Land Unknown, The (1957) Movie Script

Your goal, gentlemen, Antarctica.
Five million square miles of terra incognita,
But your job, to make it
just a little less incognita,
Amundsen discovered
the South Pole in 1911.
Wilkins explored the coast in 1928.
And Admiral Byrd flew
over the South Pole in 1929
and once again in 1947.
Now, gentlemen, it's your turn.
As officers of this great enterprise,
you will facilitate our navy's
geographical and meteorological
mapping operations.
You will also investigate
the phenomenon encountered
by the Byrd expedition of 1947,
a polar oasis consisting
of a body of warm water completely
surrounded by this vast desert of ice.
Now, at the time, this discovery
astounded the entire scientific world,
caused a great deal of speculation.
Now, there are other phenomena
that you will investigate.
Ellsworth discovered
fossil remains of ferns and petrified logs.
Amundsen discovered veins of coal
100 miles long.
There have been reports of iron,
copper and nickel.
Now, there may be deposits of uranium
under these vast polar ice fields.
Now, in addition, you may find that...
Gentlemen, this way is south.
Thank you.
Now in just a few moments,
we'll show you excerpts from a film
made by the Byrd expedition
which'll give you firsthand information
on many of the problems
which you are apt to encounter.
But first, we'll take a short break.
Not bad.
She's got a head
on her shoulders, too.
Oh, you know her?
Margaret Hathaway, Oceanic Press.
How do you do, Miss Hathaway?
Hello, Captain. I'm sorry I'm late.
That's quite all right.
I was thinking perhaps the OP had decided
not to send you after all.
Oh, no.
Of course you're aware
of the dangers of this trip?
I am. I've read a great deal about Antarctica.
I wasn't thinking of Antarctica exactly.
I was thinking more
of your being alone with 800 men.
I've read a great deal about men, too.
Don't forget,
once I was alone with half a million of them
for three months in Korea.
In that case, Miss Hathaway,
I think you've had excellent basic training.
Now, would you care to meet
some of the men you'll be working with?
I always love to meet men, Captain.
Miss Margaret Hathaway,
may I present Commander Roberts,
with whom you'll be spending
most of your time?
I've heard about you, Commander.
How do you do?
I can do better than that.
I'm an ardent reader of your column.
How do you do?
This is Lieutenant Jack Carmen.
He'll be your helicopter pilot.
Hello, Lieutenant.
I hope you won't mind having to fly
the first woman over Antarctica.
Ma'am, you just say the word,
and I'll fly you up to the moon.
In a helicopter?
You won't have to worry about him,
Miss Hathaway.
I'm sure he'll cool off
as soon as he hits sub-zero weather.
Pardon me.
The film's ready, sir.
Thank you.
You'll excuse me.
Will you join us?
Thank you.
So you're a geophysicist, Commander?
That's right.
But you don't look like a scientist to me.
You don't look like Walter Winchell.
Give me time.
CAPTAlN: Will you take your seats, please?
In 1947, the use of Huskies as draft animals
was still very much
a part of any operation in the Antarctic.
And here we see some scenes of the careful
training that both men and dogs underwent
in the months prior to embarkation.
Finally, the ships are loaded,
Admiral Byrd boards his flagship,
and the expedition is on its way.
Its main goal is the Bay of Whales
in the Ross Sea.
But 800 miles of the Ross lce Barrier
had to be penetrated.
But finally, in the winter of '47,
which is just the beginning of summer
in the Antarctic, the expedition arrives.
It finds the first Little America intact.
And its foodstuffs, bread
and other perishables remain unharmed
in nature's great deep freeze.
Now, at the edge of the Ross lce Barrier
some 800 miles away
from Admiral Byrd's base camp,
huge transport aircraft for the first time
are launched from an aircraft carrier
and land in Little America.
Now, their mission,
the greatest aerial exploration
and mapping program of Antarctica
ever undertaken.
Now, here you see
the first pictures ever made
of Antarctica's ice-free warm water region,
first discovered
by the Byrd expedition in '47
and which will be thoroughly investigated
by a member of our own group...
How soon do we leave?
...Commander Alan Roberts.
In two months.
December 15th, we leave from Norfolk.
CAPTAlN: He will lead
an expedition into this region.
It's overwhelming.
This tremendous force
chewing up the ice.
Diesel oil.
I was saying, this overwhelming force
is caused by the sudden expansion
of compressed oil vapor.
Oh, Alan!
Oil vapors, molecules.
Do you have to be so technical?
A few things I can be quite romantic about.
Name one.
Well, women.
