20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

"Good"

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea Review


Even grander and more rambling than Swiss Family Robinson, Walt Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea simultaneously sets a bar for both child-friendly epicness and overblown goofiness. On one hand there's the classic attack of a giant squid, on the other there's hokey moments with a singing Kirk Douglas and natives doing a hot-foot dance as they're electrocuted on a trap.

Corny, but I guess that's what Jules Verne wrote back in the mid-1800s. The hot-foot dance hadn't become a cliche yet.

The film is a hodgepodge of hgihlights and lowlights. First our nature expert Paul Lukas (with expert harpooner Douglas and assistant Peter Lorre in tow) spend half an hour circling the Pacific in search of a giant monster that's been sinking ships. They finally give up, but not until we see countless Jacques Cousteau outtakes of schooling fish, lobster harvesting, etc. But then they're rammed by a submarine equipped with a spike on its nose and commanded by the malevolent Captain Nemo (James Mason), who's hatching some kind of fiendish plot to (essentially) destroy the world (when he's not playing his underwater pipe organ, that is).

It's a curious way to spend two hours, hit and miss all the way, but often dazzling in Cinemascope grandeur. Even Douglas's singing isn't half bad. And Mason is quite memorable as the megalomanic captain.

Squid battle aside, though, 20,000 Leagues doesn't give us much more pioneering footage, and that doesn't take place until the very end. The rest of the film -- in retrospect -- is just waiting for the finale.

Disney has issued the film on DVD finally and if you're a fan, it's a grandiose adventure hardly equalled anywhere else. The remastered film (with THX sound) adds a commentary from director Richard Fleischer (now 87). A second disc includes hours of extras: outtakes, behind-the-scenes archives, script bits, and Grand Canyonscope, the animated short that was appended to the film in its original release.



20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Run time: 127 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 23rd December 1954

Box Office Worldwide: $28.2M

Budget: $5M

Distributed by: Disney

Production compaines: Walt Disney Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Fresh: 24 Rotten: 3

IMDB: 7.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer:

Starring: as Ned Land, as Captain Nemo, as Prof. Pierre Arronax, as Conseil, Robert J. Wilke as First Mate of the Nautilus, as Capt. Farragut, as John Howard, J. M. Kerrigan as Billy, Percy Helton as Coach Driver, Ted Cooper as Mate on 'Lincoln'

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

The surprisingly thoughtful prequel trilogy comes to a powerful conclusion with this robust, dramatic thriller,...

It Comes At Night Movie Review

It Comes At Night Movie Review

This sharply original horror film not only approaches its premise from an unexpected angle, but...

Okja Movie Review

Okja Movie Review

As Tilda Swinton reteams with her Snowpiercer director, Korea's Bong Joon Ho, it's perhaps unsurprising...

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

This may be the third reboot of this franchise in 15 years, risking audience exhaustion,...

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Actually the fourth film in the series (don't forget the prequel Minions), this animated super-villain...

Baby Driver Movie Review

Baby Driver Movie Review

Wildly energetic and so cool it hurts, this action movie has been put together in...

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

There's a clear sense that this Tupac Shakur biopic is hoping to build on the...

Advertisement
Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.