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Mysterious Island (Sous-titres français)

Michael Craig , Joan Greenwood , Cy Endfield , Richard Schickel    DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 82.31
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Mysterious Island (Sous-titres français) + 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Special Edition) + Journey to the Center of the Earth
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Product Description


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

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
There was a woefully bad 15-part serial version of Jules Verne's "Mysterious Island" released in 1951 that stupidly gave away the big surprise by listing Captain Nemo's name in the credits. Fortunately a decade later the release of this version of "Mysterious Island" replaced that one in the public's consciousness. The team that put together "Mysterious Island" consisted of producer Charles Schneer, special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen, and composer Bernard Herrmann, which is important because it puts the film more in the tradition of their earlier collaborations, "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad" and "Jason and the Argonauts," than it does Verne's novels. Obviously the 1954 Disney film version of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" had an influence on this 1961 film by director Cy Endfield ("Zulu") as well.

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").
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rip roaring adventure Dec 11 2003
Mysterious Island was always a favorite Harryhausen film of mine as a kid. The screenplay and direction (like those for The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad and Jason and The Argonauts)is top notch. Director Cy Endfield has a solid cast and the pacing along with Bernard Herrmann's classic score creates an eerie and, well, mysterious feeling for most of the movie. The stand out in the cast is, of course, the marvelous and under rated Herbert Lom as Captain Nemo. If you haven't seen the film, I'd rather not spoil the third act of the film for you so won't go into too much detail.
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Harryhausen's BEST!!! Nov. 2 2002
By A Customer
After "JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS", this has always been one of my favorite pictures by special effects guru RAY HARRYHAUSEN. The story is great, the monsters (especially the giant crab) look fantastic and HERBERT LOM is wonderful as CAPTAIN NEMO ("Contact with my species has always disappointed me"). The picture and sound on the DVD is most pleasing. My only complaint (and its a minor one), is I'm tired of seeing the hour long special "THE HARRYHAUSEN CHRONICLES" as a bonus feature. I think its on every Harryhausen disc except "JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS". Its a nice feature (don't get me wrong) but does it have to be on EVERY DISC? But the movie is what's most important and this is a very enjoyable film given a nice presentation on this DVD. Buy it and enjoy!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars No, it wasn't faithful to Verne... July 4 2004
However, what movie versions of literature usually are? Instead of criticizing the liberties taken, let's just look at the points of merit of the film: great special effects by way of the stop-motion master Ray Harryhausen, a stirring score by legendary Bernard Herrmann, superb scenery, a tale of survival, and lots of action.
Of course the acting is a little wooden but there are decent performances from Herbert Lom as "Captain Nemo", Joan Greenwood as "Lady Fairchild", and Gary Merrill (the former MR. Bette Davis) as "Mr. Spillet".
The real highlight for this viewer upon the film's release was the inclusion of a pivotal character portrayed by a black man, Dan Jackson as "Neb". The character is in the novel but he is younger and a bit too "subservient," reflecting the times of the book's publication. In 1961 it was notable to see a black man in a fantasy film, portraying an "equal" to his fellow castaways.
The DVD extras, including the documentary "The Harryhausen Chronicles", are adequate but the film holds its own as a wonderful excursion into the fanciful and makes for a fine family film.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Very poor service
I cannot view it as it is for region 2 not region 1 which I am in . Very poor service
Published 6 days ago by Danny Sinstead
1.0 out of 5 stars Does not Work in North America
BEWARE. This dvd cannot be played in North America, only Europe. They do not say this nor do you they say where the dvd is coming from. Read more
Published 2 months ago by starexplorer
1.0 out of 5 stars good luck
Too expensive. Bought it from Wal-Mart for $ 9.95. Should check your partners more often as they sometimes increase prices for anyone who puts items on wish list.
Published 4 months ago by billyboy
5.0 out of 5 stars Oldie but a Goodie
This was purchased for a friend. It's one of his all time favs! Love they old time movies, Great Pick
Published 6 months ago by Tania
5.0 out of 5 stars Good family type movie
This movie was well made, (no sex & no violence). The moral of the story was good, complete with an interesting ending.
Published 9 months ago by Burt White
3.0 out of 5 stars changing vhs to dvd
husband loves old old classics... got it for him...really enjoyed it, been awhile since he had seen it, now in his collection
Published 12 months ago by leona lapointe
4.0 out of 5 stars Movie as remembered.
Remember this movie from growing up. It still has the same appeal to me. Thanks for making this available to me.
Published 13 months ago by Tom Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Mysterious Island.
I just finished reading the book and since I have never seen the movie, thought I would by it.
I enjoyed it very much, although it was a little different story line then the... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Lynn Richardson
3.0 out of 5 stars EN BEAU CRISSE...
C'est comme ça qu'on dit au Québec!
Voici un film que je "spotte" depuis longtemps: le hic c'est que j'aimerais bien le voir en français. Impossible! Read more
Published on July 29 2010 by jack
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the best transfer
I recently purchased Mysterious Island and The 3 Worlds of Gulliver, two of my favorite Ray H. movies. Read more
Published on Feb. 13 2008 by chuck canuk
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