Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The 1916 silent version of Jules Vernes' 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA was "sold" on the basis of its advanced underwater photography, the handiwork of the legendary Williamson Brothers. The film's storyline combines elements from both 20,000 Leagues and another Verne novel, Mysterious Island. Towards the end of the film the power-mad Captain Nemo, whose futuristic submarine is the film's centerpiece, explains why he has come to hate mankind--which segues into an elaborate flashback sequence set in India, which seems to have been concocted by Rudyard Kipling. The cost of this film was so astronomical that it could not possibly post a profit, putting the kibosh on any subsequent Verne adaptations for the next 12 years. 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA is available today in a tinted print, which has been somewhat truncated due to film-stock deterioration.
defense [military], territory, craziness, exploration, investigator, man-vs-nature, mid-life-crisis, one-against-odds, relationship, shipwreck, spouse, submarine, survivor, world-domination
High Artistic Quality, High Production Values