"But we must face the fact that we have caused a crack in the earth’s crust"

Project Inner Space is a consortium of scientists from all over the world. The project is based in Tanganyika, Africa. The purpose of the consortium is to tap into geothermal energy in the Earth to provide unlimited energy to the Earth. They intend to drill a hole down to the Earth’s core. They run into a snag when they reach a dense layer of material. To get through this barrier they intend to detonate an atomic bomb at the bottom of the hole. Bad idea.

Dr. Stephen Sorenson (Dana Andrews) is the leader of the project. Unknown by the rest of the team Dr. Sorenson is dying of cancer. He feels that the atomic devise will burn through this layer and allow the team to access the magma below. The project chief is geologist Dr. Ted Rampion (Kieron Moore). He is convinced that the lower layers of the Earth’s crust have been weakened by decades of underground nuclear testing and that setting off a nuclear devise this low in the Earth’s crust could create a massive crack in the Earth that would threaten its very existence.

Sorenson explodes the devise anyway. At first blush all looks well until voila. An enormous crack develops in the Earth and the crack continues to expand. Monday morning quarterbacking shows that there was a huge pocket of hydrogen under the magma that turned the little atomic bomb into a really big thermonuclear bomb. The little boom turned into a big boom. How do they plan to stop it? They want to do it again. They lower another atomic devise into an island volcano to try to stop the crack from continuing. Instead it reverses the crack’s direction. If this continues unchecked it could possibly split the Earth in half.

In the middle of all this is a love triangle between Sorenson, his much younger wife Maggie (Janette Scott) and her former boyfriend Rampion. With Maggie wanting a baby and Sorenson dying of cancer you wonder if he is intentionally pushing his wife towards Rampion even thought there is some hostility between the two men. Does Sorenson’s love for his wife override that? It’s something unresolved. You’ll have to decide for yourself if you are a romantic or a realist.

“Crack in the World” is a science fiction/disaster/doomsday movie released in 1965. It stars Dana Andrews, Janette Scott, Kieron Moore and Alexander Knox. The special effects were quite good. Lots of lava flows, earthquakes and wildfires. With Eugene Lourie it’s difficult to go wrong. Of course the science is more fiction than fact. That’s not the point. The point is it’s an interesting movie with good acting and an epic style. As for the science, in movies of this era when there are few known facts as yet, filmmakers have carte blanche to imagine whatever they want. And their imaginations make some fun to watch movies.

There are three major layers to the Earth; the crust, the mantle and the core. The core is usually designated as the outer core and inner core. The outer core is liquid and the inner core is solid.