27 September 2014 | utgard14
"Even marriage couldn't change your infinite monotony."
Fascinating story, set in the near future (for the 1930s), about a joint American-British project to build an undersea tunnel from London to New York. The tunnel is the brainchild of engineer Richard Dix, who leads the work on building it. The project takes years and costs him dearly in the end.
I'm a huge classic movie buff but I had never even heard of this wonderful gem until today. It combines futuristic sci-fi technology with downbeat realism about how such a project could actually be accomplished and what it would cost, in terms of money and lives. The sets are absolutely jaw-dropping. This is 1935, people, and it wasn't even made with a huge Hollywood budget. Wait until you see the effort put into making this work. The sets, the gadgets, the special effects are all very impressive. No CGI here. This is a prime example of how good old-school could be. While this is all very cool, the movie does have more going for it than just looking great. The cast is solid, with iron-jawed Richard Dix taking the lead. Dix could be a wooden actor at times but here I thought he was very good. Beautiful Madge Evans is likable as his noble wife. Leslie Banks plays his best friend. Ladies, Leslie Banks has a shower scene. You're welcome. Good support from C. Aubrey Smith, Basil Sydney, and Helen Vinson. The characters in this film may be prone to melodramatics at times but I felt none of them were completely clichéd. I was surprised more than once by their actions. Also, nice guest appearances from Walter Huston and George Arliss, as the American President and British Prime Minister respectively.
The soap opera elements seem to factor into most of the complaints I've read. I really didn't think this part of the film was that bad, especially for this period when playing to the rafters was expected. Your tolerance on this may vary, however. The work on the tunnel, which comprises most of the runtime, is gripping stuff. This is one film that should appeal to a variety of movie fans. I definitely recommend you seek it out. Oh, and dig that awesome movie poster.