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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disneys' Underwater Epic
Even 50 years after it was released, Disneys' 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is still the best screenplay based on the Jules Verne novel.
The story is well known:- A sea monster attacking shipping in the 1860s is hunted by a U.S. warship and is revealed as being an advanced submarine boat. Three survivors from an attack on the warship, a French professor (Paul Lukas),...
Published on 21 April 2004 by David Hobson

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars however the film dosent strike a gold star but its not a bad buy
a nautical adventure involving some meglamaniactic character on some sort of global campaign of domination or destruction.ie captain nemo.
despite some cheesy effects the film is enjoyable to watch. it has topical undertones such as the joys of living with nature rather than evil nature disrespecting mankind.
however the film...
Published 19 days ago by n.reid


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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disneys' Underwater Epic, 21 April 2004
By 
David Hobson (South Shields, Tyne & Wear United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea [DVD] [1954] (DVD)
Even 50 years after it was released, Disneys' 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is still the best screenplay based on the Jules Verne novel.
The story is well known:- A sea monster attacking shipping in the 1860s is hunted by a U.S. warship and is revealed as being an advanced submarine boat. Three survivors from an attack on the warship, a French professor (Paul Lukas), his assistant (Peter Lorre) and a Canadian harpooner (Kirk Douglas) end up as unwilling "guests" on board the submarine Nautilus. The interraction between these three characters and the Master of the Nautilus, Captain Nemo (James Mason) forms the backbone of the films plot.
The performance of James Mason as Nemo, the genius builder of the Nautilus and its futuristic propulsion system, driven by hatred to commit horrific acts of revenge, is superb. Unfortunately, by comparison, he tends to make the other characters seem a little two-dimensional at times.
The general "feel" of the film is rather darker than you would expect from a Disney product from this period, although a trained seal and the obligatory song help to lighten things up.
The widescreen ratio of the DVD is ideal for the subject matter. Underwater shots pf the Nautilus miniature (a masterpiece of design by Harper Goff) fill the screen nicely, while the interior sets are given a genuinely claustrophobic feel.
Scenes that remain in the memory include the glowing porthole "eyes" of the Nautilus as it churns through the water to ram an unsuspecting steamship, and the epic hand-to-tentacle battle with a giant squid.
Although not mentioned on the packaging, there are several excellent bonus features, including a tour of the Nautilus and recently discovered footage of the first attempt to film the squid attack.
All in all a very pleasing, and long awaited,DVD. My only regret is that Disney did not take the opportunity to release a 50th anniversary special edition, with extras more in line with those on the Region 1 edition.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It will still take your breath away, 30 Aug 2004
By 
Michael Bo (Frederiksberg Denmark) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea [DVD] [1954] (DVD)
Today, 50 years after the fact, Disney's Jules Verne epic will still take your breath away, as this luxurious new one-disc edition amply proves. This edition has the warm, deep colours preserved and is full of insightful extras.
I am a lukewarm sort of fan of the Ray Harryhausen scifi epic B-movies of the 60s, which is to say, I applaud what they aim to do and the sheer fun they had doing it. With Disney's '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' we're in another realm altogether, the realm of big bucks and limitless ambition, and every cent of it shows on the screen. Today, obviously, they would film the climactic battle with the giant squid with ample use of CGI, which in my mind only serves to make things look artificial, and they would get nowhere near the dynamics and energy that exudes from this film.
James Mason's portrait of the desillusioned idealist Captain Nemo has well-deserved classic status, but too little has been made of Kirk Douglas's cheeky and heroic harpooner, and I just love his duet with the seal!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superior DVD Package of a Memorable Film, 26 Jan 2004
By 
Gary F. Taylor "GFT" (Biloxi, MS USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Loosely based on the celebrated novel by Jules Verne and set in the late 19th Century, LEAGUES offers the story of Professor Arronax (Paul Lukas), his assistant Conseil (Peter Lorre), and harpooner Ned Land (Kirk Douglas), who are coaxed by the United States government to aid in the search for a sea monster said to be terrorizing shipping lanes. But the monster is not of flesh and blood, and soon the three find themselves in the hands of the mysterious Captain Nemo (James Mason) as prisoners aboard the Nautilus--a fully functional submarine capable of ramming ships and sending them to the ocean floor.
Underwater photography was hardly new in 1954, but never had it been used so extensively nor to such visually beautiful effect, and the art designs--particularly those for the Nautilus--are justly celebrated. But for all its beauty, it is the performances which make the film work. James Mason does not merely play Nemo, he seems to be Nemo; after seeing his performance it is impossible to imagine any other actor in the role. Paul Lukas adds yet another brilliantly understated performance to his memorable career, and while Kirk Douglas and Peter Lorre are hardly the Ned Land and Conseil of the Verne novel they have surprising chemistry and lend the film considerable dash.
At the time of its release, LEAGUES was the single most expensive motion picture ever made (ironically it would loose that dubious distinction later that same year to yet another film featuring James Mason: A STAR IS BORN), and every penny of the money spent shows in the onscreen result. While many of Disney's live-action films are fondly recalled, few have had enduring fame, much less claim to status as art--but LEAGUES is the exception, and although the episodic nature of the story seems a shade languid from time to time it remains both a landmark and one of the most influential films of its decade. Truly enjoyable from start to finish.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and adventure under the sea!, 23 Jun 2012
