Mysterious Island (Sous-titres français) [Import]
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Based on Jules Vern's classic novel, MYSTERIOUS ISLAND is the story of five men escaping from a Confederate prison in an observation balloon. When they land the balloon, they find themselves on a South Seas island where they encounter pirates, a giant bird, a giant crab and even Captain Nemo.
Jules Verne's classic adventure is perfectly matched with Ray Harryhausen's timeless movie magic in Mysterious Island. Based on Verne's sequel to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, this rousing Civil War-era fantasy begins when a band of Union war prisoners (and one Confederate straggler) escape in a hot-air balloon, which crash-lands on the titular island of mystery. Verne's novel doesn't include any gigantic creatures, but Harryhausen's version--under the capable direction of genre specialist Cy Endfield--features giant oysters, bees, a prehistoric Phororhacos (a giant chickenlike bird!), an undersea cephalopod, a giant crab, and enough danger to keep its resourceful ensemble on constant alert. Captain Nemo (Herbert Lom, ably filling James Mason's shoes) is a third-act hero, pursuing an ill-fated dream to save humanity from hunger and war. The action may be too intense for younger viewers, but Endfield's pacing and Harryhausen's stop-motion mastery make Mysterious Island a wondrous precursor to Harryhausen's follow-up classic, Jason and the Argonauts. --Jeff Shannon
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Top Customer Reviews
The Civil War is tearing America apart. A small group of Union soldiers and a reporter escape a military prison during the seige of Richmond, Virginia. They also have a There's a scouting balloon just outside the prison walls. As the attack rages, the prisoners escape in the balloon. They are washed up ashore on an uncharted island with a brewing volcano.
It's not ordinary island (no surprise)though as they discover a giant crab and later, giant bees, chickens and other creatures. They're joined in their Robinson Crusoe adventure by a couple of women who are later washed ashore from a shipwreck. They soon discover the origin of the giant beasts and some nasty news about the volcano as well.
The cast gives a good performance. Gary Merrill (best known for All About Eve and former husband of Betty Davis) and Michael Callan are the most recognizable faces. Callan was a regular in a number of movies and television shows as a supporting actor. Joan Greenwood also gives a convincing performance as well. Still, the stand out here is the brooding performance as Herbert Lom. Lom always managed to raise the bar in any film he appeared in.Read more ›
During the American Civil War, Union Captain Cyrus Harding (Michael Craig) is being held prisoner in a Confederate prison camp along with young Herbert Brown (Michael Callan), cynical "New York Herald" reporter Gideon Spillett (Gary Merrill), and a former slave named Corporal Neb Nugent (Dan Jackson). During a massive hurricane the group escape by stealing an observation balloon and sailing over the palisade, taking with them a Confederate soldier, Sergeant Pencroft (Percy Herbert). The storm is so fierce that it blows them to an uncharted (and dare I say, mysterious) island somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, where the balloon crashes.
Harding is pulled from the water by unseen figure and the group decides to put the war behind them and work together to survive (I was going to say this is sort of like "Survivor," after the merger, which Nemo playing the Jeff Probst role, but clearly the more relevant television analogy today would be to "Lost").Read more ›
The only fair way to judge this movie is in its own context, now more than 40 years old. At the time, Harryhausen's stop-action creatures were the height of special effects. The giant crab, bee, and other creatures could not have been done any other way. Rays from "electric gun" may have been scratched directly onto the film. Again, it looks unsophisticated to today's eye, but matches the rest of the movie very well.
For its time, though, this movie has a few fairly modern features. The one black actor had about as much of a role as the others, even though Jim Crow was still alive and kicking. There was a skimpy-skirted female lead with a habitual need for being saved. The other woman, however, was one of the more competent members of the group. She was used to a life of ease, but quickly showed her competence at handling support functions for the team, and under primitive conditions. Maybe she did "women's work", but she did jobs that needed doing and she got past her aristo background to do them. About the only complaint we ever heard was that her gun jammed at a crucial moment.
There's no high moral or deep art here. There is good fun. It's a little dated, but that is just part of its charm.
Most recent customer reviews
'Mysterious Island' is a wonderfully hokey old movie made as a sequel of sorts to Disney's '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea'. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Captain Canada
They may not have had computer imaging back then but this truly was an enjoyable adventure story. My sister took me to see when I was young and it still thrills me to see it now. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Paul
Unfortunately, I am unable to play your DVD in Canada as it is not compatible with our North American system. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Faye Beckstead
This movie was in a wrong format.....I think it was UK and I could not watch it....would not play on my Blue Ray Player.....so a rating is not possible..... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Ed Neil
if there was a zero that would be my rating went to veiw movie and it would play dvd player said cannot read disc and my other portable player said error cannot read thank you... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Ken Greenly
It is a PAL DVD. It may not be payable on an American playerPublished 16 months ago by J. Allan Moffatt
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