Unknown World

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Unknown World
Unknown world poster.jpg
Directed by Terry O. Morse
Produced by Irving A. Block
Jack Rabin
Robert L. Lippert
Written by Millard Kaufman
Starring Bruce Kellogg
Marilyn Nash
Jim Bannon
Otto Waldis
Music by Ernest Gold
Cinematography Henry Freulich
Allen G. Siegler
Edited by Terry O. Morse
Distributed by Lippert Pictures Inc.
Release date
  • October 26, 1951 (1951-10-26)
Running time
74 minutes
Language English

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

Unknown World may have been loosely inspired by Jules Verne's novel Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864) and At the Earth's Core (1914) by Edgar Rice Burroughs.[citation needed], as it concerns an expedition seeking liveable space beneath the earth in the event a nuclear war makes surface life impossible.


Dr. Jeremiah Morley (Victor Kilian) is concerned about an imminent nuclear war. He organizes an expedition of scientists and has them use an atomic-powered machine, the Cyclotram, capable of drilling through earth and stone, to find an underground environment where humanity could escape the coming 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 develops (between Bannon and Kellogg for Nash), and two lives are lost to the perils of the expedition.

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

The survivors enter the underground ocean and find themselves rising to the surface of the upper world, eventually surfacing in the sea near a tropical island.



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

This film was actually put together by two special effects men, Jack Rabin and Irving Block, who are listed as producers.[1]

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


The B-Movie Review site Million Monkry Theater found 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]



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