Monday, January 31, 2022

Jules Verne On The Motion Picture Screen

Jules Gabriel Verne has a total of 84 published books, 73 published within his lifetime, February 8, 1828 to March 24, 1905. I am not going to look at every work, or every motion picture made from them in a blog article. I will be selective in my choice of titles and I recognize that my reader will be thinking of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Mysterious Island, Journey to the Center of the Earth, From the Earth to the Moon, and perhaps, Around the World in 80 Days. I promise to get to them later, but----

----I start with a favorite of mine from Czechoslovakia.

Vynález zkázy (Deadly Invention aka Invention for Destruction) premiered at the Brussels, Belgium, Film Festival in June 1958

The motion picture would be seen in ten other countries including the Soviet Union, East Germany, Italy, Finland and Sweden before it came to the United States on June 7, 1961, dubbed into English as "The Fabulous World of Jules Verne".

The motion picture from director and co-writer Karel Zeman, seen in the still below, was additionally written by Frantisek Hrubin and Milan Vacha. On some listings director, artist, and writer Kiri Brdecka is also listed.

The screenplay was mainly based upon Jules Verne's 1896 "Face au drapeau (Facing the Flag)". The novel's theme was France and the entire world threatened by a super-weapon and French patriotism saving mankind. 

However, Karel Zeman included ideas from other Verne novels in the screenplay and has his hero "Simon Hart", played by Lubor Tokos, narrate the story. Which is played like a 19th Century Melodrama, hiss at the villain, feel for the heroine, and cheer the handsome hero. 

Zeman has his beautiful heroine, "Jana", played by 17-years-old Jana Zatloukalova, and the pirate leader "Count Artigas",  played by Czech actor Miroslav Holub.

What makes this story of a gang of pirates kidnaping a scientist, "Professor Roch", played Arnost Navratil, to gain the secret of his futuristic weapon actually charming, is that the movie is filmed to look like the 1896 illustrations of the novel. In the end the hero gets the girl and the villain is stopped.

The above photo brings me to my next motion picture based upon two related Jules Verne's titles.

MASTER OF THE WORLD released on May 24, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii

Above is the British release poster, one does not normally think of "American International Pictures" for high quality motion pictures with the exception of their Edgar Alan Poe series. However, "AIP's" version of Jules Verne's novel's, 1886's "Robur-le-Conquerant (Robur the Conqueror aka The Clipper of the Air)" and its sequel, 1904's "Maitre du monde (Master of the World)" is an exception!

To begin with the screenplay was by Richard Matheson, who would write most of the Poe series, and the screenplays for his previously novels, 1954's "I Am Legend", 1956 "The Shrinking Man aka The Incredible Shrinking Man)", and 1971's "Hell House aka The Legend of Hell House". 

My article "Richard Matheson: The Screenplays and Treatments" is at:

The pace of the film is because director William Whitney had co-directed some of the classic Cliff-Hangers, such as, 1939's "Daredevils of the Red Circle", 1940's "The Mysterious Dr. Satan", 1941's "The Adventures of Captain Marvel", 1942's "Spy Smasher", and 1946's "The Crimson Ghost".

The cast was just perfect:

Vincent Price portrayed "Robur". Although Price was appearing on television shows at the time of production, the year before he made the first of the Poe series, 1960's "House of Usher", and would immediately follow this picture with 1961's "The Pit and the Pendulum".

Charles Bronson portrayed "John Stock". Even after having a major role in director John Sturges' Americanization of Japanese director Ikira Kurosawa's 1956 "The Seven Samurai", as 1960's "The Magnificent Seven", Bronson still only appeared on television until this feature. 

Henry Hull portrayed "Prudent". Hull's career included the title role of 1935's "Werewolf of London". Among his motion pictures are, the Tyrone Power and Henry Fonda 1939 "Jesse James", that feature's sequel starring Henry Fonda, 1940's "The Return of Frank James", Alfred Hitchcock's 1944 "Lifeboat", Errol Flynn's 1945 "Objective Burma", and the 1949 version of Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead" starring Cary Cooper and Patricia Neal.


Mary Webster portrayed "Dorothy Prudent". Other than the Jerry Lewis comedy from 1957', "The Delicate Delinquent", this is Webster's only other motion picture, but she did appear on television from 1955 through 1963.

David Frankham portrayed "Phillip Evans". Other than playing the villain in 1959's "The Return of the Fly", the actor basically worked on television.

Above, David Frankham and Mary Webster.

The screenplay's opening sequence is set in Morgantown, Pennsylvania, a voice is heard coming out of a volcanic crater reciting a biblical verse that frightens the residents.

Government agent "John Strock" is sent to investigate and report back directly to the President of the United States. "Strock" attends a meeting of a balloon society that is hotly debating upon which end of the balloon the propeller should go. On one side of the argument is an arms manufacturer named "Prudent", and on the other side is an young balloonist named "Phillip Evans". Between the two is "Evans" fiancée "Dorothy Prudent" the daughter of his verbal opponent. "Strock" asks "Prudent" to test the societies balloon over the dormant volcano so he can observe the area the voice came from. As the balloon carrying its four passengers passes near the volcanic cone a rocket shoots out, hits it, and the balloon enters the cone and crashes. When the four regain consciousness, they're the "Guests" of "Robur" aboard his flying ship "The Albatross". 

What follows is "Robur" discovering who "Prudent" is and lecturing him against building weapons of war. Along with "Strock" and the others observing "Robur" declare his own war upon warships from around the world. After a time, "Strock" starts to admire "Robur's" goals, not his means of carrying them out, and will get the other three off the "Albatross" before sabotaging the flying ship.

Remember this picture came out at the height of the Vietnam War. In Richard Matheson's screenplay "Robur" has been turned into an idealist who plans to conqueror the world to end tyranny and war. In the novel he only bombs one target, an African coronation that will include human sacrifice. Also "Strock" is only in the sequel to "Robur the Conqueror", the "Master of the World". Which is not about the "Albatross" that was destroyed in the first novel, but a craft called "The Terror", that can change into a speedboat, submarine, automobile, or aircraft. Unfortunately, its not seen in this motion picture.

Richard Matheson ends his screenplay more like Walt Disney than Jules Verne. "The Albatross" has been damaged in a conflict with a desert army and "Robur" injured.

"Robur" orders his crew to abandon ship, but they refuse to leave their leader. Everyone gathers in his cabin and he reads a Biblical passage, Isaiah 2:4 about turning swords into plowshares. "Strock" now escapes as "The Albatross" crashes into the ocean and explodes.

THE LIGHT AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD premiered in New York City, New York, on July 16, 1971

This story was adapted from Verne's 1905 "Le Phare du bout du monde (The Lighthouse at the End of the World)".

The movie was directed by British Director Kevin Billington. Between 1963 and 1992, Billington only had nineteen credits as a director and with the exception of two other feature films, they were all on British television.

The screenplay was by Tom Rowe. This was only his third screenplay out of eight, but the other seven included the cult science fiction film from 1968, "Green Slime", and the original story for Walt Disney's animated 1970 "The Aristocats".

The three leads should have made this movie a box office hit, but it became a box office failure.

Kirk Douglas portrayed "Will Denton". Douglas had just co-starred with Henry Fonda in the 1970 western "There Was a Crooked Man", and followed this feature with another western, 1971's "A Gunfight" co-starring Johnny Cash.

Yul Brynner portrayed "Jonathan Kongre". Brynner had just been in the spaghetti western 1970's "Adios Sabata", and would follow this picture with 1971's "Romance of a Horsethief" co-starring Eli Wallach.

Samantha Eggar portrayed "Arabella". London born actress Eggar had just been in the British drama 1970's "The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun" co-starring Oliver Reed. She would follow this picture with the 1972 Italian horror movie, "L'egtrusco uccide ancora (The Egtrusco Kills Again aka The Dead Are Alive)".

In the novel, Jules Verne sets his plot by writing:
The Argentine Republic had displayed a happy initiative in constructing this lighthouse at the end of the world.

His adventure story revolves around the Argentine lighthouse keeper and his two assistants fighting off marooned pirates to keep the light functioning for the shipping that pass within Elgor Bay and the harbor of Saint-Jean in October of 1858.

The screenplay moves the story to 1865, the Argentine lighthouse keeper is now American "Will Denton". Who has sought isolation to mend his broken heart after a failed romance during the California Gold Rush and to escape punishment for murdering a man during a gunfight.

