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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Captain Nemo And The Underwater City (1969)

In the 1860s, a ship sinks in a storm but five passengers are rescued and brought to a magnificent city at the bottom of the sea which is governed by Captain Nemo (Robert Ryan). The survivors are told they must live out the rest of their lives in the undersea kingdom and cannot return to the surface. "Inspired" by Jules Verne and utilizing his Captain Nemo from 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA and MYSTERIOUS ISLAND, this undersea adventure should play well to youngsters but adults might have a harder time as the film never quite captures the imagination the way Verne and some of the films based on his novels did. The real star of the film is the art director William C. Andrews (Kubrick's LOLITA) whose futuristic underwater city is a stunning creation. There is a lot of underwater footage which allows composer Angela Morley (writing here as Walter Stott) an opportunity to compose what almost amounts to an underwater ballet. Directed by James Hill (BORN FREE) and with Chuck Connors, Luciana Paluzzi, Nanette Newman, Allan Cuthbertson and providing what I imagine is supposed to be comedy relief, Bill Fraser and Kenneth Connor as a pair of gold hungry brothers.

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