MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 116 this week

20000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)

7.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 18,663 users  
Reviews: 103 user | 63 critic

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

Director:

Writer:

(screenplay)
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb at Comic-Con 2014

Follow our coverage of Comic-Con 2014, direct from San Diego July 23-27 in our Comic-Con section.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 41 titles
created 10 Jan 2012
 
a list of 27 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 35 images
created 6 months ago
 
a list of 28 titles
created 5 months ago
 
a list of 42 titles
created 4 weeks ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: 20000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)

20000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of 20000 Leagues Under the Sea.

User Polls

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A modern aircraft carrier is thrown back in time to 1941 near Hawaii, just hours before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Director: Don Taylor
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Martin Sheen, Katharine Ross
Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

After an encounter with U.F.O.s, a line worker feels undeniably drawn to an isolated area in the wilderness where something spectacular is about to happen.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Teri Garr
Certificate: GP Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In a future where all flora is extinct on Earth, an astronaut is given orders to destroy the last of Earth's botany, kept in a greenhouse aboard a spacecraft.

Director: Douglas Trumbull
Stars: Bruce Dern, Cliff Potts, Ron Rifkin
Metropolis (1927)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home-world.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote
Adventure | Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A teenager is accidentally sent 30 years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his friend, Dr. Emmett Brown, and must make sure his high-school-age parents unite in order to save his own existence.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson
Adventure | Family | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In 1978, a boy is moved 8 years into the future and has an adventure with the alien ship that is responsible for that.

Director: Randal Kleiser
Stars: Joey Cramer, Paul Reubens, Veronica Cartwright
SpaceCamp (1986)
Adventure | Family | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

The young attendees of a space camp find themselves in space for real when their shuttle is accidently launched into orbit.

Director: Harry Winer
Stars: Kate Capshaw, Lea Thompson, Kelly Preston
Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A highly advanced robotic boy longs to become "real" so that he can regain the love of his human mother.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, Frances O'Connor
Jurassic Park (1993)
Adventure | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum
The Rocketeer (1991)
Action | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A young pilot stumbles onto a prototype jetpack that allows him to become a high flying masked hero.

Director: Joe Johnston
Stars: Billy Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin
Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

One of the first science fiction films to attempt a high level of accurate technical detail tells the story of the first trip to the moon.

Director: Irving Pichel
Stars: John Archer, Warner Anderson, Tom Powers
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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

Taglines:

Walt Disney's Mighty, Magnificent, Memorable 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 December 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jules Verne's 20000 Leagues Under the Sea  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In addition to his many contributions as the production designer, Harper Goff also taught Kirk Douglas to play the guitar for the "Whale of a Tale" number. See more »

Goofs

The Nautilus attacks the ammunition ship from port side. Yet in a subsequent underwater shot, the Nautilus is seen breaching through the hull from starboard side. See more »

Quotes

Professor Pierre Aronnax, narrator: A strange twilight world opened up before me, and I felt as the first man to set foot on another planet, an intruder in this mystic garden of the deep.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Durval Records (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
(partial)
by Johann Sebastian Bach
Played by James Mason (uncredited) (dubbed by an anonymous organist)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The past meets the future in a gripping epic.
29 July 2004 | by (Milwaukee, Wis. USA) – See all my reviews

The Walt Disney film of 1954, "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea" is nothing short of a masterpiece within its genre. While comparing it to "Gone With The Wind" or "Citizen Kane" might be done by others in calling "Leagues" a 'masterpiece', it would be comparing apples to oranges, for this epic, while not overlong as are most masterpieces, it is completely contained to tell a gripping story with wonder acting, production values and the special effects of the day.

It is had to know where to begin to list the wonderful achievements here, especially in adapting a book of almost a thousand pages, much of it filled with endless lists of the fish and fauna of the sea, of which Jules Verne was especially fond. Such was unfilmable, of course, and the script writer, Earl Felton, was wise in paring down the verbosity of the novel, which, of course, was the usual for the prolix Victorian style of Verne's day. From that wonderful opening of the titles shown against lush drapery illuminated by rippling water reflections of the undersea cast upon it, to the beginning of the inspired, majestic score by Paul J. Smith, one is transported to a fantastic time and place and the artistry to come is well intoned. Customarily, the Director is given the lion's share of the credit for a film's success, but here it is an almost perfect melding of the story, the acting and the visuals as well as the music that combine with seeming effortlessness to entertain.

James Mason as Capt. Nemo is superb, with his wonderful bearing and diction lending the aura of both contained madness and yet sympathetic grace to a character who could have been so easily overplayed. Disney wisely selected Kirk Douglas and Peter Lorre as the physical foils of Nemo and to provide the comic and action relief. Had this not been done, the intellectual bearings of Nemo and Paul Lukas' Professor Arronax would have overloaded and stilted the film, rather the way they do in the novel. Some take exception to the device of "Esmeralda" the seal, but that too is a needed counterpoint to the otherwise dark theme of the implied mission of the Nautilus: the destruction of warships that spread "man's inhumanity to man." Such is the skill of the spare dialogue in the film that one never is hit over the head with the sermon of the hopelessness and wickedness of war and the nations that sponsor it. This film carries the message of the novel, but it never looses sight of its first purpose, which is to entertain. Even the implied nuclear destruction is not trumpeted, but only alluded to, since such energy source was unknown to Jules Verne in the 19th Century, of course, but was highly topical in the 1950s.

One of the glories of the movie is the marked artistry in all the careful details in the film. It was just then that the USA was planning its first nuclear submarines, the first of which was even named the "Nautilus" in memory of this immensely popular film. But the art director, John Meehan, the production designer, Harper Goff, and the set decorator, Emile Kuri, were never carried away by allusions to then modern technology, but kept faith with the setting of the day, by making the ship a wonderful creature-like form, the interiors a skillful blend of needed science for function, coupled with a lush decor that bespoke not only the Victorian times, but also the sensitivity of man of its genius of design. Look at the touches: the electric iris covering the massive bubble window, the fountain in the captain's drawing room, complete with an artistic pipe organ properly intoning Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D-minor, as most appropriate. Even the uniforms and upholstery are embroidered with the 'N' of Nemo's monogram as are the galloons on the edges of the draperies. The inventiveness of the electric charge upon the hull is also one of the clever devices to invoke the future, yet help make the existence of the undersea ship believable.

Everyone who sees this epic will always remember, the night scene of a hand-to-tentacle fight with a giant squid, as truly unforgettable and most appropriate again, for it was only a few years before that the first complete corpse of such a squid was found in complete form and thereby documented what others had only written of. This film exceeded its class in that day and age, yet even if equal actors could have been found for the earlier versions, they would have been too early to truly depict the vision of Jules Verne's technology of the future.

Some have criticized that the entire novel was not on film, but were the entire book to be filmed, it would exceed five hours, and Disney knows that even with the finest production, a film must be limited to approximately two hours in order to get both an audience willing to sit through it, as well as exhibitors willing to show it. In making a movie, the constraints are much more severe than in writing a novel; a movie is a collaboration of many people and many conflicting desires and egos must be assuaged. The flow of an entertaining story is paramount, since this was never to be a documentary. Each actor's agent works to try to get the maximum time on screen for his client, which gets maximum credit and fee for the actor. The limitations of filming such an imaginative novel also created large costs which the producers would try to show on screen to justify it all to the accountants, since a film is created with the aim of making a profit for the studio and its investors. We must agree that they succeeded in making one of the most interesting and visually spectacular films ever made, whereas the book contained a great deal of unfilmable ichthyology that was more of an excursus into the expertise of Jules Verne than any dramatic device. All in all, I think that were Jules Verne alive in 1954, he would have been well pleased with this celluloid version of his epic story.


20 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Ride at Disney World fiend081
They should remake it... bdunlap-2
Other great aquatic adventure/science fiction films? cinderwild
Ned's reference to 'Glory Hole' Fillumfan
Nemo a Villain?? mortimerj190
James Mason is the real Star here Freddie1980
Discuss 20000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?