"Denton" has two Argentine assistants and they remain Verne's characters of  "Moriz" and Felipe", but otherwise he is alone on the rocky cave filled island. Suddenly, "Denton's" isolation is ruined when a shipload of sadistic pirates under the command of "Jonathan Kongre" arrive, murder "Moriz" and 'Felipe", put out the light so that ships will wreck on the rocks and they can loot them.

"Denton" flees to the caves and hides from the pirates, but when "Kongre" sees the beautiful "Arabella", a survivor from one of the ship wrecks, he breaks his own rules and does not kill her. All setting up a confrontation between the two men.

Next, Irwin Allen decided to make a Jules Verne novel.

FIVE WEEKS IN A BALLOON released August 22, 1962

The film was very loosely based upon Jules Verne's 1863 "Cing semaines en ballon (Five Weeks in a Balloon)", that somehow became the English book title. "Five Weeks in a Balloon, or, A Journey of Discovery by Three Englishmen in Africa".

Irwin Allen produced and directed the motion picture. Allen and just produced and directed his 1961 "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" and would follow this picture by producing the two-television series "Lost in Space" and "The Time Tunnel".

Irwin Allen was one of three screenplay writers, but the main writer was Charles Bennett. Among Bennett's work are 1961's "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea", and the Vincent Price, Tab Hunter, and Susan Hart's 1965 "City in the Sea aka War-Gods of the Deep", based upon an Edgar Allan Poe story. Bennett also wrote Alfred Hitchcock's 1934 "The Man Who Knew Too Much", 1935's "The 39 Steps", both 1936's "Secret Agent" and "Sabotage", and Hitch's 1940 "Foreign Correspondent".

Irwin Allen's cousin Albert Gail also received screenplay writing credit and his only other was Allen's 1974 "The Towering Inferno".

As with many of Irwin Allen's features at the time, the stars out-shined the screenplay. After seeing what Allen did to Bennett's original screenplay, the writer made his displeasure known in the trades.

Red Buttons portrayed "Donald O'Shay". Buttons had just co-starred in John Wayne's 1962 "Hatari!" and would follow this picture with producer Daryl F. Zanuck's epic international-all-star telling of the June 6, 1944 allied invasion of Europe, 1962's "The Longest Day".

Barbara Eden portrayed "Susan Gale". Eden had just co-starred in producer George Pal's 1962 Cinerama feature, "The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm". She would follow this movie with an episode of the forgotten  Nick Adams television series 1962's "Saints and Sinners".

Fabian portrayed "Jacques". He had just co-starred with James Stewart and Maureen O'Hara in 1962's "Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation" and would follow this movie with 1962's "The Longest Day".

Barbara Luna portrayed "Makia". Luna was basically a television actress with an occasional feature film.


In the above still that is "Chester the Chimp" crossing playing as "Duchess the Chimp".

Sir Cedric Hardwicke portrayed "Fergusson". Hardwicke was guest starring on American and British television before and after this motion picture. His next feature film would be the British 1964 "The Pumpkin Eater" starring Anne Bancroft, Peter Finch, and James Mason, Sir Cedrick Hardwicke passed away three months after that film's release.

Richard Haydin portrayed "Sir Henry Vining". The actor had been in an episode of televisions "The Twilight Zone" entitled "A Thing About Machines", October 28, 1960. He followed this motion picture with the Marlon Brando and Trevor Howard 1962 "Mutiny on the Bounty".

Above left, Sir Cedric Hardwicke and right, Richard Haydin.

Peter Lorre portrayed "Ahmed". Lorre had just been seen in director Roger Corman's Poe entry written by Richard Matheson, 1962's "Tales of Terror". He would follow it with the very funny Corman entry, 1963's "The Raven", in which Corman turns loose Lorre, Vincent Price and Boris Karloff to ad-lib their battle of the sorcerers. My article, "PETER LORRE: Overlooked, or Forgotten  Performances" will found at:

The original Jules Verne novel is an exciting adventure story. On August 24, 1962, the "Los Angeles Times" had this to say about the screenplay:
children will enjoy it but adults will find the whimsy heavy and repetitious.



I now turn to a Jules Verne novel that had multiple motion picture versions including one in Soviet Russia.

IN SEARCH OF THE CASTAWAYS premiered in London, England, on November 14, 1962

Verne's original novel was 1868's "Les Enfants du capitiane Grant (The Children of Captain Grant)".

The first filmed version of the novel "Les Enfants du capitiane Grant" was released on April 10, 1914 in France.

On September 15, 1936 the Soviet Union released their version of the novel "Дети капитана Гранта (The Children of Captain Grant)" directed by Vladimir Vaynahtok.

It would be another twenty-six years before Walt Disney released the next version of Verne's novel using the English language translation title of "In Search of the Castaways".

Robert Stevenson directed the feature film. For Disney, Stevenson had directed before this feature film, both 1957's "Johnny Tremain" and "Old Yeller", both 1959's "Darby O'Gill and the Little People" and "Kidnapped", and 1961's "The Absent Minded Professor". Robert Stevenson would continue to direct major Disney motion pictures through 1985.

Maurice Chevalier portrayed "Jacques Paganel". Chevalier had just been seen co-starring with Angie Dickinson in the 1962 comedy "Jessica". He would follow this picture with the Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward comedy, 1963's "A New Kind of Love".

Hayley Mills portrayed "Mary Grant". The star of Disney's 1960 "Pollyanna" and the original 1961 "The Parent Trap" had just been seen in the British crime thriller, 1961's "Whistle Down the Wind" co-starring with Alan Bates and Bernard Lee. Hayley Mills would follow this feature with another from Walt Disney, 1963's "Summer Magic".

George Sanders portrayed "Thomas Ayerton". Sanders had just co-starred with Terry-Thomas and Lionel Jeffries in a British war comedy 1962's "Operation Snatch" and followed this film with the British 1963 crime drama "Cairo" co-starring with Richard Johnson.

Wilfrid Hyde-White portrayed "Lord Glenarvan". Hyde-White had just appeared in the British crime comedy 1962's "Crooks Anonymous", and followed this feature with an episode of televisions "The Twilight Zone", entitled, "Passage on the Lady Anne", May 9, 1963.

Michael Anderson, Jr. portrayed "John Glenarvan". Anderson, Jr. was just in as British musical 1962's "Play It Cool", co-starring Billy Fury, who was Britain's answer to Elvis Presley at the time.
After this motion picture he was seen on British television.

In 19th century Britain, "Professor Paganel", described as a scientifically-thinking French geography Professor has found a message in a bottle. He believes it's from the missing "John Grant", played by Jack Gwillim and with "Grant's" two teenage children, "Mary" and "Robert", played by Keith Hamshere, they go to see "John Glenarvan" and his wealthy father, "Lord Glenarvan" the owner of "Grant's" missing ship. So, starts the search for the castaways in typical Walt Disney family fare that will first take them to South America, the Andes mountains, a giant condor, and an earthquake. Followed by a trip to Australia, a treacherous gun runner named "Tom Ayverton", Maori cannibals, mutineers, a volcano eruption and finally finding "Mary" and "Robert's" father alive and a reunion.

I now turn to a work that critics consider the greatest novel written by Jules Verne. It's not science fiction, but pure historical adventure and was published in France in 1876 as "Michal Strogoff". The English language translation was entitled "Michael Strogoff: The Courier of the Czar". 

Michael Strogoff is sent to warn the brother of the Russian Czar about an immanent invasion by the Tartars led by Feofar-Khan and Russian Ivan Orarteff. On his way to deliver the message, Michael meets Nadia Fedorova the daughter of exiled political prisoner Basil Fedorova, whom he will fall in love with.

The Tartars will capture Michael, his mother, and Nadia later in the story. Michael will be blinded for being a spy, or was he? Orarteff attempts to block a second courier now posing as Strogoff with the message given to him before Michael was captured. This will fail, Michael Strogoff gets the message in time to the Czar's brother and confronts the traitor, Ivan Orarteff. 

THE SOLDIER AND THE LADY released on April 9, 1937

The first of "14" filmed versions of "Michael Strogoff" was one of only two from the United States and was released on October 19, 1914, with a running time of 45-minutes.

