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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Family  |  23 December 1954 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 20,788 users  
Reviews: 106 user | 65 critic

A ship sent to investigate a wave of mysterious sinkings encounters the advanced submarine, the Nautilus, commanded by Captain Nemo.



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Won 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
First Mate of the Nautilus
John Howard
J.M. Kerrigan ...
Old Billy
Percy Helton ...
Coach Driver
Ted Cooper ...
Mate on 'Lincoln'


The oceans during the late 1860-92s are no longer safe; many ships have been lost. Sailors have returned to port with stories of a vicious narwhal (a giant whale with a long horn) which sinks their ships. A naturalist, Professor (Pierre) Aronnax, his assistant, Conseil, and a professional whaler, Ned Land, join an US expedition which attempts to unravel the mystery. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

23 December 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jules Verne's 20000 Leagues Under the Sea  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The design of the Nautilus was heavily modified to make it appealing for the audience. In the original novel, Nemo's ship is rather plain, described as a long cigar with its hull plates superimposed, so they resemble the scales of a fish. The helmsman and reflector booths are retractable, and the vessel only raises 3 ft. over the water when at the surface. Also, it has no windows or exterior features, except the main hall panoramic window, which is usually kept concealed under the hull plates. See more »


The shark that goes after Ned and Conseil is a nurse shark. This species is actually quite harmless and shy of divers. See more »


Conseil: All those men. They didn't even have a chance.
Ned Land: They were sailors, same as me. Slaughtered by that monster you're trying to make friends with.
Conseil: Ned, don't...
Ned Land: I don't know about you, Professor, but I feel like a knife that's just stabbed a friend in the back.
See more »


Referenced in The Beast (1996) See more »


Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
by Johann Sebastian Bach
Played by James Mason (uncredited) (dubbed by an anonymous organist)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Great and Funny Adventure
22 December 2004 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In 1868, shipping becomes a nightmare, since vessels are vanishing the in the South Seas. The tabloids attribute the disappearances of the ships to an existence of a sea monster. The US government invites Prof. Pierre Arronax (Paul Lukas) and his assistant Conseil (Peter Lorre) to investigate what is really happening and they embark in a ship navigating to the Orient. In the crew, Ned Land (Kirk Douglas) is a happy member. After a long period on the open sea, a submarine, the Nautilaus, commanded by Captain Nemo (James Mason), attacks the steamship. Prof. Arronax, Conseil and Ned are rescued by the submarine, and share the dreams and madness of Captain Nemo. Although being a 1954 film, "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" is a great and funny adventure, which has not aged. The adaptation of Julio Verne's novel "on the screen" is a great entertainment recommended for all families. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "20.000 Léguas Submarinas" ("20,000 Leagues Submarines")

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They should remake it... bdunlap-2
Other great aquatic adventure/science fiction films? cinderwild
James Mason is the real Star here Freddie1980
Nemo a Villain?? mortimerj190
Remake? wvu1313
I know it's only a story but... monaghantom
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