Sunday, October 20, 2013
Island at the Top of the World (1974)
The plot of the film has a rich British financing an expedition in order to track down what happened to his son who was lost on a whaling expedition. Using a dirigible the explorers set off to the artic. Along the way they have a variety of adventures and eventually discover an island of lost Vikings.
I saw the film at the drive in with my Dad and my two brothers. We had been chomping at the bit togo and somehow my mom talked my dad into taking us. To me the film has always been a cool, if artificial grand adventure. One of the period adventure films that would include things like The Land that Time Forgot and At the Earth’s Core. It’s the cinematic equivalent to the boys own adventures that were popular during the early part of the 20th century. I love the designs of the airship and the Viking compound (there was an Oscar nomination). If the action was a bit too family friendly it scored in not being the same old same old.
Truth be told the one reason I remember the film, and probably it’s biggest drawback, is that David Hartman plays one of the members of the expedition. Hartman, a good actor, lost any ability to play pretty much any part when he signed up as one of the original hosts of Good Morning America which went on the air not before the movie was released. Hartman had been a well-known TV actor thanks to roles in a variety of series, perhaps the most prominent being Room 222. For me watching Hartman is a case of watching someone go through the motions in a dress up outing. He’s not bad, he just doesn’t blend in.
Of course that doesn’t mean I hate the film, I don’t. I like it , It just means that I never fully give myself over to it.
Recommended for a night when you don’t want the same old same old