Mysterious Island

Year: 1961

Production: Columbia

Director: Cy Endfield

Starring: Michael Craig, Joan Greenwood, Michael Callan, Herbert Lom

Screenwriter: John Prebble, Daniel Ullman, Crane Wilbur

Based on L'Ile Mysterieuse (1875) by Jules Verne

100 minutes; Color


This is a jovial showcase for Ray Harryhausen's robust special effects, with a luxuriant musical score by Bernard Herrmann. Prisoners escape by balloon from a confederate prison during the American Civil War and are washed ashore on a remote Pacific island. They encounter a giant crab, two female castaways, a giant prehistoric bird, huge bees, pirates, a deserted underwater city, Captain Nemo (Lom) himself, with his famous submarine Nautilus and, of course, an erupting volcano.

Other versions included one made by MGM in 1929, a Russian version was - surprisingly - made in wartime, in 1941, Columbia produced a 15-part serial in 1951, and Omar Sharif starred in a French/Italian/Spanish co-production made in 1972.

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

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