The Czechoslovakia-filmed Fabulous World of Jules Verne is based on the 1896 Verne novel Face the Flag. The story concerns the machinations of evil millionaire Artigas (Miloslav Holub), who plans to use a super-explosive device to conquer the world. Artigas operates from a pirate submarine, wherein he has imprisoned the explosive's inventor, Professor Roche (Arnost Navratil). One of the ships destroyed by the pirate sub includes among its passengers the scientist's daughter Jana (Jana Zatloukalova), who is rescued and spirited away to Artiga's headquarters inside an enormous volcano. Here Jana falls in love with Simon Hart (Lubor Tokos), Roche's assistant, who'd been abducted along with the Professor. Jana and Simon plan to escape the volcano in Artigas' observation balloon. Professor Roche, who foolishly believes that Artigas is a humanitarian, stays behind, but when he discovers Artigas' plans he sets off the explosive himself. The volcano is destroyed as Jana and Simon's balloon floats into the sunset. Fabulous World of Jules Verne is brilliantly filmed in a special process which causes every image on screen to resemble an old-fashioned woodcut engraving, replete with forced-perspective sets and props. The film's deliberately unrealistic visual texture, coupled with the slightly satirical, larger-than-life performances of the cast, make the delightful Fabulous World appear to be a 19th century "futuristic" novel come to life. For reasons best known to the distributor, the American version of this film is introduced by Hugh Downs.
by Hal Erickson synopsis