Latitude Zero (film)
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Theatrical poster for Latitude Zero (1969)
|Directed by||Ishirō Honda|
|Produced by||Don Sharpe
|Written by||Warren Lewis (US version)
|Music by||Akira Ifukube|
|Edited by||Ume Takeda|
National General Pictures (USA)
|July 26, 1969 (Japan)
July 29, 1969 (Dallas)
December 4, 1970 (New York)
|89 min. (Japan)
105 min. (USA)
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.
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.
- Joseph Cotten as Captain Craig McKenzie; Captain of "Alpha-Gou"/Commander Glenn McKenzie (Voice actor: Gorō Naya)
- Cesar Romero as Dr. Malic; Scientist of Blood Rock/Lt Hastings (Voice actor: Kōsei Tomita)
- Akira Takarada as Dr. Ken Tashiro; Oceanographer
- Masumi Okada as Dr. Jules Masson; Geologist
- Richard Jaeckel as Perry Lawton; Journalist (Voice actor: Ichirō Murakoshi)
- Patricia Medina as Lucretia; Lover of Malic (Voice actor: Michiko Hirai)
- Hitoshi Oomae as Koubo; Crew of "Alpha-Gou"
- Linda Haynes as Dr. Anne Barton; Doctor of Latitude Zero; (Voice actor: Junko Midori)
- Tetsu Nakamura as Dr. Okada; Japanese atomic physicist
- Mari Nakayama as Tsuruko Okada; Daughter of Dr. Okada
- Akihiko Hirata as Dr. Sugata; Doctor of Latitude Zero
- Hikaru Kuroki as Captain "Kuroi Ga" ("Black moth"; Captain of "Kurosame-Gou" ("Black Shark"))
- Susumu Kurobe as Chin; Crewman of "Kurosame-Gou"
- Yū Sekida as Koumori-ningen; (bat-human)
- Haruo Nakajima as Koumori-ningen (bat-human), Oo-Nezumi (Giant mouse), Griffin
- 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
- Greenspun, Roger. "City Under Sea" (film review) The New York Times. December 5, 1970.
- Variety Weekly. September 9, 1969.
- Ragone, August (2007, 2014). Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters San Francisco, California: Chronicle Books. ISBN 978-0-8118-6078-9
- "緯度0大作戦 (Ido zero daisakusen)" (in Japanese). Japanese Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-07-18.
- "Latitude Zero" radio serial from 1941
- Martinez, Mike A. "Latitude Zero" (extended film analysis) Millon Monkey Theater. April 14, 2008.
- Latitude Zero at the Internet Movie Database