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Mysterious Island
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Mysterious Island (1961) More at IMDbPro »

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Mysterious Island -- Escaping from a Confederate prison camp by balloon, five survivors land on an uncharted island in the Pacific. The island is home to monsters, pirates, and the mad genius, Captain Nemo, who inhabits the mysterious island for his own strange ends.
Mysterious Island -- Trailer for this outrageous sci fi classic
Mysterious Island -- Escaping from a Confederate prison camp by balloon, five survivors land on an uncharted island in the Pacific. The island is home to monsters, pirates, and the mad genius, Captain Nemo, who inhabits the mysterious island for his own strange ends.
Mysterious Island -- The fantastic Captain Nemo once again inspires the spirit of adventure in another Jules Verne classic.


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Down 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
John Prebble (screenplay) &
Daniel B. Ullman (screenplay) ...
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Release Date:
20 December 1961 (USA) See more »
adventure! mystery! excitement! See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Jules Verne Meets King Kong See more (62 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Michael Craig ... Capt. Cyrus Harding

Joan Greenwood ... Lady Mary Fairchild

Michael Callan ... Herbert Brown

Gary Merrill ... Gideon Spilitt

Herbert Lom ... Captain Nemo
Beth Rogan ... Elena Fairchild

Percy Herbert ... Sgt. Pencroft
Dan Jackson ... Cpl. Neb Nugent
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Harry Monty ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Cy Endfield 
Writing credits
John Prebble (screenplay) &
Daniel B. Ullman (screenplay) (as Daniel Ullman) &
Crane Wilbur (screenplay)

Jules Verne (novel)

Produced by
Charles H. Schneer .... producer
Original Music by
Bernard Herrmann 
Cinematography by
Wilkie Cooper (photographed by)
Film Editing by
Frederick Wilson 
Art Direction by
William C. Andrews  (as Bill Andrews)
Production Management
Raymond Anzarut .... production supervisor
Robert Sterne .... production manager (as Bob Sterne)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
René Dupont .... assistant director (as Rene Dupont)
Art Department
Francisco Prósper .... construction coordinator (uncredited)
Sound Department
John Cox .... sound supervisor
Peter Handford .... sound recordist
Bob Jones .... sound recordist
Visual Effects by
Ray Harryhausen .... special visual effects creator
Vic Margutti .... special photographic effects (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Jack Mills .... camera operator
Egil S. Woxholt .... underwater photography (as Egil Woxholt)
Maurice Gillett .... chief electrician (uncredited)
Music Department
Bernard Herrmann .... conductor: The London Symphony Orchestra
Bernard Herrmann .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Bob Gill .... title design
Marjorie Lavelly .... continuity
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Jules Verne's Mysterious Island" - UK (complete title), USA (complete title)
See more »
101 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Argentina:Atp | Australia:PG | Finland:K-8 | Iceland:12 | Netherlands:12 | Sweden:11 | UK:U (passed with cuts) | USA:Approved (MPAA rating: certificate #19763) | West Germany:6

Did You Know?

The armature for the crab is covered with the shell of a real crab instead of the usual latex. Ray Harryhausen bought three crabs for the production, having one humanely killed by a museum employee as boiling it would have changed the color of the shell. The other two were used for close-ups of the crabs' mandibles, which would otherwise have required a huge amount of time to properly animate. These crabs subsequently served as a dinner entrée for Harryhausen and producer Charles H. Schneer.See more »
Continuity: The "neck" of the balloon is shown blown out of position when first seen. It is then shown in place, too quickly to have been repaired.See more »
[first lines]
Confederate soldier:All right, now get down.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The Sci-Fi Boys (2006)See more »
Toccata and FugueSee more »


Why did Nemo hide from the castaways, then aid them, and finally reveal himself to them?
How closely does the movie follow the novel?
Where did the women come from?
See more »
33 out of 36 people found the following review useful.
Jules Verne Meets King Kong, 5 January 2006
Author: wonderboss from Atlanta, GA

Harryhausen crossed Jules Verne with King Kong in his version of Mysterious Island, giving the author's Civil War castaways something really mysterious to look at for a change. The result is a Skull Island-style adventure with a nifty 19th century set-up, and one of the stop-motion maestro's most satisfying films. Harryhausen movies are at their best when Harryhausen is unabashedly the star—-as he is here in Mysterious Island. From this high-water mark in the early Sixties, Harryhausen's films slowly began to shipwreck on two constantly reiterated movie-making clichés. First, writers began to tell Harryhausen that his effects ought to be better integrated into the overall plot, that they ought not to be isolated set pieces sprinkled through the picture like plums in a fruitcake. Secondly, critics continued to repeat the old film music legend that movie scoring is best when it fades unnoticed into the background. Both of these old saws were, in fact, horrible lies. And Mysterious Island is great because Harryhausen and his composer were still refusing to take any notice of them. The effects sequences in Mysterious Island aren't plums in a fruitcake, they're solos in a symphony, they're like the soliloquies in Shakespeare. And Bernard Herrmann's scoring for these episodes is in your face…as it should be. It jumps up and screams "THIS IS A SET-PIECE…AND A GREAT ONE. KICK BACK AND ENJOY IT!" And this, once again, is as it should be. The truth is, that stop-motion isn't an effects technique. It's an art form. If you can't enjoy it for it's own sake, then you can't enjoy it. Every attempt Harryhausen later made to "integrate" his stuff just encouraged people to take it seriously--as a serious attempt, that is, to duplicate reality. Which it isn't. We go to a Harryhausen film for Harryhausen, just as we go to a Chaplin film for Chaplin. If you came in for some other reason, then you picked the wrong movie. That said, Mysterious Island really does work, I think, as a 60s "Jules Verne" picture. The period atmosphere is some of the best in any of those movies and the interesting Nautilus variation we see here is fun to look at in its own right. The acting is quite good also, and Cy Endfield is one of the better Harryhausen directors. But the Verne elements are really just the frame around the picture. Like I said, go for Ray's monsters--then go out and tell the world.

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