Unknown World

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Unknown World
Unknown world poster.jpg
Theatrical release title lobby card
Directed byTerry O. Morse
Produced byIrving A. Block
Jack Rabin
Robert L. Lippert
Written byMillard Kaufman
StarringBruce Kellogg
Marilyn Nash
Jim Bannon
Otto Waldis
Music byErnest Gold
CinematographyHenry Freulich
Allen G. Siegler
Edited byTerry O. Morse
Distributed byLippert Pictures Inc.
Release date
  • October 26, 1951 (1951-10-26)
Running time
74 minutes
L-R: Otto Waldis, Bruce Kellogg, Marilyn Nash and Victor Kilian

Unknown World (a.k.a. Night Without Stars) is a 1951 independently made American black-and-white science fiction adventure film, directed by Terry O. Morse, and starring Bruce Kellogg, Marilyn Nash, Jim Bannon, and Otto Waldis. Distributed by Lippert Pictures, it was produced by Irving A. Block, Jack Rabin, and Robert L. Lippert.

The film's storyline concerns a scientific expedition seeking livable space deep beneath the Earth's surface in the event a nuclear war makes living above ground impossible.


Dr. Jeremiah Morley (Victor Kilian) is concerned about an imminent nuclear war. He organizes an expedition of scientists and has them use a large atomic-powered tank-like boring machine, called the Cyclotram, capable of drilling down deep through the Earth's surface in order to find an underground environment where humanity could escape and survive a future nuclear holocaust.

The expedition (Jim Bannon, Marilyn Nash, Otto Waldis, Tom Handley, and Dick Cogan) begins after government funding has fallen through, and they are bailed out at the last minute by private funding from a newspaper heir (Bruce Kellogg), who insists on going with them as a lark. Romantic rivalry soon develops between Bannon and Kellogg for Nash, and during the dangerous underground expedition two lives are lost to the perils of their adventure.

In the end the scientists accomplish their goal and find an enormous underground expanse with a plentiful air supply, its own large ocean, and phosphorescent light. However, all the lab rabbits brought with them give birth to dead offspring. Through autopsies, it is discovered that this strange underground world has somehow rendered the rabbits, and hence any other life form, sterile. Dr. Morley is deeply depressed by this news. When an underground volcano suddenly erupts, he fails to enter the safety of the Cyclotram and quickly perishes.

The Cyclotram, carrying the remaining survivors, enters the underground ocean to avoid the eruption. They soon find themselves rising toward the surface of the upper world, having been caught up in a strong, upward-moving ocean current. They eventually break the surface near an unknown tropical island.



Portions of Unknown World were filmed in Carlsbad Caverns, Bronson Caves, Nichols Canyon, and at Pismo Beach.[citation needed]

Unknown World was put together by two Hollywood special effects men, Jack Rabin and Irving Block, who are two of the film's three producers.[1]

Some of the plot elements of Unknown World were reused years later in the big studio science fiction film The Core (2003).[citation needed]


The B-Movie Review site Million Monkey Theater observed that the "production crew try hard, and it really seems like they have an important message to tell, but the execution and polish are lacking". [2]


  1. ^ Internet Movie Database Trivia
  2. ^ "Unknown World (1951) -- Full Movie Review!". www.millionmonkeytheater.com.


External links[edit]