In 1926, exiled Russian film makers living in France came together with exiled Russian actors and French actors to make a classic silent version of Jules Verne's novel. Their motion picture would be released in the United States by Carl Laemmle the founder and owner of "Universal Pictures".

Above, Ivan Mozzhukin as "Michael Strogoff" and Natahalie Kovanko as "Nadia Fedorova".

The next three versions of the Jules Verne novel have and interesting leading man.

Below is the poster for the February 7, 1936 German version starring Austrian actor Adolf Wohlbruck.

On March 10, 1936, France once again released a version of "Michael Strogoff". Austrian actor and French speaker, Adolf Wohlbuck, was back portraying the title role in the French production.

The second American version of the novel was entitled "The Soldier and the Lady" and was released by "RKO Pictures". 

Once more the Multilanguage Austrian born actor Adolf Wohlbuck was back in the lead, but now his name had become Americanized as Anton Walbrook, see the first poster in this section. British actress Elizabeth Allan portrayed "Nadia", and Russian-American actor Akim Tamiroff portrayed the now named: Ogareff".

In 1956, there was a French, Italian and West German co-production, the English language dubbed poster is below:

Among Italy's spaghetti western craze were several historical motion pictures and still another version of the Jules Verne novel starred American John Philip Law. Who had just co-starred with Charlton Heston in 1970's "The Hawaiians" and would follow this picture with Roger Corman's 1971 "Von Richthofen and Brown"!

European filmed versions of the novel have continued, to date, until an Italian animated series did a version of "Michael Strogoff" in 2013.

THE SOUTHERN STAR released in France on February 14, 1969

In 1884 Verne's novel "L'Etolie du sud (Star of the South aka The Southern Star)" was publishedbut the English language title was "The Vanished Diamond". Verne's original protagonist was a French mining engineer named "Cyprien Mere", but at some point, his name was changed in the later publications to "Victor Cyprien".  The setting is the diamond fields of South Africa, where there's a group of suitors, including "Victor", for the hand of "Alice Watkins". Add to the plot the theft of an artificially created 243 carat diamond called "The Southern Star" and the hunt for the man believed to have stolen it.

Scottish director Sidney Hayers directed the motion picture except for the opening scenes by an uncredited Orson Welles. Prior to this motion picture Hayers directed five 1967 episodes of British televisions "The Avengers". He followed this movie with 1970's "Mister Jerico" starring Patrick Macnee of "The Avengers", Connie Stevens, and Herbert Lom, 1960's "The Mysterious Island".

The screenplay was by two writers, David Pursall wrote 1966's "The Blue Max" starring George Peppard, James Mason, and Ursula Andress. He followed this film with six 1972 episodes of the British television series "It's Murder, But Is It Art?" 

Jack Seddon
also wrote 1966's "The Blue Max" and the same episodes of "It's Murder, But Is It Art?"

George Segal portrayed "Dan Rockland". American Segal had just been seen in the Italian 1968 "The Girl Who Couldn't Say No", and followed this picture with 1969's "The Bridge at Remagen" co-starring Robert Vaughn.

Ursula Andress portrayed "Erica Kramer". Andress was just in the Italian 1967's "Le dolci signore (The Sweet Ladies) aka Anyone Can Play" co-starring with Virna Lisi and Claudine Auger. She followed this picture with the British 1970 "Perfect Friday" co-starring Stanley Baker and David Warner.

Orson Welles
portrayed "Plankett". Welles was searching for money to keep working on projects he wanted to do and was located in Italy at this time. He was attempting to avoid the American IRS for back taxes he owed and had a contract with CBS to make a series called "Orson's Bag". However, while planning a shorten version of Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" for that program, the American IRS impounded his funds that CBS was to have sent him to Italy. So, just prior to this picture he co-starred with Tomas Milian in a spaghetti western 1969's "Tepepa" to keep afloat and would follow this feature with 1969's "Bitka na Neretvi aka The Battle of Neretva". Which was filmed in Yugoslavia and co-produced by Yugoslavia, Italy, West Germany, and the United States with an international cast.

Ian Henry portrayed "Captain Karl Ludwig". English actor Henry had recently been seen in a two-part 1969 episode of Roger Moore's television series "The Saint", and followed this feature with the British science fiction 1969's "Journey to the Far Side of the Sun".


Above, left to right, Johnny Sekka as "Matakit", Ian Henry, and Orson Welles.

In 1912 fortune hunter "Dan Rockland" comes to West Africa pretending to be a geologist, but in reality, he is working for a man named "Kramer", played by Harry Andrews, whose sole interest is obtaining diamonds by any means possible. 

A huge diamond called "The Southern Star" has been found and traveling by train are "Dan Rockland" and his African companion "Matakit" sent to obtain it for "Kramer". Which they do, but "Captain Karl Ludwig" is jealous of "Rockland", who is engaged to "Kramer's" daughter "Erica", and blows up the train hoping to kill him. 

However, "Dan Rockland" and "Matakit" are still able to get "The Southern Star" to "Kramer" who holds a party to celebrate it. There's a power outage and the diamond and "Matakit" disappear and "Rockland" is imprisoned as his accomplice. "Erica" helps "Dan" escape and the hunt for "The Southern Star" is on! However, back in West Africa "Ludwig" joins forces with "Major Plankett", "Kramer's" fired security chief who has sworn revenge of his boss.

FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD CAPTAIN released in the Soviet Union in 1945

The Jules Verne novel "Un capitaine de quinze ans (A fifteen-year-old captain)" with the English title of "Dick Sand, A Captain at Fifteen" was published in 1878. 

The first filmed version of the novel was made by the Soviet Union and is an interesting choice for Russian film maker Vasily Zhuravlyov, because Verne's novel deals with the African slave trade and slavery in general. I mention this, because the Russian revolution supposedly freed the people of slavery to the Czar. The novel tells how 15-years-old "Dick Sand" became the captain of the slave ship "Pilgrim" after a mutiny. 

Above, Vseovolod Larionov as "Dick Sand".

The next version of the novel was a co-production of France and Spain "Un capitan de quince anos" released on May 23, 1973 in France.

The picture is of interest, because it was directed by Jesus Franco. Franco was known for his Spanish horror movies, 1962's "Gritos en la noche (Screams in the Night)" aka "The Awful Dr. Orlof", and 1970's "Nacht, wenn Dracula erwacht (Night when Dracula awakens)" aka "Count Dracula" starring Christopher Lee in the first motion picture to attempt to follow Bram Stoker's story as written. 

Using the Soviet Union's title for the novel, on December 22, 1986, the third motion picture version of Jules Verne's novel, "Captain of the Pilgrim", was released in Russia. It should be noted that the Soviet Union features had a happier ending as compared to the novel.

He was producer Mike Todd and one of "The '7' Husbands of ELIZABETH TAYLOR" you can read about him and the other six at:

Mike Todd created a very large screen film process he called "Todd A-O" and his first motion picture was:

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS released on October 17, 1956

Published in 1872 was Jules Verne's "Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours (Around the World in 80 Days)". The basic story has "Phileas Fogg" and his new French valet, "Jean Passepartout" attempt to circumnavigate the world in 80 days to win a wager of 20,000 English pounds made at the "Reform Club".

The first motion picture based upon Verne's novel wasn't the original story, but a 1923 American silent entitled "Around the World in 18 Days", released on January 1, 1923. The picture starred William Desmond as "Phineas Fogg III", note the spelling of his first name, the grandson of the original Verne character. "Fogg" along with his valet "Jiggs" are going to attempt to recreate his grandfather's trip. This was a Cliff -Hanger serial and I could not locate why it would only take 18 not 80 Days?

In 1938 a French and United Kingdom co-production was started, but never completed! The working title was "An Indian Fantasy Story" and the scenes at "The Reform Club" were finished, but the scenes in India never started.

Which brings me to the Mike Todd 1956 production.

British director Michael Anderson had just filmed the 1956 version of George Orwell's "1984" starring Edmond O'Brien, Sir Michael Redgrave, and Jan Sterling. He would follow this feature with the Chinese Civil War story, 1957's "Battle Hell" starring Sir Richard Todd, William Hartnell soon to be the First "Dr. Who", and Akim Tamiroff.

