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The Mysterious Island (1929)

On a volcanic island near the kingdom of Hetvia rules Count Dakkar, a benevolent leader and scientist who has eliminated class distinction among the island's inhabitants. Dakkar, his ... See full summary »

Directors:

, (uncredited) | 1 more credit »

Writers:

(from the book by), (screen play)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Sonia (as Jane Daly)
...
Nikolai
...
Falon
Harry Gribbon ...
Mikhail
Snitz Edwards ...
Anton
...
Dmitry
Dolores Brinkman ...
Teresa
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Storyline

On a volcanic island near the kingdom of Hetvia rules Count Dakkar, a benevolent leader and scientist who has eliminated class distinction among the island's inhabitants. Dakkar, his daughter Sonia and her fiance, engineer Nicolai Roget have designed a submarine which Roget pilots on its initial voyage just before the island is overrun by Baron Falon, despotic ruler of Hetvia. Falon sets out after Roget in a second submarine and the two craft, diving to the ocean's floor, discover a strange land populated by dragons, giant squid and an eerie undiscovered humanoid race. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 October 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La isla misteriosa  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,130,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$55,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric System) (musical score and sound effects) (talking sequences)| (original version)

Color:

(2-color Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the entire film has always been available in black and white prints, film historians long believed that no complete color print of the film had survived - until 2013 when experts from the George Eastman House in the US discovered that such a print had been preserved in the Czech National Archive. Until this discovery, it was thought that the only surviving Technicolor fragment of the film was a ten-minute reel reposing in the UCLA Film and Television Archive. See more »

Goofs

The initial views of the ship's nose during construction shows a blunt rounded appearance as with modern submarines, but the animation views of the ship underway show an almost cartoon-like shape with a swordfish-like pointy nose. See more »

Connections

Version of Mysterious Island (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND (Lucien Hubbard and, uncredited, Benjamin Christensen and Maurice Tourneur, 1929) **1/2
28 February 2007 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

I was looking forward to this one for several reasons: the fact that I've watched and enjoyed the 1961 remake featuring the model work of effects wizard Ray Harryhausen, because of a still of one of the film's sea creatures (found in an old anthology of Sci-Fi cinema belonging to my father) which had always intrigued me, and also due to the uncredited contribution of a couple of (now rather neglected Silent-film stylists) – Benjamin Christensen and Maurice Tourneur.

Still, now that I've caught up with the film, I have to say that it didn't live up to my expectations: the biggest problem is that, for an adventure epic, it's rather dull – perhaps the behind-the-scenes turmoil which saw the production go through three directors, as well as the addition of clumsily-integrated Sound sequences (not bad in themselves, particularly a lengthy conversation near the beginning between Lionel Barrymore and Montagu Love), diffused any momentum the picture might have had! Then again, the plot itself (which probably has little to do with Jules Verne's original) isn't exactly inspired: the Russian-style setting is a mistake and the love triangle/class struggle element really bogs down the proceedings.

What makes the film, therefore, are the submarine/underwater sequences – even if the monster attacks themselves are somewhat lame (featuring nothing more imaginative than an alligator made-up to look like a dinosaur[!] and a rather small octopus). Leading lady Jane Daly – whose last film this was – is lovely but her role has no depth (besides, her ostensible propensity with the sub's gadgetry is hard to take); lamentable but, thankfully, brief injections of comedy are provided by the ubiquitous "Snitz" Edwards – and a thinned-down Gibson Gowland (the imposing star of Erich von Stroheim's GREED [1924]) appears as one of the sub's crew.


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