Latitude Zero (film)

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Latitude Zero
Latitude Zero 1969.jpg
Theatrical poster for Latitude Zero (1969)
Directed by Ishirō Honda
Produced by Don Sharpe
Tomoyuki Tanaka
Written by Warren Lewis (US version)
Shinichi Sekizawa
Ted Sherdeman
Starring Joseph Cotten
Cesar Romero
Akira Takarada
Masumi Okada
Richard Jaeckel
Patricia Medina
Mari Nakayama
Akihiko Hirata
Hitoshi Oomae
Hikaru Kuroki
Linda Haynes
Susumu Kurobe
Haruo Nakajima
Music by Akira Ifukube
Cinematography Taiichi Kankura
Edited by Ume Takeda
Distributed by Toho
National General Pictures (USA)
Release dates
July 26, 1969 (Japan)
July 29, 1969 (Dallas)
December 4, 1970 (New York)
Running time
89 min. (Japan)
105 min. (USA)
Country United States
Language English

Latitude Zero (緯度0大作戦 Ido zero daisakusen?), is a 1969 tokusatsu film. It was directed by Ishirō Honda with special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya (his last science-fiction film). The story was written by Ted Sherdeman, writer of the 1954 science-fiction film Them! (and based on a 1941 radio serial written by Sherdeman entitled Latitude Zero), and starred Joseph Cotten, Cesar Romero, Akira Takarada, Masumi Okada, Richard Jaeckel, Patricia Medina, and Akihiko Hirata.

The film was shot in English, with the Japanese actors, such as Akira Takarada, having learned their lines phonetically.


Three men (Dr. Ken Tashiro, Dr. Jules Masson, and Perry Lawton) are trapped in a bathysphere due to seismic activity. They are rescued by the crew of the supersubmarine Alpha, captained by Craig Mackenzie (Cotten), who they learn is over 200 years old (and that the Alpha was launched in the early 19th century). Mackenzie takes them to Latitude Zero to deal with the serious injuries of Dr Masson. While returning to Latitude Zero, they are attacked by a rival supersubmarine, the Black Shark, captained by Kuroi, who works for a rival of Mackenzie, Malic, who is also over 200 years old and has a base at Blood Rock.

Latitude Zero is a paradise hidden fifteen miles below the surface at the intersection of the Equator and the International Date Line. Gold is plentiful there and is used for protective clothing by the island's newcomers, while those who arrived in the 19th century prefer to dress as they are accustomed, as no one ages or dies. Diamonds are very common and used only in industrial use.

Dr. Malic (Romero), however, wishes to destroy the paradise of Latitude Zero, and uses giant rats and anthropomorphic bats in addition to James Bond-style devices against the undersea kingdom. Worst of all, after a cruel experiment grafting the wings of an eagle to a lion, he removes the brain of the unsuccessful Black Shark she-captain, Kuroi (Hikaru Kuroki), and places her brain in the creature, which proves to be his undoing.

Of all the visitors to Latitude Zero, only Perry Lawton (Jaeckel), a journalist, wishes to return home. He is picked up by a US Navy vessel and meets a Commander Glenn Mackenzie (Cotten again), and is put in the care of Lt. Hastings (Romero again). Horrified at whom he sees, Lawton discovers his film is ruined and when he opens the pouch where he placed his complimentary diamonds, he finds tobacco. Just as he is about to resign himself to the fact that his adventure never occurred, the ship is wired a message stating that a cache of diamonds has been deposited in his name in a safe deposit box in New York City.


National General Pictures theatrical poster for the 1970 U.S release of Latitude Zero.

DVD releases[edit]

Tokyo Shock

  • Released: December 11, 2007
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen
  • Sound: English (5.1 Surround), English (1.0 Mono), Japanese (1.0 Mono)
  • Supplements: Trailers: Latitude Zero (Teaser, Theatrical, International), Atragon, Frankenstein Conquers the World, Zebraman, Nezulla. Crew Interviews, Deleted Scenes, Photo Gallery.
  • Region 1


External links[edit]