The Spanish sequences were directed by John Farrow without credit. Farrow had just directed 1955's "The Sea Chase" starring John Wayne, Lana Turner, and David Farrar. He would follow this picture with the film-noir, 1957's "The Unholy Wife" starring Diana Dors, Rod Steiger, and Tom Tryon.

The four leading actors were:

David Niven portraying "Phileas Fogg". Niven was just in 1956's "The Silken Affair" co-starring with Genevieve Page. He followed this feature with 1957's "Oh, Men! Oh, Women!" co-starring with Ginger Rodgers, and Dan Dailey.

Cantinflas portrayed "Passepartout", no first name mentioned. The popular Mexican comedian was basically appearing in Mexican motion picture comedies. After this English language film, he appeared in the title role of 1960's "Pepe" co-starring with Dan Dailey and Shirley Jones.

Robert Newton portrayed "Inspector Fix". The British character actor had been appearing on American television and followed this motion picture with the Australian television series "The Adventures of Long John Silver", a role Newton had portrayed twice before. First in Walt Disney's classic 1950 version of Robert Lewis Stevenson's "Treasure Island" and again in the Australian 1954 motion picture "Long John Silver's Return to Treasure Island". My article, "Robert Newton IS 'Long John Silver': The Definitive Motion Picture Pirate of the Caribbean" can be read at:

Shirley MacLaine portrayed "Princess Aouda". MacLaine had just co-starred in the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis 1955 "Artists and Models" and followed this motion picture by co-starring with Glenn Ford and Leslie Nielson in 1958's "The Sheepman".

Above left to right, David Niven, Cantinflas, Robert Newton, and Shirley MacLaine.

In 1872 Victorian London, "Phileas Fogg" has just acquired a valet named "Passepartout" and after explaining his very precise and never deviating daily routine goes to "The Reform Club". There he makes a wager than he can circumnavigate the globe in 80-days. 

Next, he acquires a balloon and the two are off to win the wager, but there was a major bank robbery and "Inspector Fix" believes that is the real reason "Fogg" and a large amount of money left London. 

With "Fix" in hot pursuit the movie is three things, enjoyable adventure story travelogue, including the rescue as a human sacrifice of a beautiful "Princess" in India, and a large who's who of Hollywood, the United Kingdom, and European stars popping in and out of the movie.

In the back of the program, seen below, for the motion picture were names and pictures of the 40 plus stars in Victorian Picture Frames known as "Cameos" and the term was started for such roles.

Seven years later, Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Joe DeRita (Curly Joe) aka the new "Three Stooges" released on August 21, 1963, "The Three Stooges Go Around the World In A Daze".

Above, Joan Freeman as "Amelia Carter", Jay Sheffield as "Phileas Fogg III", and instead of valet "Passepartout". This "Fogg" has the "Three Stooges". 

The motion picture has the group going around the world, rescuing "Amelia" from thugs on a train, their pie fights, and a British inspector after the great-great-grandson of Verne's "Fogg". 

There have been two television mini-series based upon the Jules Verne work to date. The first, April 16 to April 18, 1989, starred Pierce Brosnan as "Phileas Fogg", Eric Idle as "Jean Passepartout", and Julia Nickson as "Princess Aouda".  

The second, December 5, 2021 to January 30, 2022, starred David Tennant as "Phileas Fogg", Ibrahim Koma as "Jean Passepartout", and Leonie Benesch as the new character of journalist "Abigail Fix Fortescue". While, Shivaani Ghai portrayed a guest star role as "Princess Aouda" in one episode.

Then back on June 4, 2004 and nominated for Two "Razzie Awards" was a film version, at least in the title and the credit to Jules Verne, that starred Chinese Martial Arts Comedian Jackie Chan as "Passpartout" that was distributed by the Walt Disney Company, Buena Vista Productions in 3-D.

Above, Jackie Chan and Steve Coogan as "Phileas Fogg", and below Cecile de France as "Monique Laroche", once again no Indian Princess

If you wanted comedy, although dated with stereotype humor, find "The Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze".

If my reader can go around the world, how about going the other way?

JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH released on December 16, 1959

Above, one of the American posters and below one of the United Kingdom posters with the different spelling to the word "Center".

Jules Verne's "Voyage au centre de la Terre (Journey to the Center of the Earth)" was first published in 1864, then in 1867 Verne revised and expanded his story. German scientist "Professor Otto Lindenbrock", his nephew "Axel", and their Icelandic guide "Hans", repeal into Iceland's inactive volcano Snaefellsjokull. There the three encounter prehistoric animals, subpolar tornadoes, cave-ins and other dangers. Finally, the three are spewed out of this under earth world from the Southern Italy volcano, Stromboli.

The 1959's motion picture was the first filmed version of this Jules Verne's tale.

The picture director was Henry Levin. Levin may not be a familiar name, but his work is very interesting starting with his first directing assignment 1944's "Cry of the Werewolf" with Nina Foch, Charlton Heston's royal Egyptian mother in Cecil B. DeMile's 1956 "The Ten Commandments", as the Gypsy Werewolf Queen. The Susan Hayward and Charlton Heston 1953's "The President's Lady", the Clifton Webb and Edmund Gwenn 1953 "Mr. Scoutmaster". Along with Pat Boone in both 1957's "Bernadine" co-starring Terry Moore and Janet Gaynor, and, "April Love" co-starring Shirley Jones.

The screenplay was from two writers, Walter Reisch, 1938's "The Great Waltz" starring Louise Rainer, 1939's "Ninotchka" starring Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas, 1940's "Comrade X" starring Clark Gable and Hedy Lamarr, 1941's "That Hamilton Woman" starring Vivian Leigh and Sir Laurence Olivier, and 1944's "Gaslight" starring Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, and Joseph Cotton, among others.

Charles Brackett, 1945's "The Lost Weekend" starring Oscar winner Ray Milland, 1950's "Sunset Blvd." starring William Holden and Gloria Swanson, both 1953's "Niagara" starring Marilyn Monroe and Joseph Cotton, and, "Titantic" starring Clifton Webb, Barbara Stanwyck, and Robert Wagner.

Pat Boone portrayed "Alec McEwan". Boone had just been in 1958's "Mardi Gras" co-starring with Tommy Sands, Sheree North, and Gary Crosby. He would follow this picture with 1961's "All Hands on Deck" co-starring with Buddy Hackett and Barbara Eden.

James Mason portrayed "Sir  Olivier Lindenbrook". Mason had just played the villain in director Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 "North by Northwest" co-starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint. He would follow this film with 1960's "A Touch of Larceny" co-starring George Sanders and Vera Miles.

Above, Pat Boone and James Mason.

Arlene Dahl portrayed "Carla Goteborg". Dahl was appearing on American television programs at this time.

Diane Baker portrayed "Jenny Lindenbrook". This was Baker's third motion picture and she had just been in the romantic drama 1959's "The Best of Everything" starring Hope Lang and Stephen Boyd. She would follow this picture as the Princess in 1960's "The Wizard of Baghdad".

Thayer David portrayed "Count Saknussemm". David was also appearing before this movie on television dramas, but followed this picture with the biblical epic 1960's "The Story of Ruth" starring Stuart Whitman and Tom Tryon.

Peter Ronson portrayed "Hans Belker". This was Icelandic Olympian Belker's only on-screen appearance.

The screenplay changes German "Professor Lindenbrook" to Scottish and his nephew "Axel" becomes "Alec" one of his students. Otherwise it retains the basic concept of Jules Verne's work with a couple of other slight changes and concentrates more on the revised edition.

A volcanic piece of lava was given to the Professor by "Alec" and the other students after he has been knighted. However, the lava is too heavy to be lava and inside is a plumb bob with writing from the Icelandic explorer "Arne Saknuessemm" about how to enter the earth, it is also written in his blood. This leads to going to Iceland, meeting the wife of the scientist who stole "Lindenbrook's" information and was killed by "Count Saknusseum", the last of the family whose ancestor first went to the center of the earth, and her joining the Professor, "Alec" and "Hans" entering Snaefellsjokull unknowingly being followed by the Count. All leading to the remains of Atlantis and a way up through the volcanic vent of Stromboli.

Next, was a Spanish and United Kingdom version of the novel, "Viaje al centro de la Tierra (Journey to the Center of the Earth)" premiering at the "Paris Festival of Fantastic Films" in March 1977.

The dubbed English language version was renamed "Where Time Began" and it was first shown in the United States in November 1978.

