Trans-Atlantic Tunnel (1935)

THE TRANSATLANTIC TUNNEL is a sci-fi film set in the near future. The story is about a joint American-British effort to build this tunnel. Additionally, the toll this takes on the men (in particular the chief engineer) and the behind the scenes machinations are explored.

This is a really neat sci-fi movie in many ways. While the idea of a transatlantic tunnel is ridiculously far-fetched, the special effects for this British film are amazingly realistic and well executed. It’s really too bad, then, that the soap opera built around it is poor. However, because the film is so astounding to look at, it’s still well worth a look.

The British film makers enlisted Richard Dix for the lead in this film. He was a big name for the time and he would presumably bring American audiences to see this film. Whether or not this worked, I have no idea, but although I like Dix in other films, here he isn’t particularly distinguished. This would be more obvious had it not been that many of the British cast were pretty dreadful. And, because the dialog was so poor, it only made this seem worse.

As I said, this is all pretty sad, as the special effects were great. Seeing giant television sets, videophones, cool futuristic cars and the tunnel itself were all absolutely amazing. In fact, it’s one of the best sci-fi films of the time and this aspect of the film alone merit a 9 or 10–not bad for a relatively low budget film.