Mysterious Island

An unlikely collaboration between the neglected, blacklisted expatriate director Cy Endfield and special-effects wizard Ray Harryhausen, this 1961 British adaptation of Jules Verne’s two-part sequel to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea follows some Confederate prisoners who hijack an observation balloon and wind up joining some shipwrecked passengers on an uncharted island, where they’re menaced by prehistoric beasts and helped by Captain Nemo. Bernard Herrmann composed the score, and the cast is a lively one: Joan Greenwood, Michael Craig, Herbert Lom, Michael Callan, and Gary Merrill. John Prebble, Dan Ullman, Crane Wilbur, and an uncredited Endfield all worked on the script. This fantasy adventure is hardly one of Endfield’s most personal efforts, but it’s still a pretty enjoyable romp. (JR)

This entry was posted in Featured Texts. Bookmark the permalink.