Mysterious Island (1961)
Pssst, want to check out Mysterious Island in our new look?
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Jules Verne's The Mysterious Island was a strange piece of connective tissue in what we might now call the Verneverse, as it not only continued (and concluded) the story of Captain Nemo from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, but also made use of characters from In Search of the Castaways. The 1961 film does away with that last bit in favor of shipwrecked ladies to create romantic tension, and treats Nemo as a movie icon returning to the screen as a third act reveal, but of course doesn't care about some of the book's revelations as this is not strictly speaking a sequel. Before he shows up, this is a perfectly find adventure movie, with good action sequences, several of them against Harryhausen creations. After, I feel like the production design is all over the place, presenting a sunken city in the Pacific that is half Greco-Roman, half-Egyptian, while Nemo's stuff is part George Pal, part Flash Gordon, part Aquaman. The ending IS more cinematic and satisfying than the book's, however, but ultimately, the film, like the novel, is a bit of a Frankenstein's Monster.
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