Wednesday, October 8, 2008

VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA - Frankie Avalon - "Theme Song" (1961)

"Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea" is an epic film of classic proportions, and just might arguably be the best of all the submarine flicks! You got your Walter Pidgeon, Regis Toomey, Peter Lorre, Michael Ansara, Frankie Avalon, Joan Fontaine, and Barbara Eden all for the price of one single admission!! The bargain of the century and another great 'Submarine Halloween' tale!!!

They say the theme song sung by Frankie Avalon was a hit, but I don't remember it, although I do remember "Venus" quite well!

It's a great song, and the later trumpet playing bit is way too much!!! The song was written by prolific musician and songwriter Russell Faith!! One of the few songs you can actually call nice, and get away with it! The rest of the soundtrack was composed by Dungeon stalwarts Paul Sawtell and Bert Shefter, whose names conjure up titles like "Kronos", "Sadist", "She-Devil" and "IT!" I never did figure out exactly who is playing the trumpet!!

The Pre-Jeannie Barbara Eden makes this one fantastic voyage!!

Researching "Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea" on the Internet or just on IMDB, a person can get totally lost following leads with snippets of information here and there. Stuff like this:

The star of this film, Walter Pidgeon had a career that went all the way back into the silent movies dating back as far as 1926!!!! Can you even imagine? It gets better! In 1928 Walter was in a film entitled "The Gateway Of The Moon" that was directed by one John Griffith Wray who had been directing films since 1913 until his death in 1929. That means he had a career as director way back then for 16 years!!! And what in the Heck was genius Director Irwin Allen thinking when he allowed this shot!! Cut!!!!!

Some of the men on board are getting pretty uptight about the situation, and if you don't know what the situation is, then you must have been living in the Bat-Cave for the last forty years or so, and you really need to go get yourself a copy of this film!!!

It's really fascinating how they smoke inside the sub for the whole movie, the place had to smell like a Las Vegas casino or worse!

And on top of that, The Captain smokes stogies in bed, and damn near sets the whole place on fire!!!

If you rent or buy the DVD, it has some great production stills like this, that show you a bit of what they had to go through to film this Monster!!!! Cranes, water, and Scaffold City!!!!


Greg Goodsell said...

I'll never forget the time I saw this on late night TV. I was young and reckless then, and I had just downed a six pack of beer followed by a bottle of cheap, red wine. BBBBBBBBBuuuuuuuuuuuurp.

FLU-BIRD said...

What realy got me excited as a kid was when the sub surfaces at the 45 degree angle i mean it was empressive

antaresrichard said...

Oh, but you forgot to mention TV's Topper's "George Kerby", I mean, Robert Sterling as "Captain Crane" (by the way, it was "Admiral Nelson" who was accused of smoking in bed).

Of the cast named, Barbara Eden also starred alongside her real-life husband, actor Michael Ansara.

And Del (Delbert) Monroe, the tense crewman "Kowski" pictured shattering the glass of milk, went on to play the Seaview's series regular "Kowalski".

A devotee of 50's and 60's science fiction films, I am glad I happened on this site. I did so while searching to see if anyone had Avalon's Siren song about finding LOVE at the "bottom of the sea" ("blue-green" or otherwise). Frankly, I'm still quite not sure how to take his invitation.

I love these tunes and scores. Thanks.

antaresrichard said...

Yikes, and I plumb forgot Howard McNear (Andy Griffith's "Floyd Lawson") as "Congressman Parker"! Nor did I recognize character actor Henry Daniell as "Doctor Zucco" until now, some forty eight years after the film's release.

Eegah!! Rodan! and Tabonga! said...

Hey Richard,
There's no way we can cover it all, that's why we decided to focus on the music, but it's always great when someone like yourself wants to add more details, and yer right, it was the Admiral, I was just trying to see if anybody was paying attention! Thanx!!!

Douglas McEwan said...

You can NOT be serious in saying this is the best of the submarine sci-fi movies. It's fun, but it's ridiculous. Let's start with the melting chunks of icebergs SINKING into the ocean in the beginning of the film. Goodbye laws of physics. Have you ever seen ice in water do anything but float? ICE CAN NOT SINK IN WATER! Also, The Van Allen Radiation Belt is not flammable, so the entire premise is impossible.

I once saw a double feature of this movie and 20,00 LEAGUEs at a drive-in. Four hours of Peter Lorre (who is WASTED in VOYAGE) underwater. It was really obvious that 20,000 LEAGUES is a million times better movie.

Eegah!! said...

We're not too serious about anything down here, but it was said as "arguably" the best. That means there's always room for another opinion! A lot of people think "Atomic Submarine" is the best!

Douglas McEwan said...

By "a lot of people" I assume you mean three.

I'm always up for a movie argument. Understand, I have VOYAGE on DVD, so I watch it from time to time. It has most of the flaws found in all Irwin Allan's movies, as well as their virtues, which is usually limited to a great cast. It's actually a teensy bit better than the average Irwin Allan film. It has nice special effects (No iguanas with fins pretending to be dinsaurs), and Red Buttons is not in it.

I have a silly backstage story about it. Back in 1978, I took a stand-up comedy class at USC from Robert Easton, who plays "Sparks" in the movie. Now Bob is a tremendously good mimic. We got talking about VTTBOTS, and he said one afternoon a shot was delayed because Peter Lorre was off in the bathroom. Bob announced: "I could do Peter's part in this scene. I do his voice."

So when Lorre returned to the set and said he was ready to shoot it, kidding him they said: "That's okay. We shot it. Bob did your part."

Peter asked Bob: "Do you do an impression of me?"

Bob said he did. Peter asked to hear it, so Bob did his Peter Lorre impression for Peter. Peter then said: "That was very good. Most people, when they do my voice, they whine. Why? I doooonnnnn't whiiiiiiinnnnnnne!"

I found the TV series unwatchable.

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

Great story!!

Anonymous said...

Once the VOYAGE movie was a success, Irwin Allen announced an outer space version called PASSAGE TO THE EDGE OF SPACE with a budget of $3 million. It was never made of course, but it probably made him start thinking about what would become LOST IN SPACE...

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