Mysterious Island 1961 (1961) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: During the Civil War a group of Union soldiers and two Confederates escape the stockade using a hot air balloon and end up on a strange Pacific island. Runtime: 101 mins Release Date: 20 Dec 1961
My favorite Harryhausen film, and for that matter, one of my favorite movies ever. Even when the excellent stop-motion monsters aren't on screen, the film is fun to watch and well-paced. And when they ARE on screen... whoa! The giant bird is the best. And the Herrmann score is absolutely one of the finest adventure movie soundtracks ever written."Contact with my own species has always disappointed me. Solitude gives me a freedom of mind and an independence of action." -Captain Nemo
Mystrious Island (by mhrabovsky1-1)
Wow, I loved the "Seventh Voyage of Sinbad" as a kid, the cyclops, the giant roc bird, the skeleton fight, etc. and then the team of Charles Schneer and Ray Harryhausen did it again with the great film "Mysterious Island". I don't know if Island topped Sinbad, but I loved both of those films in equal amounts. How about the musical score of Bernard Hermann....right from the start that pounding, intense musical score, you knew this film would be so good. Loved the scenes of the escape from the confederate prison camp and the photography of the 4 men who fought with all <more>
they had to stay tucked inside the hot air balloon as it blew out of control over uncharted territories. Landing on an uncharted island they became a Robinson Crusoe foursome and set up a camp and foraged for food. How lucky they were to stumble onto a giant, and I mean giant rock lobster to feed the men for weeks and a giant bird who supplied a tasty bird dinner. Also two saucy women shipwrecked to add spice to the film as they provided companionship and love for one of the men. Throw in pirates, a floating trunk of weapons, monsters to fight, a cave hidden in a mountain, giant bees, the discovery of Captain Nemo and his hidden nautilus submarine anchored in the cave while he plotted a new scheme to provide food for mankind with experiments that produced the giant creatures, you were thoroughly entertained for two hours. Then check out the underwater scenes with the fight from a giant squid, reminiscent of the Disney classic "Twenty Thousand leagues under the Sea" and home made sea shell "aqua lungs" to breathe under water.....wow! I just loved this film as a kid and now at age 60 I still love this film and watch it a few times a year on DVD. Believe it or not the first time I saw this film as a kid was in 1963 at a Saturday afternoon matinée along with "Seventh Voyage of Sinbad"...my brother and I were mesermized by two such great films. The great English actor Percy Herbert with an accent as a captured confederate prisoner was a gem. Gary Merrill as a union war correspo dent plays the role of the so called cook in the film with his goofy shenanigans....Herbert Lom another underrated English actor with a stellar performance as Captain Nemo. Michael Craig as the captain of the so called "crew" with a tough disposition to follow as the leader of the group. Great entertainment for all ages.
This is a splendid adventure story from the Schneer-Harryhausen team, adapted freely from the Jules Verne novel. A group of union soldiers in a Confederate prison hijack a weather balloon during a storm, which, due to some very strange climatic conditions, takes them across the United States and over half the Pacific ocean. Miraculously, they land on an island, where they soon encounter, among other things, a giant crab, bees the size of cows, and a smoking volcano. The story is too good to give away, and much of the pleasure of the film is the way it unfolds, chapter by chapter, as it were, <more>
without seeming episodic or forced. Harryhausen's stop-motion creatures are breathtaking, and movie is overall beautiful to see, very imaginative, managing to walk a fine line between the fantastic and the realistic, with just enough artifice in some of the exterior shots to make it seem larger than life, but not so much as to come off as contrived. Director Cy Enfield deserves his share of credit for keeping the focus on the story, not the effects, and maintaining a deliberate pace. The script could be wittier, though its plainness makes the movie suitable for children.
They don't make 'em like this anymore....and that's a shame! (by garrard)
While most critics, and fans alike, consider Harryhausen's "Jason and the Argonauts" released two years later to be the apex of the special effects master's career, "Mysterious Island" stands as one of his best, also. Loosely based on the Jules Verne 19th century novel, the film boasts some memorable special effects wizardry: an awesome escape from a Confederate prison via balloon, the giant crab, the prehistoric "chicken," the bees, and a cool Nautilus - closely resembling Disney's version from "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea." The cast is <more>
good, beginning with Michael Craig as the leader of the band of island dwellers. Gary Merrill, who at once was the husband of legend Bette Davis, as well as her co-star in "All About Eve," is effective as the war correspondent that serves as the voice of reason among the band, along with being the group's cook. Herbert Lom does a great "Nemo," significantly different from James Mason's interpretation in the Disney classic. English actress Joan Greenwood is appropriately aristocratic as "Lady Fairchild." But, it is Harryhausen's effects, along with Bernard Herrmann's brilliant score, that elevate this to one of the best fantasies of the 60's.Filmed at a brisk pace, the story never lets up, keeping the viewer captivated until the thrilling conclusion.
Another Baby-Boomer, Ray Harryhausen Favorite A Wonderful Film (by LeonLouisRicci)
Ray Harryhausen has garnered the Honor, Distinction, and Respect of Fans Worldwide. So much so that His relatively small Filmography is known simply as "Harryhausen" Films. He rises above Stars, Genre, and Directors to make the Movies He works on His own.Pretty much without Peer, His time consuming, meticulous, and painful method of Stop-Motion Animation is so difficult that few Artists even attempted to duplicate His crafty Artistry and Success. He truly was, after the death of His Mentor Willis O'Brien King Kong 1933 , one of a kind.This is a marvelous adventure underscored <more>
by the great Bernard Herrmann, shot in luscious color on location, and Herbert Lom as Captain Nemo makes an impression alongside Harryhausen's outstanding Creatures, a Crab, Chicken, and Bumble Bee.The only weakness is the Opening Act, but once on the Island it is unforgettable escapism that charms and never lets up. A beautiful Film for all ages thanks to Jules Verne and Ray Harryhausen and a good Production.
