Sunday Matinee: The Mysterious Island

There have been many adaptations of Jules Verne’s classic novel L’Île mystérieuse aka The Mysterious Island. The novel was originally a kind of sequel to Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and In Search of the Castaways.

The original story had to do with five Americans fleeing the American Civil War and crashing on a mysterious island. They survive thanks to a mysterious benefactor and along the why meet one of the characters from In Search of the Castaways and fight off pirates before meeting their benefactor who turns out to be Captain Nemo who survived the end of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and has spent his old age on the island.

In 1929 an adaptation was released that was original a silent film but had sound scenes added and was mostly shot with two-color Technicolor. Sadly most of the technicolor film has been lost and the film is now only shown in black and white.

The plot varies from the novel as it focuses kind of on Captain Nemo’s back story instead. Lionel Barrymore stars as Count Dakkar aka Captain Nemo who lives on an island with his daughter and her fiancee. They have built a submarine and the evil neighbouring country’s ruler Baron Falon (Montagu Love) arrives and fights his sub against Dakkar’s. The two crafts end up on the bottom of the ocean where they discover a strange race of beings and other things.

While not being very faithful to Verne’s work the movie is pretty of cool. The sets are awesome and the creatures.

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