was a bit of a cycle of fantasy adventure b-movies. Quite a few of them were British and seemed to always star Doug McClure. One typical example being At the Earth's Core (1976) which was an adaption of sorts of the Jules Verne novel 'Journey to the Center Of the Earth'. Well, it can be of no real surprise that there were also some continental offerings in this sub-genre, and so from Spain we have The Fabulous Journey to the Centre of the Earth. While the British films were made on a fairly low budget, this Iberian equivalent is decidedly cheaper still. It was directed by Juan Piquer Simón who is probably best known for directing a couple of psychotronic 80's horror movies, namely the demented slasher Pieces (1982) and the crazy creature-feature Slugs (1988). I definitely wouldn't say that this film is up to the deliriously entertaining standards of those two but it is still a half-way decent effort.

    Set in Victorian times, the story has a scientist discovering a secret entrance to the centre of the earth. He assembles a small party and they navigate down into the abyss where they encounter a mysterious stranger called Olsen (played by Jack Taylor who was the go-to American actor for a plethora of cheap Spanish productions at the time). A little later they encounter prehistoric monsters, giant turtles, a giant ape and...big mushrooms! The low budget hampers things a bit and it isn't directed with much impetus but essentially, any movie which throws in dinosaurs and various other creatures can't be all bad. And this one isn't. Its probably one on the lower side of the prehistoric fantasy sub-genre scale but it still essentially offers the goods, so fair enough.
  • avatar

    Xellerlu

    As you know, I love monster movies. I love lost worlds and unexplored lands because it has this sense of wonder and it is escapism. In the 1970's, when the world was nostalgic for the 1920's and 30's, there were disaster movies, which was box-office fuel. They showed people in panic and have them under attack by nature's wrath (e.g. THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, EARTHQUAKE and JAWS) or something going terribly wrong (e.g. TOWERING INFERNO and the AIRPORT franchise). Fantasy films were kiddie fair, but these were no fairy tales. These were stories for older viewers, kids, teens, and adults. THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT (1975), AT THE EARTH'S CORE (1976), and PEOPLE THAT TIME FORGOT (1977) were movies that had lost worlds inhabited by monsters. What made these good, were the special effects. While they got out-shined by the big movies like disaster movies, JAWS, the 1976 remake of KING KONG, and STAR WARS. If these big movies were intense, then take your kids to see the fantasy movies. While these movies were mediocre in the box-office, these movies were good in other countries. This caught the attention of other filmmakers such as Juan Piquer Simon and he made this wonderful movie, JULES VERNE'S THE FABULOUS JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH. This films had dinosaurs, sea monsters, big turtles and mushrooms and a giant ape. Now about the big gorilla, there was one in the book, either Juan wanted to rival the 1976 KING KONG remake or he wanted to cash in on it. If you look at the movie, it answers the question, what if Universal made THE LEGEND OF KING KONG without stop-motion effects, but with monster suits and puppets? There is your answer. While the cast is good, the special effects are great, but they look hokey. If you enjoy shows like SCOOBY-DOO or DUCKTALES (heads up, a reboot is coming this summer on Disney XD), then this movie is for you. Rated G alright, but I see that IMDb re-rated it PG and I know why. To me, it must be all the scary scenes and peril. Peril?! That is nothing to be worried about because there was peril in G-rated movies. I think it is rated PG for blood from the sea monsters and kids might get scared by the dinosaurs, turtle-like creatures or the giant gorilla.