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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (I) (1997)

TV Movie  |   |  Adventure, Fantasy, Romance  |  23 March 1997 (USA)
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Reviews: 24 user | 5 critic

In the 19th century, an expert marine biologist is hired by the government to determine what's sinking ships all over the ocean. His daughter follows him. They are intercepted by a mysterious captain Nemo and his incredible submarine.



(teleplay), (novel)
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Captain Nemo explores the mysteries of the ocean deep in his submarine Nautilus. Based on the classic Jules Verne novel.

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Credited cast:
Sophie Arronax
Admiral John E. Sellings
Jeff Harding ...
David Henry ...
Scotia Captain
James Vaughan ...
Susannah Fellows ...
Joshua Brody ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
A seaman


In the 19th century, an expert marine biologist is hired by the government to determine what's sinking ships all over the ocean. His daughter follows him. They are intercepted by a mysterious captain Nemo and his incredible submarine.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Evil is a silent hunter. See more »


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Release Date:

23 March 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

20.000 Léguas Submarinas  »

Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Last film of Alan Hume See more »


Most of the books lining the shelves in Captain Nemo's library are Readers Digest condensed book collections. This is particularly evident in closer shots; no attempt is made to disguise the distinctive Readers Digest binding. See more »


Captain Nemo: I've always dreamed of finding a woman with a first-rate mind. Someone who can understand me.
See more »


Version of 20.000 Leagues Under the Sea (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

not Disney but a new adaptation that is faithful to the novel
15 February 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If you are used to Disney's version of this Jules Verne classic, this Hallmark Hall of Fame made-for-TV special will take some getting used to. It's different, but in a good way. It is not a remake, but an altogether new adaptation by one Joe Wiesenfeld, who has clearly studied the novel carefully and crafted a script that is faithful to Jules Verne's original intent and exposition while cutting to the chase. The emphasis falls in different places than in the Disney film and at a faster pace, but it maintains a sense of wonder and adventure. Wiesenfeld is attentive to character and motivation and crafts a script that makes good dramatic sense. The biggest change -- making the doctor's assistant his daughter -- is necessary in modern times and most welcome, especially because she is played by the lovely and talented Julie Cox. Other women are glimpsed among the crew of the Nautalis, bringing the film up-to-date in period dress. The classically trained English actor Ben Cross was an excellent choice for Capt. Nemo. He is absolutely believable as the tragic and haunted Captain who recognizes no boundaries in the sea or his own conduct. All the contradictions and conflicts of the character are conveyed with subtlety by Ben Cross. Richard Crenna brings gravitas and presence to the role of Prof Aronex. The production design and costuming redefine the utilitarian world of the Nautalis as a ship we can believe in. The cinematography is by the great Alan Hume, and the direction by Hollywood veteran Michael Anderson (The Quiller Memorandum, Logan's Run) is both pictorial and dramatically engaging. This is a well-produced and legitimate version of Jules Verne's novel. It is not Disney, which may be taken as an advantage.

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