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Jules Verne's classic adventure is perfectly matched with Ray Harryhausen's timeless movie magic inMysterious Island. Based on Verne's sequel to20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, this rousing Civil War-era fantasy begins when a band of Union war prisoners (and one Confederate straggler) escape in a hot-air balloon, which crash-lands on the titular island of mystery. Verne's novel doesn't include any gigantic creatures, but Harryhausen's version--under the capable direction of genre specialist Cy Endfield--features giant oysters, bees, a prehistoric Phororhacos (a giant chickenlike bird!), an undersea cephalopod, a giant crab, and enough danger to keep its resourceful ensemble on constant alert. Captain Nemo (Herbert Lom, ably filling James Mason's shoes) is a third-act hero, pursuing an ill-fated dream to save humanity from hunger and war. The action may be too intense for younger viewers, but Endfield's pacing and Harryhausen's stop-motion mastery makeMysterious Islanda wondrous precursor to Harryhausen's follow-up classic,Jason and the Argonauts.--Jeff Shannon
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CastHerbert Lom, Gary Merrill, Michael Callan, Joan Greenwood, Michael Craig
DirectorCy Endfield
Genre:  Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Release Date:  December 20, 1961
MPAA Rating:  G
Screen WriterCrane Wilbur, Daniel B. Ullman, John Prebble
DVD Release Date:  October 29, 2002
Runtime:  101 minutes
Studio:  Columbia Pictures
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