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The 3 Worlds of Gulliver

4.4 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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(Apr 16, 2002)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Kerwin Mathews stars as Gulliver, the swashbuckling doctor who sets sail for fame and fortune in the fabled East Indies, but finds adventure, romance and danger instead in Brobdingnag and Lilliput, the infamous lands of the great and small. One of the most complicated films of its time, THE 3 WORLDS OF GULLIVER is both an enchanting fantasy and a captivating visual treat. Because the storyline calls for scenes that juxtapose forty-foot giants with six-inch-tall people, special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen perfected a state-of-the-art trick photography process so innovative, they had to invent a new word for it: Superdynamation.

Amazon.com

Imaginative special effects by the legendary Ray Harryhausen are the highlights of this adaptation of Jonathan Swift's classic fantasy novel. Kerwin Mathews, who rose to fame after appearing opposite Harryhausen's "Superdynamation" effects in The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958), stars as the English Dr. Gulliver, whose travels bring him in contact with both the diminutive Lilliputians and the gigantic Brobdingnagians. Director Jack Sher's script (with Arthur Ross) tempers Swift's pointed satire in favor of broader humor, and the musical numbers are decidedly unwelcome, but viewers of all ages will be delighted by the film's spirited action and Bernard Herrmann's rousing score. Harryhausen aficionados may be disappointed by the lack of fantastical creatures on display (though a giant squirrel and alligator are impressive), but his matte work here is nothing short of spectacular. --Paul Gaita

Special Features

  • Making-of featurette
  • "This is Dynamation" featurette
  • "The Harryhausen Chronicles" featurette

Product Details

  • Actors: Kerwin Mathews, Sherry Alberoni, Ray Harryhausen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, Widescreen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Columbia Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: April 16, 2002
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000062XE5
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,066 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The 3 Worlds of Gulliver" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Berkley S. Summers on March 28, 2005
Format: DVD
If you're considering a purchase of this title, but are wary because of the occasional misinformation and confusion regarding the original screen ratio and the preservation of this ratio in the transfer, then don't fret. With no intention of starting a debate, I can comfortably state that the film hasn't been re-formatted to fit your screen (although this is inaccurately stated before the film begins). Concerned that the studio/corporation had balked on an authentic widescreen transfer, I spent more time than I care to admit in pursuit of clues and/or answers without doing any severe film-scholar-like research. Anyway, although you may encounter what appears to be a 16X9 transfer in the U.K. and EU markets, I don't believe that these are any more accurate than the supposed widescreen preview/trailer found on several of the Harryhausen Collection discs. In fact, it's the very preview on "3 Worlds" for "3 Worlds" that solved the riddle. Here's the deal: It's a banded, or barred trailer (wherein the black bars at the top and bottom are actually hiding or covering the picture beneath). Whether this was done for exhibition on a 1:85 to 1 or 16X9 big screen, I can't say, but the visual material in between the bars is composed the same as the "supposedly" cropped transfer. I took a couple of easy-to-find images from the trailer and double-checked them by using the chapter search. Anyway, you don't want the widescreen version of "3 Worlds" anymore than you want a widescreen version of "Shane." It simply isn't the screen ratio in which these films were shot. If you think I'm wrong, then please check for yourself. Screen composition and visuals are only being compromised in the artificially "wide" versions.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
Jonathan Swift's satirical novel is given the Ray Harryhausen treatment, and though most of the satire is lost, there still remains echoes of it. For instance, the war the Lilliputians are involved in revolves around the best way to crack open your eggs...from the top or the bottom? And of course in Brobdingnag, any unusual behavior is attached to witchcraft..sound familiar?
At any rate, this is one of the least visually impressive of Harryhausen's works, mainly because the script didn't call for a lot of the trademark stop action effects. The squirrel and alligator are impressive, but don't come near any of the other creatures Harryhausen so brilliantly created. For a 1960 film, however, the effects are impressive.
Kerwin Mathews, who gained his stardom with THE SEVENTH VOYAGE OF SINBAD and JACK THE GIANT KILLER is sort of a British John Gavin. His dashing good looks and charming accent made him an ideal catch for the idealist Gulliver. Jo Morrow (the original 13 Ghosts) played Gwendolyn, and June Thorburn (Tom Thumb) was Gulliver's Elizabeth. The talented character actor Gregoire Aslan was a perfectly foppish Emperor, and Lee Patterson (Tv'S Surfside 6) a gallant prime minister.
While not a bad film by any means, GULLIVER just doesn't have the overwhelming magic of previous Harryhausen efforts. But it is entertaining and I think kids will like it.
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This isn't really a five-star disk, but it is worth seeing. To anyone who has ever read the Jonathan Swift book, this production leaves a lot to be desired. Still, for what it covers, it isn't all bad and in fact is kind of cute, in places. It's really more for children than adults, but it's not too bad, overall. If you're just looking for a good old fashioned no-brainer, this will fill the bill nicely. As I said, it's got its cute moments and and least is not sickeningly sweet, like some versions of classics put on film. This one is okay for an afternoon's relaxing.
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Format: DVD
Who doesn't like a bit of whimsy now and then?

Yes, this movie is overly cute and the ending is a bit of a cheat, and no it's not that faithful to Jonathan Swift's book (they get around that though, with the disclaimer that the story is only "based" on his book). As presented here, this version definitely marginalizes the classic in a manner unkind. But it's impossible to stay angry because this movie is so darn................cute. It helps that Kerwin Mathews does a swell job as Gulliver. All the actors, more or less, do their job proud. The story rushes along at a breakneck speed. The music, by the accomplished composer Bernard Herrmann, is fun. The biggest letdown is the lack of special effects by Ray Harryhausen. One gator fight and that's pretty much it but for the basic job of turning big people little and vice versa. If I had to fault this film for anything it's the crap ending they rushed through like there was a time limit placed upon the filmmakers.
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I remember watching 3 WORLDS OF GULLIVER on tv in my childhood and this movie was released in 1960, my birth year! While the story was simplified for a wide audience the foolishness of both the Lileputian king and the Brobdinagian king was entertaining to me then as well as now. The giant girl Glomdalglitch seemed much more adult and mature then the older, adult Bromdinagian king! After 8 years of being ruled by emperior (President) George W. Bush, the story satirising both war and ignorance, fear in our rulers and goverment, still rings true today! Kerwin Matthews as Gulliver is more appealing then Ted Danson in the same role. I remember feeling the peril of Gulliver and Elizabeth as Glomdalglitch helps them escape from the giant king and his court which have accused Gulliver of witchcraft! I read in "Imagi- Movies" magazine where Jack Sher, the director of Gulliver, said," We were planning the scene where this little boat like object (Glumdalclitch's basket) floats down the river with Gulliver and the girl, and the giants are throwing rocks at it. I said, 'Charlie( Charles Schneer) look , if they hit that little boat, we're in trouble. Give me 8 or 9.' Now those little boats probably cost $1.20 each. So we get up there, and the giants hurl rocks, and one of them barely misses the boat. I turn to the assistant director and say, 'You'd better get me some more of those boats.' He says, 'Charlie only had one made.' ' Well you could've heard me all the way to Madrid! I was so f***ing pissed off. I could've killed him! And Harryhausen- that was the only time I saw him mad. So there I was with one damned boat. I told the actors ' For God's sake don't hit it!' That drives you crazy, because you want them to come as close as they can." Schneer was always trying to save money!Read more ›
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