For example, although I know
basically women consist mostly of water,
with a few pinches of salt, metals thrown in,
you have a very unsaltlike
and nonmetallic effect on me.
I give in.
Let's talk about diesel engines, shall we?
Sorry for the rough treatment.
We'll have to put up with it for a while.
We've just entered the Ross lce Pack.
The heaviest since Sir James Clark
forced his way through it in 1841.
It's going to hold us back
more than we anticipated.
We've got about 700 miles
of the stuff to plow through.
It'll put us
about two weeks behind schedule.
And how will that affect my program,
Captain Burnham?
Well, we've got four weeks
of precious daylight.
I'll have to ask you to take longer flights
than I would permit
under ordinary circumstances.
You'll commence operations as soon
as we reach open water,
which will be just about there.
The weather reports are satisfactory.
The sooner you get going, the better.
Are you ready, Lieutenant?
I think so, sir.
Ship's all checked out, sir.
Engine's heated.
Provisions? Survival kits?
Yes, sir.
Fine. How about you, Commander?
All my gear's aboard, sir.
Miss Hathaway, you understand
that if anything should happen out there,
your chances for survival are limited?
I'm going.
All right, then. Good luck.
Thank you.
Happy landings.
Thank you, sir.
Look at those two.
Man and wife?
Nope. Both males.
Wanna say hello to them?
Maybe you can get an interview.
Looks like they're all wearing tuxedos.
Nope. All female.
40 below zero.
It's hard to believe that millions of years ago
this region was subtropical.
In those days, on an excursion like this,
you would have worn a bathing suit.
Born too late, I always say.
Unless Mount Erebus erupts again.
If she did,
there'd be a lot of melted snow down there.
The latest weather report, sir.
Contact Lieutenant Carmen.
The helicopter
is to return at once.
Yes, sir.
A sudden shift in the wind.
There's a storm moving in between here
and the warm water region.
I hope we can catch them before they land.
We're getting closer.
Right beyond this range.
There it is!
Well, now I believe it,
but there's still the big question.
Is it the beginning of a new heat wave
or the tail-end
of a million-year-old cooling-off process?
Just how warm is this water?
Warm enough to swim in. 68 degrees.
Base to Helicopter X-3, Over,
Helicopter X-3 to base. Over.
Base to Helicopter X-3. There's a storm front
developing south of bay.
Wind velocity 45,
direction south-south east.
Return at once,
Try to skirt it in westerly direction,
Do not fly through it! Over,
Received your message.
Am returning to base. Out.
Bad weather building up.
We've got to get back to the base.
There she is.
How high
can we go?
Not high enough.
Lieutenant, I've gotta get home.
I've got a kid that's gonna be born in June.
What's your hurry?
It's only the beginning of February.
Are you going to
fly around it?
And then refill at the nearest gas station
to get home? No, can't do.
Couldn't we just land here?
Look down.
Even if we could, it would be
a nice three-week stroll back to base.
Why don't we go back
to the warm water lakes and just sit it out?
Ever hear of the point of no return?
It's back there.
Now, what we need is
to find a break in this weather.
Over there.
That's what I've been looking for.
It's taking a chance,
but there's no other way.
Okay, hold on to your parkas.
I hope to get out of this
before we're iced up.
What's your altitude?
Three thousand.
Our collective control is damaged.
The only way I can go is down!
Helicopter X-3 to base.
Helicopter X-3 to base.
The aerial's gone!
Hang on!
We should break through any second.
I don't get it.
We dropped below sea level.
Lieutenant, look at the temperature.
What is it?
We've just gone through a
temperature rise of about 50 degrees
in less than two minutes.
It's still going up.
What's your altitude?
Twelve hundred feet below sea level.
We could be inside the crater of a volcano.
I hope it's got a bottom.
What's the temperature now?
91 degrees.
It's so hard to breathe.
It's the humidity. Must be close to 100%.
We're now 2,500 feet below sea level!
And the temperature's still going up.
We're breaking through!
Look out!
Hang on! We're gonna hit!
Now, can you see where we got hit?
I can't see anything from here.
I'll take a look up top.
Do you know what's wrong?
No. Not yet.
Steve, while you're up there,
see what the antenna damage is.
Lieutenant, I'm gonna need some tools
up here.
It's the push-pull tube assembly.
How bad?
Well, I won't be able to tell you
till I take it apart.
But it looks as though all it is
is a bent tube.
Tools coming right up, Steve.
Oh, Commander,
you better take a quick look around.
We're not gonna be here very long.
That's all right with me, Jack.