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This review is from: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea [DVD] [1954] (DVD)
I remember watching this film when I was little with my dad, and on rediscovering it many years later it still remains as captivating and exciting as the first time I saw it. If you love good old fashioned rolicking adventure yarn type films, as I do, then this is definitely one to check out. The amazing fight with the squid that apparently flooded the set at disney is a great piece of entertainment, but is only topped by my favourite part of the film which would be Kirk Douglas' rendition of #whale of a tale#. If you like big action blockbusters with cgi and the like this film probably isn't for you, but if you love the kind of adventure that could only be inspired by a Jules Verne novel, then buy it- you won't be disappointed.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING FX WORK, A CLASSIC STORY, GREAT ACTING...AND ONE OF THE GREAT MONSTER SETPIECES!!, 24 Dec 2008
By 
Adam Jackson "Symphonic Metal Fan" (Stoke On Trent , England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea [DVD] [1954] (DVD)
Saw this on TV yesterday, and felt compelled to comment on this movie, which I have always loved.
Simply this, the FX work is amazing - not just for 1954, but even by today's standards. The matte work & miniatures are stunningly detailed, atmospheric & beautifully rendered. Indeed there are shots of ships at sea that look fully photo realistic, right down to the smoke patterns, sunsets and the waves (notoriously difficult to scale convincingly). Much, much better than 99% of the CGI that we see now! A case in point would be The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (a dire, Nemo related movie that had a HUGE budget). The aquatic, miniature work with a fully convincing Nautilus submarine still holds as well today as in '54 but the real star is the the Giant Squid!
Both the brilliantly operated miniature that we see attach itself to the Nautilus, and the FULL SIZE model that Nemo & crew battle with when the Nautilus surfaces, are stunning pieces of FX work. The attention to detail, particularly on the tentacles, the eyes and especially the close up shots of the beast's parrot like beak snapping back & forth is fascinating, and makes for a truly ferocious scene as men battle monster with harpoon & hatchet.
Certainly a more convincing squid than was seen some 40 years later in Peter Benchley's The Beast, and in the many awlful SciFi Channel productions. It's only other rival would be Ray Harryhausen's (much bigger) stop motion animated, Giant Octopus in It Came From Beneath The Sea.
Other reviewers have commented more on the great performances from Mason, Douglas and Lorre etc. I agree wholeheartedly, and simply wrote this more to praise Visual Effects work that borders on the immortal!
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3.0 out of 5 stars however the film dosent strike a gold star but its not a bad buy, 8 Nov 2014
By 
n.reid (watford, herts United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea [DVD] [1954] (DVD)
a nautical adventure involving some meglamaniactic character on some sort of global campaign of domination or destruction.ie captain nemo.
despite some cheesy effects the film is enjoyable to watch. it has topical undertones such as the joys of living with nature rather than evil nature disrespecting mankind.
however the film dosent strike a gold star but its not a bad buy
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, 19 Jan 2012
This review is from: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea [DVD] [1954] (DVD)
I saw this film at our local Cinema when it came out in the 60s and enjoyed it very much.
As the DVD was on offer I bought it. It didn't disappoint.
OK the Nautilus doesn't correspond to the shape in the original book but who cares.
The special effects were still good despite being over 50 years old and bearing in mind the technology available at the time i.e. no computer graphics. I really enjoyed it.
I shall watch it again soon..
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Verne adaptation, 6 Aug 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea [DVD] [1954] (DVD)
Watched this one recently and was delighted to find it stands the test of time as one of the better Disney live action films on the market. A quality take on Jules Verne's advanced story of subs and the atomic threat that was to become ever so prominent in the public conscious. This adaptation is a corking sci-fi adventure that benefits from great work from all involved.

The cast are just smashing, James Mason is the stand out as the barmy but intelligent protagonist Capt. Nemo, gruff and menacing with a dandy slice of camp into the proceedings. Then we have Kirk Douglas who out Popeye's Popeye, tough and rugged with a song and dance to help moral along, and even taking time out to befriend a seal to help jolly the film in heart. Peter Lorre is solid as ever, and Paul Lukas almost steals the show as the conflicted Professor Pierre Aronnax. The sets are wonderful, the direction seamless, and the special effects make it hard to believe this was made back in the early 1950s, but ultimately its a story for adults and an adventure for the kids. Containing a giant squid sequence that sees Mason & Douglas fighting it to the death serves as proof positive that 20000 Leagues Under the Sea is an unadulterated joy. 9/10
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 30 Jun 2014
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This review is from: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea [DVD] [1954] (DVD)
Great fun
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3.0 out of 5 stars Classic Film, 27 Jun 2014
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This review is from: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea [DVD] [1954] (DVD)
Bought this DVD for my partner as a birthday present, as he loved watching it when he was younger. The item arrived quickly in the post, was well packaged and the price excellent!
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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea [DVD] [1954]
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea [DVD] [1954] by Richard Fleischer (DVD - 2004)
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