Mysterious Island [DVD] [1961]

  • SKU: 7147367
  • Release Date: 10/29/2002
  • Rating: NR
Adventure is the key to the special effects extravaganza Mysterious Island. This 1961 feature is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and appears to be in excellent shape considering the film's age. The bright colors and solid black levels are all well represented with only a small amount of grain penetrating the image. Overall Columbia's work on this golden age title is very good. The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono in English and is very apt for the film it is supporting. While directional effects and fidelity are sorely lacking, the bulk of the track is free and clear of any excessive hiss or distortion. Also included on this disc are English, French and Spanish subtitles. A few extra features have been included on this DVD, starting with a short promotional featurette titled "This is Dynamation" which looks at the special effects created by Ray Harryhausen. "The Harryhausen Chronicles" (narrated by actor Lenoard Nimoy) is a nearly hour long history on special effects artist Harryhausen and his work in Hollywood. Filled with various interviews, including the effects master himself, this documentary should please any fan of stop-motion effects. "Mysterious Island Featurette" is a fluffy look at the making of the film and includes some interview footage with Harryhausen, rare behind-the-scenes photos and storyboards from the film. Finally there are a few short photo galleries with production and artwork stills, as well as other theatrical trailers for other Columbia Tristar DVDs.
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Overall Customer Rating:
100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (1 out of 1)

Special Features

  • Digitally mastered audio & anamorphic video
  • Remastered in high definition
  • Photo gallery
  • The making of Mysterious Island
  • The harryhausen chronicles
  • "This is dynamation featurette
  • Widescreen presentation
  • English audio
  • English, French, and Spanish subtitles
  • Theatrical trailers
  • Interactive menus
  • Scene selections
  • Closed Captioned


Mysterious Island
Filmed at least nine times over the last nine decades, Jules Verne's Mysterious Island received its most popular picturization in the hands of producer Charles Schneer, director Cy Endfield and special-effects maestro Ray Harryhausen. During the Civil War, several P.O.W.s led by Gary Merrill escape from a southern stockade in a huge observation balloon. Buffeted about by a violent storm, the balloon lands on an unchartered island somewhere near New Zealand. The fugitives soon discover that this is no ordinary desert isle, especially after being attacked by a giant-sized crab. Joined by a pair of shipwrecked British gentlewomen (Joan Greenwood and Beth Rogan), the castaways find evidence that the island has been previously inhabited-and that they're all being watched. Sure enough, it turns out that the island is the domain of Captain Nemo (Herbert Lom), skipper of the futuristic underwater vessel Nautilus. Having failed to end all wars by blasting battleships out of the sea, Nemo is now experimenting with new means of ending starvation in the world: hence the outsized crabs and birds that the castaways have confronted. Before Nemo can spread his goodwill elsewhere, he is destroyed by the island's volcano, while the others manage to escape in the Nautilus. As in 1957's 7th Voyage of Sinbad, the combination of Ray Harryhausen and musical composer Bernard Herrmann is unbeatable; otherwise, Mysterious Island tends to slow to a halt in-between its spectacular special-effects highlights. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Michael Craig
    Michael Craig - Capt. Cyrus Harding
  • Joan Greenwood
    Joan Greenwood - Mary Fairchild
  • Michael Callan
    Michael Callan - Herbert Brown
  • Gary Merrill
    Gary Merrill - Gideon Spillet
  • Herbert Lom
    Herbert Lom - Capt. Nemo

Overall customer rating

would recommend to a friend
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Old Film with some nice effects

    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Even though this film was made a long time ago, it does have some good special effects

    I would recommend this to a friend

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