Where's that inquiring
reporter's mind of yours?
Come on, let's take a look around.
Here we are practically at the South Pole.
A few minutes ago it was 60 below zero.
Wait here.
Alan! Alan!
Maggie, over here.
Where are you?
Right here.
See this?
It's volcanic activity, all right.
Somewhere beneath us,
hot gases under tremendous pressure
have found a channel
to approach the surface.
We'd better get back to the ship.
This is Helicopter X-3 calling base.
We are down.
Helicopter X-3 is down.
Our location, between grid 30 and 32.
We're invisible from the air.
Can you home in on my signal?
Do you read me? Over.
You got the radio fixed?
I'm not so sure.
I haven't been able to pick up a thing.
What about your transmitter? Do you think
you're getting through to them?
If I was, they'd answer me.
There's nothing wrong with my receiver.
It could be atmospheric conditions.
Yeah. I'll try again a little later on.
It's the push-pull rod, isn't it?
Yes, sir.
All we have to do is straighten it.
Lieutenant, I just realized,
this tube is a magnesium alloy.
What are we gonna do now?
Well, in the first place,
within the next few hours
there won't be a square mile of this area
that won't be covered by search planes.
What good'll that do?
They won't be able to see us.
They can pick up our radio signal
and home in on it.
They can get us out of here in a few hours.
Right, Lieutenant?
Steve, help me get out the survival kit.
We might as well
make ourselves comfortable.
Commander, you're an excellent
naval officer and a brilliant scientist,
but you're a very poor liar.
would you give me a hand here?
Excuse me.
Well, we won't starve for a while, anyway.
Enough rations in here
to feed a small army for a couple of months.
If we're not found within 30 days,
we'll have to do better than that.
The expedition pulls out
at the end of February,
and there may not be another one for years.
Can I be of any help?
Yes. You can carry this water jug.
It may have to last us for some time,
so be careful.
Well, come on.
Hello, hello!
This is Helicopter X-3 calling base.
Mayday! Mayday!
This is Helicopter X-3 calling base.
We're down and lost.
Please come in. Please come in.
This is Helicopter X-3 calling base.
Mayday! Mayday!
This is Helicopter X-3 calling base!
Mayday! Mayday!
Well, what about that scream?
Didn't you hear it?
I heard it.
I heard something.
Rising volcanic heat
melts the ice on top of those cliffs
and turns it into the clouds
that hang over this valley.
It keeps the heat and the moisture
sealed in permanently.
Climatic change, one of the main causes
of evolution, doesn't exist here.
See that tree?
It's a species that disappeared
from the Earth millions of years ago.
What are you trying to tell us, Commander?
We're liable to meet
some ape men around here?
Even the apes are millions
of years in the future.
It's my guess that this valley
is still in the Mesozoic era.
Do you think there's any kind
of animal life down here?
Yes, I'm pretty sure
that there is.
Tastes like rotten eggs.
Hello, navy rescue.
Helicopter X-3 down. Helicopter X-3 is down.
Calling mayday! Calling mayday!
Get a fix on us please.
We can hear your engines.
You're very close to us.
I'll keep talking as long as I can.
You won't be able to bring a plane in here.
It'll take a copter.
We're at the bottom of a deep canyon,
about 3,000 feet below sea level.
There's a heavy cloud layer, some 1,500
feet that you'll have to break through.
We have a broken push-pull tube assembly.
If you drop us a replacement, we can fly out.
We have enough gas to return to base.
Our physical condition is good.
We have enough food for six weeks.
Hello, navy rescue. This is Helicopter X-3.
My battery is running low.
Am forced to discontinue.
Will try to contact you
when you return to this sector. Out.
They're right over us!
Why can't they hear us?
I don't think our signal is strong enough.
Can't understand it.
We had enough power last night.
What're you gonna do, Miller? Wait!
A flare's only good for 400 feet.
Why don't we save them
until they can see it?
Sorry, Maggie.
I just felt so darned messy.
I had to clean up a bit.
Where's Steve?
Out looking for some fresh water.
I told him to stay close to camp.
Give me a hand with this, will you?
Maggie, will you please bring the oars?
What's the matter?
There's... There's something
back there. Awful.
First of the flying lizards.
What a smell.
We better get back to camp.
It isn't safe here.
What's on your mind?
A dead animal is food.
I don't want to be here
to meet its consumers.
Come on.
Steve, you go fire up the engines!
Maggie, go with him.
Come on!
Come on!
More throttle!
That sound! What is it, Alan?
Whatever it was,
rex wanted no part of it.
You mean there's something
that thing's scared of?
