Battle Beneath the Earth (1967)

USA, UK, 1967
91m 21s
35mm film, Technicolor
mono, English

An American/British science fiction film directed by Montgomery Tully. Production began on 14 November 1966.

Plot Summary

A Chinese plot to attack the States by stealth involves the construction of a network of massive tunnels from China to the USA. The technology being used by a renegade Chinese general to mount the attack is undetectable and nuclear weapons are being planted at key locations…

Credits

Crew
Directed by: Montgomery Tully
© MCMLXVII by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents a Reynolds-Vetter production
Executive Producer: Charles F. Vetter
Produced by: Charles Reynolds
Production Manager: Ronnie Bear
Original Story and Screenplay by: L.Z. Hargreaves
Assistant Director: Pat Kelly
Photographed in Technicolor by: Kenneth Talbot
Camera Operator: Alan McCabe
Supervising Editor: Sidney Stone
Music by: Ken Jones
Recording Supervisor: A.W. Watkins
Sound Recording: J.B. Smith, Jerry Turner
Dubbing Editor: Stanley Smith
Special Effects: Tom Howard
Art Director: Jim Morahan
Made at MGM British Studios, Ltd, Boreham Wood, England

Cast
Kerwin Mathews (Commander Jonathan Shaw)
Vivienne Ventura (Tila Yung)
Robert Ayres (Admiral Felix Hillebrand)
Peter Arne (Arnold Kramer)
Al Mulock (Sergeant Marvin Mulberry)
Martin Benson (General Chan Lu)
Peter Elliott (Kengh Lee)
Earl Cameron (Sergeant Seth Hawkins)
Edward Bishop (Lieutenant Commander Vance Cassidy)
Bill Nagy (Colonel Talbot Wilson)
Sarah Brackett (Meg Webson)
John Brandon (Major Frank Cannon)
David Spenser (Major Chai)
Michael McStay (train commander)
Paula Li Shiu (Dr Arnn)
Carl Jaffe (Dr Galiant)
Norma West (Susan Kramer)
Larry Cross (broadcaster)
Bessie Love (matron)
Bee Duffell (matron’s friend)
Bill Hutchinson (Lanchek)
Martin Terry (mine foreman)
Frank Lieberman, Roy Pattison (policemen)
Chela Matthison (nurse)

Alternative Titles

Battle beneath the Sea – alternative title

Press

1968
Variety vol.250 no.13 (15 May 1968) p.26
It’s a well-made film, once the premise is established after a slow opening, and should benefit by smart exploitation. […] Original story and screenplay by L. Z. Hargreaves is an engaging scifi tour de force and Montgomery Tully’s direction maintains an appropriately fast pace. Kerwin Mathews as an American commander detailed to counter the danger does a good job in a straight part and Martin Benson is properly menacing as the Chinese general planning the giant scheme independent of Peking. Robert Ayres also is convincing as the American admiral and Peter Arne as a seismologist who has tried to warn the U.S. of its impending peril. Photography by Kenneth Talbot is interesting and special effects by Tom Howard particularly inventive. Balance of technical departments is well handled. – from a review by Whit

1969
Monthly Film Bulletin vol.36 no.421 (February 1969) p.30
Schoolboy comic-strip capers, involving subterranean constructions, hydroponic farms (“enforced growth under solaric light” the Chinese scientist explains), laser beams, nuclear bombs and sinister Oriental villains. Nothing is quite so fanciful, though, as the finale, in which hero and heroine, with only ten minutes to run to safety after setting off an atom bomb, emerge in a volcano and stand looking at the glare of the nuclear explosion with not even a blink of their unshielded eyes. Delightfully nonsensical, the film is at least a variation on the usual SF themes, and very properly everyone acts with deadpan solemnity. – from an uncredited review

References

Periodicals

  • The Daily Cinema no.9613 (16 December 1968) p.18 – credits, review
  • Films and Filming vol.15 no.6 (March 1969) p.55 – credits, review
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.200 no.47 (13 May 1968) p.3 – credits, review
  • Kine Weekly no.3193 (21 December 1968) p.19 – credits, review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.36 no.421 (February 1969) p.30 – credits, review
  • Variety vol.250 no.13 (15 May 1968) p.26 – credits, review (by Whit)

Books

  • Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed) p.260
  • Feature Films, 1960-1969: A Filmography of English-language and Major Foreign-language United States Releases by Harris M. Lentz III p.27-28
  • Hoffman’s Guide to SF, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.35 – credits, short review
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.21
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films: A Checklist by Donald C. Willis p.38 – credits
  • The International Spy Guide 001 by Richard Rhys Davies p.100 – illustrated credits, note
  • Jules Verne on Film by Thomas C. Renzi p.105
  • Nuclear Movies: A Filmography by Mick Broderick p.74
  • Reference Guide to Fantastic Films by Walt Lee p.26 –
  • The Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Handbook by Alan Frank p.18 – illustrated credits, review
  • Uneasy Dreams: The Golden Age of British Horror Films, 1956-1976 by Gary A. Smith p.36