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Mysterious Island (Widescreen) (1961)

Michael Craig , Joan Greenwood , Cy Endfield , Richard Schickel  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (202 customer reviews)

Price: $44.75 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Mysterious Island (Widescreen) + Journey to the Center of the Earth + Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Price for all three: $66.86

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Craig, Joan Greenwood, Leonard Nimoy, Ray Bradbury, Tom Hanks
  • Directors: Cy Endfield, Richard Schickel
  • Writers: Richard Schickel, Crane Wilbur, Daniel B. Ullman, John Prebble, Jules Verne
  • Producers: Anna Sofroniou
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 29, 2002
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (202 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006JDRG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,163 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mysterious Island (Widescreen)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • The Making of Mysterious Island
  • The Harryhausen Chronicles
  • "This Is Dynamation" featurette
  • Photo gallery

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Jules Verne's classic adventure is perfectly matched with Ray Harryhausen's timeless movie magic in Mysterious Island. Based on Verne's sequel to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, this rousing Civil War-era fantasy begins when a band of Union war prisoners (and one Confederate straggler) escape in a hot-air balloon, which crash-lands on the titular island of mystery. Verne's novel doesn't include any gigantic creatures, but Harryhausen's version--under the capable direction of genre specialist Cy Endfield--features giant oysters, bees, a prehistoric Phororhacos (a giant chickenlike bird!), an undersea cephalopod, a giant crab, and enough danger to keep its resourceful ensemble on constant alert. Captain Nemo (Herbert Lom, ably filling James Mason's shoes) is a third-act hero, pursuing an ill-fated dream to save humanity from hunger and war. The action may be too intense for younger viewers, but Endfield's pacing and Harryhausen's stop-motion mastery make Mysterious Island a wondrous precursor to Harryhausen's follow-up classic, Jason and the Argonauts. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

Based on Jules Vern's classic novel, MYSTERIOUS ISLAND is the story of five men escaping from a Confederate prison in an observation balloon. When they land the balloon, they find themselves on a South Seas island where they encounter pirates, a giant bird, a giant crab and even Captain Nemo.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
73 of 76 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rip roaring adventure December 11, 2003
Format:DVD
Mysterious Island was always a favorite Harryhausen film of mine as a kid. The screenplay and direction (like those for The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad and Jason and The Argonauts)is top notch. Director Cy Endfield has a solid cast and the pacing along with Bernard Herrmann's classic score creates an eerie and, well, mysterious feeling for most of the movie. The stand out in the cast is, of course, the marvelous and under rated Herbert Lom as Captain Nemo. If you haven't seen the film, I'd rather not spoil the third act of the film for you so won't go into too much detail.

The Civil War is tearing America apart. A small group of Union soldiers and a reporter escape a military prison during the seige of Richmond, Virginia. They also have a There's a scouting balloon just outside the prison walls. As the attack rages, the prisoners escape in the balloon. They are washed up ashore on an uncharted island with a brewing volcano.

It's not ordinary island (no surprise)though as they discover a giant crab and later, giant bees, chickens and other creatures. They're joined in their Robinson Crusoe adventure by a couple of women who are later washed ashore from a shipwreck. They soon discover the origin of the giant beasts and some nasty news about the volcano as well.

The cast gives a good performance. Gary Merrill (best known for All About Eve and former husband of Betty Davis) and Michael Callan are the most recognizable faces. Callan was a regular in a number of movies and television shows as a supporting actor. Joan Greenwood also gives a convincing performance as well. Still, the stand out here is the brooding performance as Herbert Lom. Lom always managed to raise the bar in any film he appeared in.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Harryhausen's BEST!!! November 2, 2002
By A Customer
Format:DVD
After "JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS", this has always been one of my favorite pictures by special effects guru RAY HARRYHAUSEN. The story is great, the monsters (especially the giant crab) look fantastic and HERBERT LOM is wonderful as CAPTAIN NEMO ("Contact with my species has always disappointed me"). The picture and sound on the DVD is most pleasing. My only complaint (and its a minor one), is I'm tired of seeing the hour long special "THE HARRYHAUSEN CHRONICLES" as a bonus feature. I think its on every Harryhausen disc except "JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS". Its a nice feature (don't get me wrong) but does it have to be on EVERY DISC? But the movie is what's most important and this is a very enjoyable film given a nice presentation on this DVD. Buy it and enjoy!!!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent family film, both entertaining and substantial. September 4, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Those who have become accustomed to the virtually limitless possibilities of computer-generated special effects should learn to appreciate the "old ways," the by-now-primitive techniques that delivered the goods while working within the limits of the technology of the time. When you consider that Mysterious Island was produced in 1961, you have to marvel at the way the oversized creatures were brought to life in this film, thanks to the magical touch of Ray Harryhausen, the acknowledged master of stop-motion animation. But more than the special effects, this production is well-acted, beautifully filmed, perfectly scored, and intelligently written. Plus, it's an excellent way to introduce the kids to Jules Verne. I eagerly await the DVD release of this movie.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Robinson Crusoe Seven May 13, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
A very entertaining adventure movie for the whole family with the F/X (special effects) of Ray Harryhausen and music of Bernard Herrmann. Once again this adaptation doesn't follow the book entirely. You still get the same great entertainment even though it does not. Castaway some men and women on an island without "Wilson", but with Captain Nemo, giant animals, giant insects, and cutthroat pirates. This all adds up to fun like the older version of Swiss Family Robinson, Treasure Island, or some other equivalent classic. Although not produced by Disney it is the same type of quality family oriented film with great cast, sets, special effects, and music. This was English made so the accents are a little thick for being Americans, but the acting is top notch. Well worth owning on DVD. If you enjoyed the Harryhausen version of "Jason and the Argonauts" you should enjoy this.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The finest Jules Verne film adaptation September 17, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This film is perhaps the best of the Verne adaptations, with solid direction from Cy Endfield, who right after this film , co produced and directed the epic classic, ZULU. Ray Harryhausen's special effects are a major part of the film for sure, but, the acting , script and drama, are also of equal caliber. Bernard Herrmann's score is a milestone in film music history. The London Symphony Orchestra gives the score the full power of Herrmann's genius (the new surround stereo sound is amazing to hear). Contrary to a previous review, the main title theme is not repeated over and over again, but is used only at the beginning, (one of the most dramatic main titles ever composed) and once more before the volcano eruption. Herbert Lom's performance of Capt. Nemo is of equal stature to James Mason's in Disneys 20,000 Leagues. The photography,art direction and sets etc. are exquisite. Of all of the Harryhausen films, this is the most character driven,and, a story where the human element is not secondary to the special effects.Produced with a big budget and with great taste,It embodies the very essence of adventure and drama and fun,that few if any films today can even approach.
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