The tyrannosaurus that attacked us is the
largest, most ferocious dinosaur of this era.
It's not only its size, but the structure...
Alan, no lectures now, please.
Obviously, the only place we've got
a chance is right here in this helicopter.
In that case, we better keep
our food supplies in here, too.
Come on, Steve. Let's get them.
We'd better all help.
I don't suppose there's any point
in asking which one of us did this.
Come on, Alan, you're the scientist.
What did it?
What could be worse
than that thing that attacked us?
Just people, Maggie. Just plain folks.
There weren't any humans in this age.
Fog's beginning to roll in again.
I don't think we'll ever
find a way up those cliffs.
Well, whatever it is,
at least it's keeping rex away.
Twenty-five more days and after that
we'll be the only humans in Antarctica.
That calendar of yours could be wrong.
Besides, they wouldn't think
of leaving without us.
Maggie, we gotta face it,
they can't risk 1,000 men
just for the four of us.
And once winter sets in, the ice pack
would crush their ships like matchboxes.
We've still got 25 days.
That's just about how long
my clothes are going to last.
You know, I got a name for this valley.
Hell's Chimney.
Fog really socks in, doesn't it?
Oh, Steve, isn't he darling! What is it?
I don't know. I picked him off a tree.
Was sure good to find
something small and soft,
something that wasn't ready to kill you.
Well, how do you do?
Know him?
Sort of a nodding acquaintance.
I think he's a tarsier, or a very close relative.
He's a mammal,
but it's his eyes that tell the story.
Observe, please,
they're on the front of his head
and not on the side like reptile or fish eyes.
Yes. This little fella
already has stereoscopic vision.
He certainly looks silly.
Not a very nice way
to talk about one of your ancestors.
One of my ancestors?
Homo sapiens junior. Very, very junior.
At this moment, he can't make up his mind
whether or not
he should become a real monkey.
But you will.
In 50 million years,
you'll be a monkey in a tree.
And then one day, you'll come down
and walk on your hind legs.
Another 50 million years flip by just "pfft,"
and you'll be Aristotle,
Galileo, Michelangelo, Mozart, Shakespeare.
What are we gonna be, monkeys?
I'm gonna get Shakespeare a drink.
Maggie, where are you?
Any luck?
No, not a trace.
Commander, here's something.
It's part of her outfit.
I don't understand it.
No animal tracks here. No sign of a struggle.
Here's your answer, Alan.
Look at this!
These footprints were made
by a being physically very much like us.
That's all I can tell you.
Except whatever it is, it's got Maggie.
How do you know?
Where's the footprints?
She was being carried.
End of the line.
He used a boat.
He's on this river somewhere.
That smoke's coming from a cave!
Here. Drink.
You're one of us. Who are you?
How did I get here?
I brought you here.
Where are the others?
Where are the others?
That's our food, isn't it?
It's mine.
The whole valley's mine.
Everything in it belongs to me,
including you.
What happened to the others?
They're dead.
You killed them.
One of the beasts did it for me.
How long have you been
in this valley?
Ten years.
A hundred years.
Time has no meaning
when you have nothing to wait for.
How have you managed
to stay alive?
Not on charity or pity
or the nobleness of the soul.
I survived because I'm the fittest to survive!
Because I've learned how to kill efficiently!
You must be very strong.
It's my intelligence that keeps me alive
and in control of this land.
The big beasts are stupid.
They kill when they're hungry.
But I plan murder ahead.
Do you know how?
No. Tell me.
Their eggs!
I destroy their eggs.
Why, that's...
That's very clever.
And those that I permit to live,
I control with this.
The sound frightens them.
Then it was you who...
Yes. That's how I rule them.
No! Don't!
Stay away from her!
Move away, caveman!
You won't call me that
after you've been here for 10 years.
You'll be crawling on your belly
like the rest of the beasts,
if you live that long.
You're out of your mind.
Don't say that!
Hold it, Jack.
I'm sorry.
I'm sure that he didn't mean to offend you.
The fact that you've been able to survive
in this terrible place
proves you're a man
of superior intelligence.
My name is Roberts.
Margaret Hathaway,
Lieutenant Carmen and Mr. Miller.
Now, who are you?
We crashed.
Four of us.
The '45 expedition.
A plane disappeared with four men aboard.
Four men.
Three are dead, but... Who am l?
I'm Hunter.
Dr. Carl Hunter.
After what he's been through,
it's no wonder he's like this.
This is your trouble, isn't it?
That's from our ship. How did you...
After we crashed,
I stored some of the wreckage.
