Professor Lindenbrook (James Mason); one of his students, Alec (Pat Boone); the widow of a fellow professor, Carla (Arlene Dahl); and their Icelandic guide, Hans (Peter Ronson), begin a trek to the center of the earth.
Through many obstacles and surprises, the group makes it to the center of the earth, which turns out to be the sunken city of Atlantis. Despite the wonder of their amazing discovery, they begin to contemplate their fate considering they have no food, no water, and no manner of returning to the surface.
They then discover the skeletal remains of a professor who previously attempted the trek long ago. His bony finger is pointing toward a volcanic chimney with a strong upward draft, but it is blocked by a cave-in. They use some gun powder and blast a hole through the obstruction. This causes temblors, cave-ins, and eventually an eruption. The four get into a very large saucer-shaped sacrificial bowl left over by the Atlantis natives, and, with a little luck, they are able to ride the eruption up to the surface and land in the ocean.
They are rescued by fishing boats and are returned home, where they are hailed as heroes of the scientific community.
Thanks Former Marine!