Wonderful Verne adaptation. Watched this one recently and was delighted to find it stands the test of time as one of the better Disney live action films on the market. A quality take on Jules Verne's advanced story of subs and the atomic threat that was soon to become ever so prominent in the public conscious. This adaptation is a corking sci-fi adventure that benefits from great work from all involved. The cast are just smashing, James Mason is the stand out as the barmy but intelligent protagonist Capt. Nemo, gruff and menacing with a dandy slice of camp into the proceedings. Then we have Kirk Douglas who out Popeye's Popeye, tough and rugged with a song and dance to help moral moving along, and even taking time out to befriend a seal to help jolly the film in heart. Peter Lorre is solid as ever, and Paul Lukas almost steals the show as the conflicted Professor Pierre Aronnax. The sets are wonderful, the direction seamless, and the special effects make it hard to believe this was made back in the early 1950s, but ultimately its a story for adults and an adventure for the kids. Containing a giant squid sequence that sees Mason & Douglas fighting it to the death serves as proof positive that 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is an unadulterated joy. 9/10
A stylish, colourful adaptation of perhaps Jules Verne's most famous story with James Mason as the superbly determined, if blinkered "Captain Nemo" who has decided that the best way to eradicate war is to destroy the tools of warfare. To that end, he targets warships at sea and sinks them by ramming them with his early ironclad submarine the "Nautilus". His tortured soul is cleverly epitomised by the rousing organ music and tight close ups of his face - and of his eyes. Kirk Douglas, Paul Lukas and a creepily obsequious Peter Lorre are rescued from one such attack and our tale develops from there. It's a great fantasy adventure story, tinged with some consciousness and even a bit of pity - though in the end I was definitely with "Nemo" so found the conclusion a bit disappointing. Definitely Walt Disney storytelling at it's best with some groundbreaking underwater photography.
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