I think you could replace this out of it.
I'll tell you where it is,
then the three of you will go,
and the woman stays here.
What? Oh, you're really crazy.
You don't seem to understand.
I'm giving you a way out of here,
the only way out.
What if we don't go along
with your proposition?
You will, and sooner than you think.
Do you see this?
In case you don't remember, it's a gun.
If I have to, I'm gonna blow a hole
right through your head.
We'll find the wreck without your help.
Maybe you will,
if you aren't trampled to death first
or eaten alive or die of starvation.
Wait till the Antarctic night comes
and for nine months the black air
hangs round you like a rotten rag.
And your eyes are blinded from the dark
and from your own sweat.
And you'll lose each other!
And you're alone!
Alone! Do you hear me?
Always alone.
Maggie, get out of here, quick. That way.
Hey! Hey!
I backed into it.
It was horrible! Horrible!
It's all right now.
Where's Hunter? He was here.
Oh, we'll never get out of here, Alan!
Never, never, never!
Stop it! Do you hear me? Stop it!
This doesn't sound like you.
We're not licked yet.
Three lives for one, Alan.
Don't you understand?
It's the only way. I've got to go to him.
We'll find the wreck, I tell you.
We don't have time.
Oh, please, Alan, let me do it.
No, and don't talk anymore.
But why should three of you die...
They've given us up.
They're gonna leave without us.
Oh, shut up, will you?
You know something, Lieutenant,
you're a dead duck
just like all the rest of us.
You think I'm blind?
We're all gonna die because of her!
That's enough!
He's right, Alan.
We're not making any deals with Hunter,
not the kind he wants.
Why don't you let Maggie talk for herself?
You, too, Jack?
What's the matter, Alan?
Losing your sense of humor?
Well, what are we waiting for?
Let's find that wreck.
We got two whole days.
Come on, Steve. Pick up where you left off.
I'll keep on working the south end.
I think, darling, we'd better try...
Maggie, where are you?
Get back! Get back!
Where's that wreck? Where's that wreck?
MAGGlE: Stop it! Stop it!
Not before he talks.
Where is it? Where's that wreck?
Tell me or I'll... Where's that wreck? Talk!
You're gonna rot here.
Talk! Talk!
Get out of my way.
You've lost your mind.
Maybe you wanna stay here
for the rest of your life, but not me!
You're not gonna touch him.
Go ahead, Steve.
We're not gonna dig our way out of here
through human flesh.
Not Maggie's, Hunter's, not even yours.
Get out.
No one asked you to come here.
We want to help you.
I don't need your help or your pity.
We all need pity, and we all need help.
Here. It's a map.
It'll show you where the wreck is.
Take it. And leave me alone.
We'll find it.
If it's true that you can't live among beasts
without becoming one,
then it's just as true
that you can't live among human beings
without becoming affected
by their humanity.
Let's get started.
Come on, Maggie.
I'll stay with Hunter.
I'll be all right.
We must have passed this place 20 times.
It'll work.
Okay, Jack. Give it a whirl.
Well, if it doesn't run this time, we've had it.
The battery's just about shot.
Jack, is there anything we can do?
Let's check the ignition system again.
I'm going back to camp.
No! You stay here!
Something's happened to them.
Something's happened to them!
Well, she's running smooth as a watch.
Kick in the rotor and let's see what happens.
Yeah, here goes.
What is it, Steve?
The new rod needs adjusting.
We'll be all right.
How about it, Steve?
I need a little more time.
It's okay now!
Let's go.
Look! There's Maggie and Hunter.
Steve! Get the winch ready.
Oh, look!
Jack, get as close as you can.
Hello, Task Force W. This is Helicopter X-3.
We're airborne and trying to intercept you.
Give us a heading. We're low on fuel.
Repeat, give us a heading,
Hello, Helicopter X-3. Hello, Helicopter X-3.
Our radar has you spotted.
Take a heading of 51 degrees,
We will intercept you,
Proceed to flight deck on the north wind,
We've everything ready for you, Over,
Received your message.
We're coming in. Out.
Hey, there they are!
Probably will be another expedition
next year.
Would you like to come along?
No, thanks. I've had it.
Anyway, the OP likes to rotate assignments.
I wasn't thinking of it
exactly as an assignment.
Oh? What then?
Well, sort of a honeymoon, sort of?
At the South Pole?
Well, it's one way of keeping warm.
That's ridiculous, Alan.
Yeah, I guess it is.
Why, who'd stay home with the baby?
Sure, who'd stay...
What baby?
Ours, silly.
Why, by this time next year...