Another English language name for the motion picture is, "The Fabulous Journey to Centre of the Earth", the name used on British television.

The motion picture starred British actor Kenneth More portraying "Professor Otto Lindenbrock". Among his motion pictures are, 1951's "No Highway in the Sky" starring James Stewart, Marlene Dietrich, and Glynis Johns.  the factual account of the sinking of HMS Titantic, 1958's, "A Night to Remember", and 1960's "Sink the Bismark!".

Above, Ivonne Sentis as "Lindenbrock's" niece, "Glauben", Pep Munne as her boyfriend "Axel", and Kenneth More.

In this version "Professor Lindenbrock" is in an old book store and finds the journal of explorer "Arne Saknuessemm". Then the "Professor", his niece and her boyfriend get a guide, "Hans Belker", portrayed by Frank Bana, and they enter the earth.

On July 10, 2008, premiering in Malaysia, was an imaginative updating of the original Jules Verne story shot in "Real 3-D".

The motion picture was directed by Eric Brevig, other than directing an episode of New Zealand's "Xena Warrior Princess", this was his second directing position. However, and important to this motion picture was that Eric Brevig was a visual effects supervisor.

The updated screenplay came from three writers, Michael D. Weiss, director Tobe Hooper's 2000 "Crocodile", and the made for television 2000 "Octopus", 2001 "Octopus 2", and their accompanying video games. Jennifer Flackett, a writer for both the television series "Beverly Hills, 90210", and "Earth 2". Mark Levin, also a television writer for the original "The Wonder Years", and "Earth 2".

Brendon Fraser
portrayed "Trevor Anderson". In 2007, Fraser co-starred with Sarah Michelle Gellar in "The Air I Breathe", and followed this movie with 2008 "The Mummy: Curse of the Emperor's Tomb".

Josh Hutchinson
portrayed "Sean Anderson". Anderson was in the cast of 2008's "Winged Creatures" starring Kate Beckinsale, Forest Whitaker, and Guy Pierce. He would follow this picture with 2009's "Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant".

Anita Briem
portrayed "Hannah Asgerisson". Icelandic actress Briem had been appearing on British television including "Dr. Who".

Above, Brendan Fraser, Josh Hutcherson, and Anita Briem.

The updating of the Jules Verne's novel works, because the screenplay writers basically followed the story line.

The year is 2007 and volcanologist "Trevor Anderson" is about to get stuck with his 13-years-old nephew, "Sean", for 10 days. Along with boxes of junk belonging to "Trevor's" brother "Max", "Sean's" father, who disappeared 10-years ago. Inside one of the boxes is the Jules Verne novel, but with notes made by "Max" that will lead the two to Iceland in search of another volcanologist. They meet his daughter, "Hannah", who informs the two that her father is dead. However, talking things over leads the three to enter the center of the earth. Apparently, both "Hannah's" father and "Max Anderson" believed that the Verne novel was based upon fact.

From this point forward the film follows the novel except that they are also searching for "Max" until they find his body. In the end they escape through "Mt. Vesuvius". 

FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON released on November 6, 1958

In 1865, Jules Verne published "De La Terre a la Lune, trajet direct en 97 heures 20 minutes (From the Earth to the Moon, A Direct Route in 97 hours and 20 minutes)". In 1869. Verne published the sequel, "Autour de Lune (Around the Moon)".

Both novels are set just after the American Civil War and the first starts at a meeting of "The Baltimore Gun Club" called by its President "Impey Barbicane". The weapons manufacturer has determined that it is possible to build a cannon that could fire a projectile carrying passengers to the Moon. The gun club is behind "Barbicane's" idea, but "Captain Nicholl", a Philadelphia armor plate manufacturer is against the idea. 

The objection by "Nicholl's" is over the cost of the project, but this is overcome by worldwide pledges of money. The proper place to build and fire the cannon is determined as Tampa, Florida. In the end both "Barbicane" and "Nicholls" join French adventurer "Michel Arden" in the flight. The first novel ends with the cannon fired, but the reader not knowing what happens next.

The sequel answers that question as the reader follows the three around the moon and back to the earth as the projectile crashes into the ocean and the three are alive and rescued.

The first motion picture version of the two novels was the classic, 9-minute at 24 frames per second, special effects silent by Georges Melies, 1902 "Le Voyage dans la Luna (A Trip to the Moon)". As some have suggested, Melies had to have also referenced British author H.G. Wells' 1901 "First Men in the Moon", because on the moon are Wells' "Selenite's".

The setting of the short film is the French "Astronomy Club" headed by its President "Professor Barbenfouillis". He proposes and expedition to the moon and five other astronomers. Nostradamus", "Alcofribas", "Omega", "Micromegas", and, "Parafargarmus" will join him. The craft is built, all six enter it, it is fired to the moon, they meet moon people, the "Selenite's" attack, the space craft is pushed off the moon with the explorer who pushed it and a "Selenite" holding onto a dangling rope. The space craft crashes into the ocean and all six explorers and the "Selenite" are rescued.

The next motion picture was directed by Byron Haskin. Among Haskin's 1950's films are, Walt Disney's 1950 version of Robert Lewis Stevenson's "Treasure Island", producer George Pal's 1953 "War of the Worlds", 1954's "The Naked Jungle", and 1955's "Conquest of Space". 

The screenplay was based upon both Jules Verne novels and written by two writers:

Robert Blees, the Barbara Stanwyck and Ronald Reagan 1954 "Cattle Queen of Montana", and Stop Motion Animator Willis O'Brien's 1957 "The Black Scorpion". 

James Leicester, 1957's "The River's Edge" starring Ray Milland, Anthony Quinn, and Debra Paget. Leicester was mainly a film editor and supervised the film editing of "From the Earth to the Moon".

Joseph Cotton portrayed "Victor Barbicane". Cotton was appearing mainly on television at this time, but had the uncredited role of "The Coroner" in Orson Welles' 1958 film-noir classic "Touch of Evil" starring Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Marlene Dietrich and Welles. He had also appeared in both Orson Welles' 1941 "Citizen Kane", and 1942's "The Magnificent Ambersons".

George Sanders portrayed "Stuyvesant Nicholl". Sanders had co-starred with Stewart Granger and Donna Reed in 1958's "The Whole Truth", and followed this picture with the Yul Brynner and Gina Lollobrigida 1959 "Solomon and Sheba".

Above, George Sanders and Joseph Cotton.

Debra Paget portrayed "Virginia Nicholl". She had just been in 1957's "Omar Khayaam" co-starring with Cornell Wilde and Michael Rennie. Paget followed this picture with 1959's "Tigress of Bengal" directed by Fritz Lang.

Don Dubbins portrayed "Ben Sharpe". Dubbins was also only appearing on television at this time.

Shortly after the Civil War, munitions manufacture "Victor Barbicane" claims to have invented the most powerful expose known to man that he calls "Power X". Metallurgist "Stuyvesant Nicholl" scuffs at "Barbicane's" claim and wagers $100,000 1865 dollars that it can't dent his new metal. "Barbicane" accepts and shows up for the demonstration with a small cannon and an even smaller shell containing an even smaller amount of "Power X". He fires the shell at the metal and not only demolishes the metal slab, but a large portion of the countryside.

"Barbicane" is called to "President Ulysses S. Grant's", played by Morris Ankrum, office and asked to stop experimenting with "Power X", because other countries are calling it a potential act of war. 

"Victor" agrees, but later notices that pieces of "Stuyvesant's" metal have turned into a strong ceramic and finally getting the other to listen to him, proposes building a space craft to reach the moon.

The two men work together and soon both the shell-like craft and the giant cannon are ready.

While this was going on, "Nicholl's" daughter falls in love with "Barbicane's" assistance.

Now the screenplay slips into typical 1950's science fiction as ""Virginia Nicholl's" hides on the shell-like space craft and with her father, "Victor Barbicane" and "Ben Sharpe" is shot from the cannon toward the moon. 

Not knowing about his stowaway daughter "Virginia", "Stuyvesant Nicholl" believing that "Victor Barbicane" has violented God's laws sabotaged the space craft. Now, he must help "Barbicane" and "Sharpe" save the craft.


The ship is saved, but the two scientists must figure out what's next?

The two one-time adversaries determines that the fuel load cannot take four passengers back to the earth. "Ben" is knocked out and with "Virginia" placed in the safest compartment of the space shell, the two scientists eject it from the main craft sending it toward the earth. While their part of the space shell should take them to the moon's surface.

