MYSTERIOUS ISLAND (1962) C widescreen 100m dir: Cy Endfield

w/Michael Craig, Joan Greenwood, Michael Callan, Gary Merrill, Herbert Lom, Percy Herbert

From Variety's contemporary review of the film: "Produced in England under Cy Endfield's vigorous direction, the film illustrates the strange plight that befalls three Union soldiers, a newspaperman and a Rebel who, in 1865, escape the siege of Richmond in the inevitable Jules Verne balloon and return to land on an island in the remote South Seas, where they encounter, in chronological order: (1) a giant crab, (2) a giant bird, (3) two lovely shipwrecked British ladies of average proportions, (4) a giant bee, (5) a band of cutthroat pirates, (6) Captain Nemo's inoperable sub, (7) Captain Nemo.

"The screenplay, from Verne's novel, winds with a staple of the science-fantasy melodrama --- an entire volcanic isle sinking into the sea as the heroes and heroines beat a hasty retreat.

"Dramatically, the film is awkward, burdened with unanswered questions and some awfully ineffectual giant animals, but photographically it is noteworthy for the Super-dynamation process and special visual effects by Ray Harryhausen."

Besides the wizardry of Harryhausen, MYSTERIOUS ISLAND also boasts a terrific score by Bernard Herrmann, who collaborated most famously with Alfred Hitchcock on films such as VERTIGO and PSYCHO.