When I viewed the VHS version of this film a couple of years ago, I was bitterly disappointed by the poor quality which made the watching experience actually painful to a fan like me. But, let me tell you, this DVD is as thrilling as the VHS was painful. This fully-restored version of the film comes roaring back to life in all of its glory and then some. It's the best film restoration these old eyes have ever beheld. Watched on a state-of-the-art widescreen TV, this is every bit the experience it was in the '50's and I think it's wonderful that this great film is now preserved for the ages, just as it was when it was first released.
Is this a perfect movie? No. Even as a kid, I noticed that the background music was too cheesy, that Kirk Douglas's songs seemed gratuitous, that the fish swimming outside the large porthole were cartoonish, and that the electrically-illuminated eye of the Giant Squid made an otherwise perfect special effect look a bit fake. I'm just as puzzled by those weaknesses today as I was then, especially since all other aspects of the film, including the numerous, Oscar-winning special effects involving the Nautilus, are masterful. But no movie is perfect and this movie, minor warts and all, is nothing less than a memorial to the genius of Disney, the acting of James Mason, the passion of the Disney staff, and the vision of Jules Verne.
I remember it when it first was released in Europe, and I can safely say that this version beats even that showing back then.
Extremely clear image, stupendous surround sound, make this a must have in the most absolute way.
Forget all the other versions ever made. This remains THE classic of them all!
Forget the dated special effects which, by the way, you may not even notice, since the story is so gripping and fast paced, that you may not even realize they are.
James Mason gives a wonderful portrayal of Captain Nemo. One of his best roles, together with Fieldmarshal Rommel in "The Desert Fox", Cicero in "Five Fingers" and Professor Arronax in "Journey to the Center of the Earth" of about the same period.
Kirk Douglas and Peter Lorre form a perfect if not odd comical duo, to ease the tension of the story.
The score is beautifully remastered and brings you immediately back to those long bygone days of great moviemaking.
I won't be long reviewing this movie, since many others before me, have already praised it and described it in detail.
I can only say, buy it, buy it, buy it!
Oh, and by the way, don't forget about another Jules Verne classic coming out soon on DVD and in Widescreen:
"Around the World in 80 Days".
That's another "absolutely must have".
In the meanwhile, have you checked on "Journey to the Center of the Earth".
Do you have it on your DVD shelf?
Shame on you...
Go and get it fast.
It's been remastered and it's a worthy companion to the other two Jules Verne movies.
So, what are you waiting for?