Mysterious Island (1961)

Mysterious Island (1961)

Director: Cy Endfield
Starring: Michael Craig, Joan Greenwood, Michael Callan

Union prisoners of war escape in a balloon and are thrown wildly off course during a storm and find themselves on a desert island filled with strange giant creatures.

I've seen several films showcasing Ray Harryhausen's special effects and for most of them, Harryhausen's work is the main draw. This is a notable exception and you can probably chalk it up to superior source material, being adapted from a Jules Verne novel. Actually, the effects that made it memorable are largely tossed into the story by the filmmakers looking to spice things up. Honestly, the basic island survival story works well enough and the added spice, while not necessary, does help it stand out a bit. I want to give a particular nod to Herbert Lom in his portrayal of Captain Nemo. I find it rather gratifying to recommend one of the entries in Harryhausen's filmography for more than just the effects. Give this one a watch.

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