20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – First Great Special Effects Spectacular

One can only imagine the reaction to this movie’s special effects in 1916. Underwater action that is surprising realistic (minus the octopus scene), incredible set designs, and entertaining scenes…all in all creating a pretty amazing film for a time when movies didn’t even have sound.

One thing this movie doesn’t provide is an accurate translation of the book; it combines elements from Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island and a new subplot nonexistent in Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Not that these changes detract from the movie itself.

Bent on revenge, Captain Nemo has built a futuristic submarine to hunt down the man who killed Princess Daaker. The killer, Charles Denver, took the princess’s daughter and left her and a sailor on a mysterious island. Meanwhile, Caption Nemo destroys a ship and takes aboard several prisoners, including Professor Aronnax. The prisoners are treated as guests and are shown around the fantastic ship. They soon learn about the Captain’s relentless pursuit of revenge and the story behind it.




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