Top positive review
7 people found this helpful
Bona-fide Science/Speculative Fiction Classic, from 1950's Disney = Jules Verne's "20,0000 Leagues Under the Sea"!!
on February 13, 2015
The 1950's generally was not a great decade for Science/Speculative fiction films, most were grade B (or even C & D) Level , bug-eyed monster-fests = which although sometimes entertaining (and even oftentimes unintentionally hilarious), they generally did not evoke that heightened `sense-of-Wonder' later transmitted by the now revered Classics of the genre like `Star Wars' (especially Empire Strikes Back), CE3k, Kubrick's `2001' more recently Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' et al.
In the 1950's those `thought-provoking' classics were few and far between ("Forbidden-Planet" "Day the Earth Stood Still" and George Pal's "War of the Worlds" come to mind, as stellar-exceptions!) But one worthy film, that I often forget about = "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" mainly because 1) it is sort of `retro' SciFi, taking place in the 1860's but with amazingly-futuristic technological Wonders nonetheless (especially the magnificent-aquatic-Super-submersible "Nautilus" and 2) being produced by Walt Disney (a name not usually synonymous with great-cutting-edge SciFi films.)
But to give credit where credit is due............ Disney's version of Jules Verne's imaginative under-water epic "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" has to be considered one of the finest, most impressive efforts at bringing the World of the truly `fantastic' directly to the Big-screen. Combining Top-Notch storytelling, conceptual-artistry, special-effects (ground-breakingly creative and technically proficient for the time) along with first-rate acting, and spectacular set-design!
With a multi-dimensional personification of `Captain Nemo' as `anti-hero' archetype whose core-principles might often be in the right/justified (i.e. often siding with the downtrodden) - but whose actions are just as often cold-blooded and merciless (i.e. living strictly by the `ends-justify-means' mantra - with no room for soft-heartedness or hesitation). James Mason treads this line between `dark and light' masterfully!
The rest of the cast is also fine = Kirk Douglas as heroic master-harpoonist `Ned Land' successfully battling that Giant-squid = multi-armed (or is that multi-legged?) aquatic-pointy-headed-Behemoth, that appears enormously `alive & kicking'! - and Peter Lorre being the epitome of eccentric-quirkiness!
A Timeless-classic indeed! And still a most impressive Cinematic achievement (after 60years)!