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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1997)

Michael Caine , Patrick Dempsey , Rod Hardy  |  NR |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Caine, Patrick Dempsey, Mia Sara, Bryan Brown, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
  • Directors: Rod Hardy
  • Writers: Brian Nelson, Jules Verne
  • Producers: Dean Barnes, Jeffrey M. Hayes, Keith Pierce, Richard Pierce, Tom Hoffie
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 25, 2006
  • Run Time: 158 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000E8JO3C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,577 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

The year is 1886 and New England's fishing harbor is the scene for a "creature of unknown origin" destroying all ships at sea. It is the job of a curious marine expert, Professor Pierre Aronnax (Patrick Dempsey from the hit TV show "Grey's Anatomy") and the iron-willed sailor, Ned Land (Bryan Brown) to learn the truth of the "monster" roaming the depths of the ocean. Their discovery begins when they encounter the reclusive Captain Nemo (Academy Award Winner Michael Caine) and learn of his surprising relationship with the terrorizing "creature" and all the other secrets lurking in the waters.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars With Respect for the Jules Verne Classic Novel May 26, 2006
Few knew when Jules Verne was writing his futuristic novels in the 19th century that such entertaining page-turners would foretell so much reality. In this 1997 adaptation of Verne's '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' the screenwriter (Brian Nelson) and director Rod Hardy have elected to pay homage to the scientific aspects of the thriller rather than make the story into a cartoon. And though it is a long song (3 hours), it plays well and introduces some fine special effects and philosophical statements about environmental issues, slavery, feminism, familial relationships, and commitment to dreams. Not bad for a Sci-Fi novel!

The cast is solid: Patrick Dempsey makes a wholesome, handsome Pierre Arronax, Bryan Brown as the driven sailor Ned Land, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is excellent as Cabe Attucks (nice to see this fine actor in a role far different than the one he played on the TV series 'Oz'), John Bach is the arrogant father Thierry Arronax, and Mia Sara serves up the beefed up role of Mara nicely. But the submarine mysterious ship Nautilus surfaces or sinks at the hands of Captain Nemo and while Michael Caine isn't the embodiment of evil we so often see, he finds the soul of the driven scientist whose goal is to protect the 'surface' he has forsaken to scuttle the seas in search of ways to stop future earthquakes topside.

Originally made as a mini-series for television in 1997, the movie for sails along, holding our attention and fascination for the full three hours, not only because we care about the characters, but also because we are treated to some spectacular underwater sequences and a Nautilus that is as elegant a vessel as Verne described. And yes, Captain Nemo still plays the pipe organ as part of the musical score.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Micheal Caine is Captain Nemo May 24, 2006
By J.R.
This isn't just a movie; it's a ride on the Nautilus. There is no comparison between this version and the Disney one; they are two completely different entities. This version is much more intelligent and mature. The characters are treated with respect and portrayed believably by an incredible cast. Everything on the ship and in the underwater scenes are pure eye-candy.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
By S. H.
This mini series may not be as popular as " The Odyssey" or " Merlin". In fact, many people may not recall it because it recieved a poor rating. But this version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is the first mini series I can remember sitting all the way through and enjoying it. I think part of the reason it was rated so poorly is because it was compared to the Kirk Douglas film of the same name. I am one of those people who are strongly against comparing so called "remakes". Pretend you have never seen the original and just enjoy the movie for what it is. Michael Caine (Batman Begins), Patrick Dempsey (Scream 3), and Mia Sara (Legend) are 3 good reasons to at the very least give this mini series a shot. I am not saying that everyone will like this movie, but how will you know if you don't try it out? It may be a future addition to your DVD collection.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars underrated, treat it as it's own thing April 13, 2009
I watched this movie when it originally aired on TV, and it inspired me to want to read the book. I had only seen the Disney movie before, but not since I was a little kid so I didn't really remember it. The book ended up being really different, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying this movie. The Stanley Kubrick version of The Shining doesn't have much to do with the book it's based on either, but I still love it. If you can watch this version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea as it's own thing, it's actually really good. I actually always thought it was one of the best made-for-tv movies, and I wanted to see it again but they never reaired it. Finally it came out on DVD after YEARS of searching for it, and I still like it.

I don't understand all the negative reviews. I'm probably going to get attacked for this, but I actually like this better than the Disney movie, which I watched again not long after this aired. The Disney movie feels to me like a travelogue and has minimal story. This version has a better story and a more climactic ending. There's more happening. It's darker, edgier. There's more character development, and a couple new characters (Nemo's daughter, played by Mia Sara), which may make some people mad but I thought it added to the story. One of the criticisms I've heard people make of Jules Verne is that he wasn't very good at writing women. All the same themes and ideas are here, some of them are just presented in a different way. The special effects aren't as good as I remembered, they look kind of cheap, but halfway through the movie you stop noticing because you're drawn into the story.

Anyway, give it a chance. You may be pleasantly surprised.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Wandering Film September 28, 2007
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea has been adapted many times for television. Some of these film interpretations have been wonderful, and others are plain trash.

Regarding THIS version (with Michael Caine, Patrick Dempsey, and Mia Sara), the greatest positive I was able to find is that the film does have some action packed moments and makes the veiwer feel sorry for Captain Nemo (and sympathize with his cause).

However, the name of the film, a captain called Nemo, a ship-sinking submarine, a professor called Arronax, a harponer named Ned Land, and a lot of angry sentiment about the world above the ocean are basically the only things the novel and this film have in common.

In short, if you want a more accurate telling of the novel, purchase the classic Disney version (starring Kirk Douglas & James Mason). However, if you do not mind being surprise with a different rising action and climax, than this 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea could be just the adaptation for you.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good for a miniseries
This television show from the 80's looks pretty good but not great on my plasma screen. The acting,script and story line are pretty good in spite of the deviation from the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ted Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Call me crazy but i liked this adapation.
The Kirk Douglass adaption from 1954 will always be my favorite adaption of the classic novel. It had the perfect cast, story line but the one problem with that one was to an... Read more
Published 3 months ago by ClassicRocker
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring, not near as good as the original.
I thought for sure this might be an actual upgrade from the original 20,000 leagues under the sea. I'm a big fan of many of the stars in this version but I still prefer the earlier... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Stillapistol
1.0 out of 5 stars Dont waste your time or money..
I just wasted an hour and a half watching this movie and I like Patrick Dempsey and Michael Cain. Ugh
Published 5 months ago by mp123
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this Movie, so glad I got the DVD.
I remember watching this movie on TV and thought it was the best adaptation of Jules Verne's twenty thousand leagues under the sea. Read more
Published 8 months ago by jennifer taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Nice
This wasn't what we thought it would be. We really enjoyed it though. It was much better than we though it would be. Nicely done science fiction movie.
Published 10 months ago by Lynda Dunbar
4.0 out of 5 stars 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, Michael Caine
I think I'm going to have to read the book. I had fallen in love with the Disney version, but now with all the newer versions, I'm going to have to find out the real story. Read more
Published 19 months ago by John Baitz
2.0 out of 5 stars Corny! And only vaguely represents the novel...
A number of added and omitted characters from the novel. The squid scene is VERY weak, even the 1950's version has a significantly better and more fun squid scene. Read more
Published on December 30, 2011 by Reptile
3.0 out of 5 stars A Surprise!
I did not know what to expect when I purchased this. It is surprisingly good. Caine doesn't look Indian, but still makes a plausible and somewhat menacing Nemo. Read more
Published on February 23, 2011 by Duane R. Wirdel
Published on April 9, 2010 by Lawrence17
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