Who’s in this?
Herbert Lom as Captain Nemo of the Nautilus. The late Herbert Lom had a career that spanned over fifty years with over 100 credits. He was in Spartacus, The Ladykillers and plenty of horror films including the Dead Zone, Asylum and Hammer’s Phantom of the opera. He is perhaps most known for playing the Chief Inspector in the Pink Panther films. There is no mistaking his powerful voice. He passed away in his sleep last fall at the age of 95.
Michael Craig as Captain Harding of the Union Army. Craig worked started working on film in the late 40’s and has a credit as recently as 2011. He has also worked on stage quite a bit over the years. In the 1970’s he moved to Australia and much of his work since then has been there.
Joan Greenwood as Lady Mary a shipwreck victim who washes onto the island. She got into acting in her late teens and most of her more known work came shortly after that.
Michael Callan as Herbert Brown a young Union soldier. Callan had a singing and dancing background, but mainly played a guys with girl troubles in TV and movies.
What’s this about? A few Union soldiers escape from a prison camp by hot air balloon taking a along a reporter and a Confederate soldier. Unfortunately luck is not on their side as they take the balloon into a terrible storm that blows off to a remote island in the Pacific Ocean. Eventually they run into a giant crab (the one with the claws not a big, grumpy person). Later they find two woman who survived the sinking of their boat. There is a run in with a giant bird which they eventually win. So this island is just full of giant thingies. They also deal with pirates and giant bees. Then just when you think this little island is crazy it gets even more so as Captain Nemo shows up saying he’s been helping this group all along and he has a submarine nearby, but it’s in rough shape. Nemo also says the volcano on the island will soon erupt and kill them if they don’t find a way to get away from the island. His idea is to pump up this pirate ship that he just sunk, patch the whole and boom they’ll be out of here. It doesn’t work quite that smoothly as Nemo doesn’t make it but the rest of them do get away in the ship. Roll the credits and so long to the Mysterious Island that’s now be covered by icky lava.
The negatives-Actually I have no gripes. However I should mention some complaints I’ve heard about it. So this movie is based on Jules Verne’s book of the same name, but the book is very different. There are no giant monsters or shipwrecked woman so some snoots growl at this movie for taking liberties and making it so different from the book. Ray Harryhausen said when he was a approached with the idea of doing a film of this book he felt it would be tough because there wasn’t enough there to make an action movie so we got giant monsters and shipwrecked woman.
The positives-I think this is one of Harryhausen’s best films with some great creations. It’s also a strong action movie as well. I first saw this when I was 12 and was mesmerized plus I still love it. The action is good enough, the locations are great and the pace is steady. A strong movie indeed that has stood up very well over time.
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