When "Ben" regains consciousness, he realizes what has taken place and with "Virginia" they see a signal from the moon's surface, "Victor" and "Stuyvesant" have made it, but its the dark side and the two young people will be the only ones to know it. 

The picture ends without knowing, if "Ben Sharpe" and 'Virginia Nicholls" make it safely back to the earth. Reminiscent of the end of 1950's "Rocketship X-M", but with one added scene. One of the observers whom the audience has been seeing from the start of the movie is asked what he believes, name dropping:
Mr. Jules Verne?

Inspired by Jules Verne's two novels is a comedy from the United Kingdom.

"Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon" released in the United Kingdom on July 13. 1967.

 The picture was released on July 26, 1967 in the United States as "Those Fantastic Flying Fools".

Note on the American title:

Director Don Sharp was the second unit director on a very successful 1965 epic comedy period piece about an air race in 1910, entitled, "Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines; Or, How I Flew from London to Paris in 25 Hours and 11 Minutes", an obvious play on the original French title of "From the Earth to the Moon".

Sharp had directed episodes of the British crime series, "Ghost Squad", and went to work for "Hammer Films" directing 1963's "Kiss of the Vampire", and 1966's "Rasputin the Mad Monk" starring Christopher Lee. He also directed Lee in two co-productions between the United Kingdom and West Germany, 1965's "The Face of Fu Manchu", and, 1966's "The Brides of Fu Manchu". Another of Don Sharp's horror entries was the final film in the original "The Fly Trilogy", 1965's "Curse of the Fly".

The original story idea based upon Verne's novels came from Harry Alan Towers using the name of Peter Welbeck. Towers as both a writer and producer made the entire five film "Fu Manchu" series starring Christopher Lee. Among his other work was the very good 1965 remake of Agatha Christie's "Ten Little Indians", and the English language version of Spanish director Jesus Franco's 1970 "Count Dracula".

Dave Freeman wrote the actual screenplay. Freeman was basically a British television series writer.

Burl Ives portrayed "Phineas T. Barnum". Songwriter, singer, and actor Ives was guest starring on American television at the time of this production.

Troy Donohue portrayed "Gaylord Sullivan". Donohue had just been in the forgotten crime drama 1967's "Come Spy with Me", and followed this picture with guest appearances on television.

Gert Frobe portrayed "Professor von Bulow". Frobe known for the title villain in the "James Bond" 1964 "Goldfinger" was also in the cast of "Those Magnificent Men and Their Flying Machines". He had just played the title role in 1967's "I Killed Rasputin", and followed this motion picture with 1968's "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang".

Hermione Gingold portrayed "Angelica". She had just been seen in an episode of 1967's "The Girl from U.N.C.L.E." and followed this motion picture with the made for television comedy, 1969's "Winter of the Witch".

portrayed "Captain Sir Harry Washington Smythe". At the time Terry-Thomas was appearing on British television comedy shows.

Above, Hermione Gingold and Terry-Thomas.

Lionel Jeffries portrayed "Sir Charles Dillworthy". Jeffries had just played "King Pellinore" in the big budget version of Lerner and Lowe's Broadway musical "Camelot". He followed this feature with 1968's "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang". In 1964 the actor portrayed "Professor Joseph Cavor" in Stop Motion Animator Ray Harryhausen's version of H.G. Wells' "First Men in the Moon".

Above, Lionel Jeffries and Terry-Thomas.

Dennis Price portrayed "The Duke of Barset". Price was a regular on the British television series "The World of Wooster" and had just been seen in the 1967 British comedy movie "Just Like a Woman".

Above, Burl Ives as "P.T. Barnum" and Dennis Price as "The Duke".

Daliah Lavi
portrayed "Madeline". Lavi had just portrayed one of the many "James Bond 007's" in the still very funny and slap stick comedy version of "Casino Royale" from 1967, starring Peter Sellers and Ursula Andress and partly written by Woody Allen playing "Little Jimmy Bond". The actress followed this picture with 1968's "Nobody Runs Forever aka The High Commissioner" starring Rod Taylor and Christopher Plummer.

The basic plot has "P.T. Barnum" coming up with a great publicity stunt from a meeting in England of the world greatest (?) scientists. He purposes to build a German scientist's giant cannon and fire several chosen people to the moon in the passenger projectile. 

What follows is a comedy of inept spies and scientists, the firing of the cannon's projectile, but it lands not on the moon but Russia. When the projectiles passengers disembark on a barren stretch of Siberia and hear Russian being spoken. They determine that Russia has beaten England to the earth's nearest space neighbor. 

An all-star cast doesn't always make a good motion picture.

Not the first to bear the name, that was a 16-gun sloop of the British Navy launched in 1762, but also 107-years before Jules Verne wrote his classic novel. It is the second submarine of the United States Navy bearing that same name and the first nuclear submarine launched on January 21, 1954,  that people associate with Verne's power source for "Captain Nemo's Nautilus". But possibly more realistically, because of a Walt Disney motion picture:

20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA released on December 24, 1954

"Vingt mille lieues sous les mers (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea)" was first serialized from March 1869 through June 1870 in the magazine, "Magasin d'education et de recreation (Education and Recreation Store)".

In the year 1866 a sea monster is attacking and destroying shipping. The U.S. Government believes it to be a giant narwhal and in New York City they're organizing a search to find and kill the sea creature. It just happens that French marine biologist, "Professor Pierre Aronnax" is in the city and he accepts an invitation to go on the search. He will be accompanied by his devoted Flemish servant, "Conseil", who is also well informed on biological classifications. The American search additionally requests Canadian harpooner, "Ned Land" to accompany it. What they do not know is that this is no living sea creature, but a submarine built by its scientist leader, "Captain Nemo". Who went into underwater isolation after his homeland was conquered and his family murdered in front of him by a nationalist country.

Walt Disney's classic adaption was not the first feature film based upon Jules Verne's novel. The first motion picture came from "Liberty Pictures", an early subsidiary of "Universal Pictures", and was released on December 24, 1916.

The motion picture was directed by Stuart Paton who was also the uncredited writer of the screenplay that incorporated ideas from Verne's "The Mysterious Island". Paton was also co-producer with Carl Laemmle the founder and owner of "Universal Pictures". 

Allen Holubar was the first actor to portrayed "Prince Dakkar aka Captain Nemo" on the motion picture screen.

The motivation for the story is "Captain Nemo's" hunt for revenge again ex-British Indian Army Officer "Charles Denver", played by William Welsh, who murdered "Prince Dakkar's" wife for refusing to have sex with him and took their young daughter. 

"Nemo" rescues four people who were on the American warship the "Abraham Lincoln" that he attacked. They include, "Professor Pierre Aronnax", played by Dan Hanlon, his unnamed daughter played by Edna Pendleton, and the professor's unnamed assistant with no listing of the actor portraying him, and "Ned Land", played by Curtis Benson. "Nemo" shows the four around his submarine after a pledge not to escape.

Cut to the escape scene from the Confederate prison in "The Mysterious Island", and the escapees arrival on a island with their leader, "Union Captain Cyrus Harding", played by Howard Crampton. There they find a "Child of Nature", played by Jane Gail, and of course, she is "Dakkar's" missing daughter. 

Next, everything seems to come together as "Charles Denver's" yacht just happens to appear off the island and on-board the "Nautilus" "Nemo-Dakkar" recognizes it. He battles "Denver" and is wounded, but is able to sink the yacht killing "Charles Denver" and going on land is reunited with his daughter just before he dies from his wounds. The crew of the "Nautilus" bury their Captain with his scuttled ship.

The next motion picture version of Verne's novel was Walt Disney's classic 1954 production.

The motion picture might not have been made, or been as great as Disney's wanted had he not been able to get animation director Richard Fleischer as his live action director. Fleischer would be known not only for this motion picture, but the Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh and Ernest Borgnine 1958 "The Vikings", 1959's "Compulsion" starring Orson Welles, Dean Stockwell, and Bradford Dillman, the 1966 science fiction "The Fantastic Voyage", 1970's "Tora, Tora, Tora", and another science fiction 1973's "Soylent Green".

What was the problem stopping Walt Disney from getting Richard Fleischer? 

It was his animator father Max Fleischer and a 33-year old feud with Walter Elias Disney. I call my blog article about it, "The Walt Disney, Max Fleischer Animation Feud", and it only ended with the hiring of Richard by Walt. The story is available to read at:

There was only one writer on the production, Earl Felton. Felton had been a "B" screenplay writer since 1935, and other than this screenplay. His 37 other screenplays are completely forgotten as are the majority of the formula features he wrote them for.

Kirk Douglas portrayed "Ned Land". Bookending "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" were two foreign motion pictures for Douglas. The first was the French motion picture "Un acte d'amour (Act of Love)" co-starring Dany Robin and released first in the United States on December 17, 1953. On the other end was the Italian epic, "Ulisse (Ulysses)" that was released in Italy on October 6, 1954.

James Mason portrayed "Captain Nemo". Mason has just portrayed the evil "Sir Brack" in 1954's "Prince Valiant" co-starring with Robert Wagner in the title role and Janet Leigh. He followed this movie co-starring with Judy Garland in 1954's "A Star is Born".

Paul Lukas portrayed "Professor Pierre Arronax". Lukas was guest appearing on different television dramas by this time.

Above, Paul Lukas, the familiar face of western movie bad guy Robert J. Wilke, 1952's 'High Noon" James Stewart's 1954 "The Far Country" and numerous television westerns portraying "The First Mate", and James Mason.

Peter Lorre portrayed "Conseil". Lorre was also appearing on television, in fact two months prior to the pictures release. Peter Lorre had the distinction of becoming the "First Bond Villain, Le Chiffre" on the anthology series, "Climax" in a live production of Ian Fleming's "Casino Royale", see the above link.

My reader must understand that when Earl Felton wrote this screenplay, both the United States and the World, were both at the dawn of the Atomic Age and we were scared of that unknown. Felton and Walt Disney incorporated both the good and bad of the coming age in their revision of Jules Verne's original story. Verne wrote of the "Nautilus" being powered by some secret of "Captain Nemo's" and the screenplay implied it was Nuclear Energy that the newly launched U.S.S. Nautilus was powered by. The ending of the screenplay re-enforces both the fear and the possibilities of the Atomic Age. 

Verne's novel and the first filmed version both take place in 1866, but Disney's is set two years later in 1868. This clearly removes an ambiguity with the American Civil War that even Jules Verne created with his sequel "The Mysterious Island".

A sea monster is attacking shipping in the Pacific and commercial traffic has been brought to a standstill. French scientist "Pierre Arronax" and his assistant "Conseil" are stranded in the United States as a result and need to get back to France. The American government offers them a means to return home by being their guest on a frigate searching for the sea monster for a set time, they agree. Also, on board is harpooner "Ned Land" and the three become companions.

Navy "Captain Farragut", played by Ted de Corsia, has decided the search is over without ever finding any sign of a sea monster, whales yes, but monsters no. 

Everyone is relaxed when a merchant ship seen on the horizon suddenly explodes. Is it the monster? As the frigate heads for the other ship the monster is spotted in the water, it attacks disabling the ship and "Professor Arronax" falls over board and "Conseil' jumps into the ocean to save him.

In a sea fog, the reunited Professor and his assistant swim to what will turn out not to be a monster, but a "submarine boat". They will be joined by the harpooner who fell overboard himself and is floating in the water on the overturned longboat. "Ned" wants them to help right side the longboat and the three will be able to use it. However, suddenly men in diving suits spring-up from the water near them and the three are captured.

They next meet "Captain Nemo" the master of the submarine who recognizes "Arronax" by name and reputation and tests him. He has "Ned" and "Conseil" placed on deck and starts to submerge the "Nautilus" as a test of loyalty from the Professor. Satisfied with the result, he lets the other two also have freedom upon his ship and gets each to make a pledge not to escape and the adventure begins.

At one point "Captain Nemo" shows "Professor Arronax" the source of the power to run the "Nautilus" and in Earl Felton's screenplay, it's obviously nuclear energy.

At another point in the story "Captain Nemo" surfaces off the penal colony island of Rura Penthe and "Nemo" shows "Arronax" where he and his crew came from.

"Ned Land" does not get along with "Nemo" and after learning where the submarine base is hidden, tosses messages with coordinates in bottles into the sea. A giant squid attacks the submarine and strangely it is "Ned Land" that saves "Captain Nemo" from death.

Next, the "Nautilus" arrives at "Captain Nemo's" base of operations called "Vulcania", an inactive volcano, but thanks to "Ned" warships without a flag of country have arrived and soldiers are climbing the walls. "Nemo" takes the "Nautilus" in through undersea caves, sets a charge to blow up the facility, and is shot in the back.

Now the screenplay again turns into a warning of the Atomic Age as "Nemo" is dying and so, by way of association, is the "Nautilus". The crew prepares to die with their "Captain" and ship, but "Ned", "Conseil" and "Professor Arronax" are able to bring the "Nautilus" to the surface and escape. As the three watch "Vulcania" blows up in a mushroom cloud.

While over the sinking "Nautilus" the voice of "Captain Nemo" is heard:

There is hope for the future. And when the world is ready for a new and better life, all this will someday come to God's good time.

There are several variations of the story and some having only to do with the character of "Captain Nemo". Back in 2015 I wrote an overview entitled, "Captain Nemo Motion Picture Star". It is available for your reading at:

I mentioned that even Jules Verne created some ambiguity in his story line between "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" and it's sequel. That was because the first novel was set after the American Civil War, but the second novel was somehow set during the American Civil War.

THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND premiered in Newark, New Jersey, on September 14, 1929

The problem with "L'lle mysterieuse (The Mysterious Island)" is that this novel answers the question of what happened to the "Nautilus" after "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea", BUT takes place before the events of that novel happened.

During the siege of Richmond, Virginia, during the American Civil War, five Union prisoners escape in a hydrogen-filled observation balloon. They are Union Army railroad engineer "Cyrus Smith" in Verne's original French novel, but "Cyrus Harding" in English translator William Henry Giles Kingston's version. His ex-slave loyal "Neb (Nebuchadnezzar)", "Bonadventure Pencroff", a sailor addressed only as "Pencroff" in the Kingston version, "Pencroff's" adopted son "Harbert Brown", called "Herbert Brown" by Kingston, and journalist "Gedeon Spillett" in Verne and "Gideon Spillett" in Kingston.

The five fly the balloon through a great storm crossing the entire North American continent and come down on an unknown Pacific Island. Somebody has rescued "Harding" from the ocean after he falls off the balloon and seems to be supplying them with needed building materials from the "Nautilus". The secret of the island is "Captain Nemo" and the "Nautilus" did not go down as written in the first novel.

Additionally, in the "Mysterious Island",  "Tom Ayverton", from "In Search of the Castaways", reappears with some of his men, but are killed by pirates. Who in turn, are killed by "Captain Nemo" and their ship becomes the means of escape from the island as a volcano erupts and destroys it.

The 1929 motion picture is a hybrid of the transition period between silent films and sound. The picture was started by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1926 with sequences in two-strip Technicolor, but with the advent of sound, sound sequences were shot and film editor Carl L. Pierson had to take the silent and sound sections and blend them together. Pierson became a major "B" western film editor for John Wayne during the 1930's. He also was the father of one of my neighbors and she permitted to see her mother's scrapbook that led to my article:

"Carl L. Pierson Forgotten Film Editor", at:

Lucien Hubbard directed the motion picture. Hubbard only directed two other motion pictures, he was a writer, including this screenplay, with 53 credits between 1917 through 1943, and a producer of 60 films between 1924 and 1941.

Lionel Barrymore portrayed "Count Andre Dakkar". Barrymore was just in the hybrid crime drama, 1928's "The River Woman", and followed this feature with comedian Buster Keaton's first sound film 1930's "Free and Easy". 

Jacqueline Gadson as Jane Daly 
portrayed "Countess Sonia Dakkar". After 25 silent films, she did not make the transition to sound and this was her first and last sound feature film.

Lloyd Hughes portrayed "Nikolai Roget". Four years earlier, Hughes portrayed reporter "Ed Malone" in Stop Motion Animator Willis O'Brien's 1925 version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Lost World". In 1930 Hughes had third billing in John Barrymore's sound version of Herman Melville's "Moby Dick".

Montagu Love portrayed "Baron Falon". Among Love's 179 acting roles is the classic 1930 horror feature "The Cat Creeps", Cecil B. DeMille's 1935 "The Crusades", 1936's "Lloyd's of London", DeMille's 1938 "The Buccaneer", 1939's "The Adventures of Robin Hood", and 1939's "Gunga Din".

"Count Dakkar" rules a volcanic island without class distinctions among a loving people. His daughter "Sonia" is in love with her father's young scientist ""Nicolai Roget", who with "Dakkar" have built a submarine boat. The evil "Baron Falon" of Hetvia attacks while "Nicolai" is out testing the submarine and steals the second one. "Nicolai" and "Dakkar" go after "Falon" who has kidnapped "Sonia". A battle under the sea takes place and both submarines discover an underwater city of humanoid creatures, dragons, and a giant octopus.

On May 3, 1941, in the Soviet Union, director Eduard Pentslin released "Таинственный остров (Mysterious Island)", still considered one of two faithful versions of the Jules Verne's novel. I'll end this article with a look at the most faithful production of the work.

How about a "Space Opera Version" of the same Jules Verne novel, or at least that's what some critics call the following.

On August 23, 1951, the first chapter, "Lost in Space", of the "Columbia Picture's" Cliff-Hanger, "Jules Verne's Mysterious Island (Captain Harding's Fabulous Adventures)" was released.

Apparently, to keep a serial going for "15 Exciting Chapters" at four-hours-and-twelve-minutes, producer Sam Katzman, the Cliff-Hangers, 1949's "Batman and Robin", 1950's "Atom Man vs Superman", and, 1951's "Captain Video: Master of the Stratosphere", believed Verne's novel didn't have everything he needed. So he had his three writers, Lewis Clay, Royal K. Cole, and George H. Plympton, add a women from the planet Mercury.

Besides training gimmick king William Castle, Sam Katzman was a very interesting personality. For those of my readers who might be interested, my article, "Superman' Meets 'The Giant Claw' to the Tunes of 'Bill Haley and the Comets': Executive Producer Sam Katzman" may be read at:

Richard Crane portrayed "Captain Cyrus Harding". In 1954, Crane became televisions "Rocky Jones, Space Ranger", in 1959 he became one of "The Alligator People". My article, "Richard Crane: 'Rocky Jones, Space Ranger' and "The Alligator People" is about Crane's career including the motion picture, 1953's "The Neanderthal Man", and, the Cliff-Hanger, 1955's "Commando Cody, Sky Marshall of the Universe". You will find it at:

Karen Randle portrayed "Rulu of Mercury". Half of her 21 motion picture appearances were in roles so small she received no on-screen credit. 

Leonard Penn portrayed "Captain Nemo". Penn's roles normally were small supporting characters and he moved to television roles starting in 1949 in an episode of "The Long Ranger" portraying a Native American causing trouble.

Above, Leonard Penn, Gene Roth as the pirate "Captain Shard", and Richard Crane.

If you remove the women from Mercury searching the only location in the entire universe for a special explosive, the story is very close to Verne's, but then what kid at a "Saturday Morning Kids Show" cared?

Above, that's pre-1975 through 1979 televisions "Starsky and Hutch", Bernie Hamilton, as "Neb".

Stop Motion Animator Ray Harryhaussen and his business partner Charles H. Schneer had a private premier of their version of Verne's novel in the United States in August 1961.  As "Mysterious  Island" the motion picture was released to the general public on December 19 1961 in Demark. The following day it would be released across the United States. It wouldn't be until July 19, 1962 that this co-production of the United Kingdom and the United States would be first shown in the U.K.

The American title was, "Mysterious Island", the U.K. title was "Jules Verne's Mysterious Island".

Above, the United States poster and below the United Kingdom's.

The motion picture was directed by Cy Endfield. Endfield would follow this motion picture with the excellent 1964 'Zulu", that he co-wrote. That historically accurate story is about the defense by 150 British soldiers at Rorke's Drift, Natal, South Africa, in 1879, against over 3,000 Zulu warriors. The movie stars Stanley Baker and featured an unknown Michael Caine as the two commanding officers.

Michael Craig portrayed "Captain Cyrus Harding". British actor Craig had just co-starred with Sir Michael Redgrave in the 1961 comedy, "No, My Darling Daughter", and followed this picture in another British comedy, 1962's "A Pair of Briefs".

Joan Greenwood portrayed "Lady Mary Fairchild". The British actress was appearing on television at the time.

Above, Joan Greenwood is on the right and behind her is Beth Rogan as her niece "Elena Fairchild".

Michalen Callan portrayed "Herbert Brown". Teen idol Callan had just co-starred in 1961's "Gidget Goes Hawaiian". He followed this feature with Walt Disney's 1962 "Bon Voyage" co-starring with Fred MacMurray and Jane Wyman.

Gary Merrill portrayed "Gideon Spilitt". Among Merrill's major movies were, 1949's "Twelve O' Clock High" co-starring with Gregory Peck and Hugh Marlowe, 1950's "All About Eve" starring Bette Davis, George Sanders, and Anne Baxter, and 1951's "The Frogmen" co-starring with Richard Widmark and Dana Andrews.

Herbert Lom portrayed "Captain Nemo". Lom would follow this motion picture with 1961's "El Cid" starring Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren, and become the title character in "Hammer Film's" 1962 "The Phantom of the Opera".


The film opens with the plan to steal the Confederate observation balloon by "Captain Harding", "Union Private Herbert Brown", and "Union Corporal Neb Nugent", played by Dan Jackson. Two of the pieces holding up the steps to their prison room have been cut and when someone comes down them, they break. That first someone is Union Newspaper Reporter "Gideon Spillett" and he becomes the first of two people who by chance become part of the escape. The other is now the Confederate balloonist, "Sergeant Pencroft", played by Percy Herbert.

The balloon escapes the Richmond, Virginia, prisoner camp and into the fierce storm that will carry it across the continent and onto the "Mysterious Island".

"Captain Harding" fell into the ocean and should have drowned, but somehow, he is found on the beach. As the men divide duties and plan their survival a unknown person is helping them. Eventually they find a chest with the embalm of the "Nautilus" upon it and inside a copy of "Robinson Crusoe". They will discover two ladies the survivors of a sinking by pirates and the castaways now become seven, but still the mysterious helper is somewhere on the island.

Besides adding "Lady Fairchild" and her niece for a romantic angle to Verne's story between "Elena" and "Herbert". The two come upon the "Nautilus" which will lead to their benefactor, "Captain Nemo" revealing himself.

The volcano has started to erupt causing plans to be made for everyone to leave the island before it explodes.

"Nemo" uses a special sonic ray gun to sink the pirate ship and leave a precise hole. Using the observation balloon, it is taken underwater past the ruins of a lost civilization to the ship and a piping system is run from the "Nautilus" filling it with air, but a giant cephalopod attack's stopping the air flow. Once it is killed the air starts to run floating the pirate vessel for escape. 

Unfortunately, the volcanic eruption becomes more violent and "Captain Nemo" is trapped and dies with his scientific papers, but everyone else escapes to the open seas.

My final look at Jules Verne on the motion picture screen is a television mini-series co-production of Spain, France, Italy, and Cameroon. It is considered the most faithful version of Jules Verne's "Mysterious Island" yet made. However, there is no English language dub, or subtitled version as of this writing available.

"La isla misteriosa y el capitan Nemo (The Mysterious Island of Captain Nemo" originally released in Milan, Italy, on April 19, 1973

A word of warning, there is an English language 96-minute theatrical version of the mini-series. I saw it in 1973 and it makes little overall sense, because the original Spanish production was six episodes with a running time of five-hours-and 16-minutes. There is also a Spanish theatrical version entitled "El Capitian Nemo" at two-hours. 

Above, Omar Sharif as "Captain Nemo" and as in Jules Verne's actual novel "The Mysterious Island" Sharif doesn't make his appearance in the original mini-series until almost the end of the fifth part. Below is the most accurate "Nautilus" in any film to date and based entirely upon the written description by Jules Verne in the two novels.

There are other motion pictures based upon the novels and stories of Jules Verne, but as I said at the start of this article. It was my intention to just give my reader a select overview of the films that have been made.

For those who might be interested, my article, "H.G. Wells On The Motion Picture Screen", will be found at:

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