Imaginative undersea fantasy based on an 1874 Jules Verne novel and starring sinister monsters, weird fish, Lionel Barrymore as a 19th-century inventor, and Montagu Love as a wicked nobleman. This ill-fated production was begun in 1927 by the greatly gifted Maurice Tourneur, who was fired by MGM and replaced by Benjamin Christiansen, and it was finally credited to Lucien Hubbard—by which time sound had come in, so the film is part silent, part sound. The plot twists are silly, but the film presents the invention, launching, and kidnapping of the first submarine, and then the real capper: a mammoth octopus with tentacles long enough to embrace that submarine in its entirety. And surely no one who saw the film as a child has completely forgotten a horror scene on the ocean floor: the wreck of a Roman galley with the skeletons of slaves still chained to the oars. With Lloyd Hughes, Harry Gribbon, Gibson Gowland, and Snitz Edwards. Art direction by Cedric Gibbons. (There were several subsequent versions of the novel: a Russian film in 1941, a serial made by Columbia in 1951, a British film in 1961 starring Michael Craig, and in 1974, a version called THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND OF CAPTAIN NEMO, starring Omar Sharif.) (Pauline Kael review)
CMM : Enjoyable hokum, thankfully not a lot of spoken dialogue just a discussion between Lionel Barrymore and Montagu Love to set the scene which works quite well. The underwater "people" are rather silly looking but it is quite impressive in creating an otherworldly atmosphere for the time. (2 1/2 out of 5)
:mellow: This film originally contained allot of Two-strip Technicolor footage. I believe that some of it still exists? It just was not included in the print that TCM aired.
I kind of like the POLLYWOG PEOPLE beneath the depths! They sort of reminded me of THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, or even GRAY ALIENS! They probably looked much more imposing in 2 Strip Technicolor?
I watched this movie back in January, and do not remember it all that well. I do recall that the Dialogue sequence at the beginning took all day to get the point across! In a Silent film, this could have all been explained in just a few title cards.
The actress Jane Daly who played the Countess, was very pretty. I do not remember seeing her in much of anything before hand either?
The film is almost nothing like the 1961 version, which has allot of Ray Harryhausen special effects. Including Monstrous Man-eating Crabs! Has anyone read the Jules Verne novel?
|QUOTE (The Giant @ May 30 2007, 11:47 PM)|
| The film is almost nothing like the 1961 version, which has allot of Ray Harryhausen special effects. Including Monstrous Man-eating Crabs! Has anyone read the Jules Verne novel? |
I've not seen this 1929 film, the '61 was a bit of a fave, as I recently obtained it over 'You Can't Take It With You' (1938).
And I havent read the Verne book, but I did go thru a phase of looking for the books by Verne and Wells to see how much movies changed them.
Biggest thing I noticed was there were no women in the books.
Around The World in 80 Days had the woman, but I would be willing to bet that Mysterious Island's addition of women in '61 was done strictly for the movie, tho I still get a kick out of it.