HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
Sweat
Quiet Place Part II, A
Nobody
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Mandibles
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Triggered
Claw
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
Hall
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Superhost
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
   
 
Newest Articles
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
   
 
  Mysterious Island Finding Nemo
Year: 1961
Director: Cy Endfield
Stars: Michael Craig, Joan Greenwood, Michael Callan, Gary Merrill, Herbert Lom, Beth Rogan, Percy Herbert, Dan Jackson
Genre: Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Loosely adapted from Jules Verne’s 1875 novel, L’Ile Mistereuse, special effects genius Ray Harryhausen delivers perhaps the ultimate “Boy’s Own” adventure. Chockfull of treasures and set to a rousing symphony from Bernard Herrmann. During the American Civil War, a group of Union soldiers led by Captain Cyrus Harding (Michael Craig) stage a daring escape from a Confederate prison in a hot air balloon. Stranded on a - you guessed it - mysterious island, the soldiers discover another group of castaways, including lovely Lady Mary Fairchild (the wonderful Joan Greenwood) and daughter, Elena (Beth Rogan).

The survivors set about transforming their surroundings into a Swiss Family Robinson-style, island paradise, but come under attack from giant crabs, killer bees and an enormous, man-eating bird. These outsized animals turn out to be the experiments of legendary genius, Captain Nemo (Herbert Lom), hidden in a cavern aboard his fabulous submarine, Nautilus. Nemo helps the castaways fend off marauding pirates. He devises hi-tech diving suits and energy weapons to slay a squid-like monster, the Chambered Nautiloid, so they may escape the island before its volcano explodes.

Harryhausen can always be counted on to deliver fast-paced monster action, but Mysterious Island contains a plethora of additional ingredients that lift it to another realm entirely. Whereas most of Harryhausen’s live-action directors were solid journeymen, McCarthy exile Cy Endfield was a cut above. By result, the opening balloon escape and subsequent action sequences are breathlessly staged, while the performances are almost uniformly excellent. Michael Craig is a steadfast and resourceful hero, but the standouts are Herbert Lom and Joan Greenwood. In one of his finest roles, Lom embellishes the world-weary melancholia James Mason brought to Jules Verne’s warrior-pacifist in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954). Nemo may be a misunderstood genius hiding out from his persecutors, but hasn’t entirely given up on humanity. The multi-authored screenplay touches upon Verne’s themes of pacifism and class struggle, although the emphasis remains on action.

Greenwood’s plucky, resourceful Lady Fairchild is no simpering damsel, but stands shoulder to shoulder with the men folk. Described as a crack shot, the one letdown is that a misfiring rifle foils her one chance to bag a monster. Incidentally, that flightless bird mistakenly thought of as a giant chicken, is meant to be prehistoric Phorusrhacos. Harryhausen intended the island to be full of prehistoric animals, until the script was rewritten to include Nemo’s experiments with growth hormones (His intention is to solve world hunger and thus do away with war).

L’Ile Mistereuse inspired several less than faithful screen adaptations (more than 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea), including Ishirô Honda’s crazy Jules Verne/spy spoof/monster movie Latitude Zero (1969), The Mysterious Island of Captain Nemo (1972) with Omar Sharif, Monster Island (1980), and even Jean-Claude Forest’s comic book sequel to Barbarella (1967), Mysterious Planet. However, it’s the extra touches that keep Endfield/Harryhausen’s film endlessly watchable: the luxurious interiors of the Nautilus, Beth Rogan modelling a goatskin mini-dress, the haunting ruins of an underwater civilization, and Dan Jackson - one of the first black actors who gets to play a proper hero instead of comedy relief..
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 4821 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (3)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: