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Mysterious Island (1961)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Family, Sci-Fi  |  20 December 1961 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 4,210 users  
Reviews: 62 user | 28 critic

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.



(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Daniel Ullman) , 2 more credits »
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Title: Mysterious Island (1961)

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Complete credited cast:
Michael Craig ...
Lady Mary Fairchild
Beth Rogan ...
Elena Fairchild
Sgt. Pencroft
Dan Jackson ...


During the US Civil War, Union POWs escape in a balloon and end up stranded on a South Pacific island, inhabited by giant plants and animals. They must use their ingenuity to survive the dangers, and to devise a way to return home. Sequel to '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea'. Written by Stewart M. Clamen <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A world beyond imagination! Adventure beyond belief! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

20 December 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jules Verne's Mysterious Island  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Originally, there was going to be a scene featuring a man-eating plant, but it was never shot. See more »


When Capt. Nemo plays the organ he begins with the opening toccata of Bach's Toccata & Fugue in D minor. His hands are not even playing notes, it seems he is just massaging the keys. The second time you see his hands, they are quite still showing in both instances that he is obviously not playing and that the organ sound was dubbed in. See more »


[first lines]
Confederate soldier: All right, now get down.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: THE SIEGE OF RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 1865 See more »


Featured in Cheezy Fantasy Trailers (2006) See more »


Toccata and Fugue
in D Minor, BWV 565 (uncredited)
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
Played on organ by Captain Nemo
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

They don't make 'em like this anymore....and that's a shame!
20 May 2006 | by (Camilla, GA) – See all my reviews

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 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.

26 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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