“If we could go deep enough, we’d all be surprised at the creatures down there!”
When a biology professor (Paul Lukas) and his assistant (Peter Lorre), along with a harpoonist (Kirk Douglas), find themselves trapped in a secret submarine helmed by mad Captain Nemo (James Mason), they plot their escape — but not before many life-harrowing adventures ensue.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- At Sea
- James Mason Films
- Jules Verne Adaptations
- Kirk Douglas Films
- Paul Lukas Films
- Peter Lorre Films
- Richard Fleischer Films
Walt Disney rolled the dice on this big-budget, live-action, Cinemascope extravaganza, made just before he opened the first Disney Land. It ended up costing more than any other movie at that time — and it didn’t make a profit for awhile — but it was an enormous success, and generations of kids grew up adoring it. In addition to still-impressive special effects and art direction (both of which won Oscars):
… the movie features a typically powerhouse performance by Mason as Captain Nemo (what perfect casting):
… and holds our engagement until the end. A definite highlight is the harrowing battle against a giant squid (which had to be completely reshot when the initial conceptualization didn’t work):
While this film isn’t must-see viewing, it will likely be of interest to film fanatics given its place in Disney and cinema history.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- James Mason as Captain Nemo
- Oscar-winning art direction and special effects
- Fine Cinemascope cinematography
No, but it’s certainly worth a one-time look for its historical importance.