One of the finest sci-fi films ever made, "Mysterious Island" combines an adventurous Jules Verne story with terrific visual effects. Several men escape from a Civil War battle in a balloon and drift away to a remote island, whereupon they encounter all kinds of adventures. Using miniatures, matte paintings, and stop-motion animation, the film's visuals alone make the film worth watching, especially on the island. Story themes include the romance of faraway places; the natural world as both benefactor of, and source of danger for, humans; and efforts to survive, a la Robinson <more>
Crusoe.I like the geographic scale of the visuals, where humans are dwarfed by large island features and by an expansive physical environment. Island wildlife that includes a giant crab, among others, look realistic, and make for entertaining story elements. Unlike modern films wherein CGI effects become the story, the visual effects in "Mysterious Island" enhance an already interesting and coherent story. The segment with the bird is funny. And then we get the humorous line of dialogue: "I wonder how many minutes it would take to cook in a slow oven".Sound effects are almost as impressive as the visuals. The ambient wildlife sounds seem realistic. And the narrative voice-over is spoken in an echo chamber, which amplifies the story's mystery. Bernard Herrmann's score is effective, if perhaps a bit overbearing in some scenes. At times the background music is soothing and calming; at other times it is appropriately ominous.Cinematography projects images that are a tad grainy, but do not interfere with viewing. There are lots of long shots, which is good for visual perspective. Ray Harryhausen's special effects blend well into the overall photography. Ensemble casting is excellent. Acting is acceptable, given that this is an outdoor adventure film not requiring a lot of acting skills.If the film has a weakness it might be the first ten minutes wherein the setting is a Civil War battle, somewhat arbitrary maybe, and a bit lengthy; also the lighting in this segment is a bit too dark."Mysterious Island" gives us a simple, easy-to-follow story packed with adventure and visual delights. It would almost certainly be in my top ten sci-fi films of all time.
Should have won an Oscar for Best Dress. (by Chromium_5)
Forget the Harryhausen special effects. What really makes this movie great is the dress the main female character wears. It's incredible! We are introduced to the dress like this: our heroes escaped POWs are stranded on a desert island filled with gigantic animals. At some point, two women aunt and niece if I recall wash onto shore, after surving a ship accident. The aunt decides to make her niece a new dress, because her old one is all torn up. So she constructs a dress out of leather, and HOLY &@$%#!* what a dress! I don't fully understand why she would make a dress like <more>
that, being from the conservative 1860's Midwest and all, but it is the most erotic dress I have ever seen. It's so tiny and skintight, it looks like she can't bend over or it would explode into a million pieces. I spent the entire movie leaning forward in rapt attention, because it honestly looks like it is going to tear apart at any moment. Wow!The rest of the movie is pretty good, too. The special effects are wonderfully fun. The only really annoying thing is the stupidity of the characters. Case in point: after encountering a giant crab and a giant chicken, a guy and the girl still looking great in that dress! wander into a cave, and see giant honeycomb. "Hmm, interesting," they say. Then they hear this buzzing sound, and wonder what it is. "What's that buzzing noise?? It's getting closer..." I don't believe it is humanly possible to be that stupid. It's GIANT BEES, you idiots! Get out of there! Oops, too late. Now a colossal bee is cornering you. Didn't see that one coming, huh?Worth watching for the FX and the dress.8/10 stars.
This film starts off with adventure and rarely ever lets up. Starting off with a daring hot air balloon escape by Union prisoners from a Confederate prison camp through a treacherous storm which blows them off course until eventually they land on a mysterious island full of strange giant creatures such as a giant crab, a giant bird and giant bees. These creatures are magnificently brought to life by stop-motion master Ray Harryhausen. This one will appeal mostly to those young in heart and spirit. Herbert Lom is quite good in his role as Captain Nemo, a man trying to find a means of <more>
destroying the causes of war. Also has a wonderful score by Bernard Herrmann. Great fun.
Surf n' Turf on Skull Island...what a magnificent gem! (by BorgoPass)
Schneer and Harryhausen team up to create a film that has all the allure and adventure of Kong's Skull Island. It's a war story, an adventure and a fantasy all in one.Each scene is gripping and doesn't really slow down for me until the introduction of Capain Nemo. I wish the film had taken a different direction at that point, but I realize that it was a necessary part of the story to include him.If only the contestants on "Survivor" had it so good! With the boiled crab, fresh oysters and BBQ chicken, who needs take-out? And the girl's outfit is just as skimpy; <more>
several years ahead of Raquel Welch in "One Million Years BC." This movie is everything that "The First Men in the Moon" is not. It has mood and atmosphere that is lacking in the fore-mentioned movie. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It succeeds on the strength of its story and is only enhanced by the wonderful Harryhausen creations, wisely spaced evenly throughout the movie.I only offer one word of advice: climbing to the rim of an active volcano is never a good idea. But, what the heck, the climb was worth the goat's milk!