PopGap #04: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)

Written by dorrk
30 April 2015

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954): Reviewed

Decent but overlong big budget Disney fantasy/adventure from back in the days when spatial continuity was never a concern.

Jules Verne's famous story about the crazy proto-Bond-villain Captain Nemo and his fantastical luxury Civil War-era submarine has an intriguing set-up and a fine ending, but gets too whimsical in the middle with low-lights like a wackily whooping cannibal tribe and Kirk Douglas singing a duet with a seal.

Aimless at times, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea needed a more constant and escalating sense of menace. the giant squid was pretty cool. Not H.G. Wells-cool, but not bad either. This is the biggest of nearly 10 adaptations to-date, but a new version is also in development.

Since I'm sick and too blase about this movie to write anything else, here's my Twitter stream while watching it:

Social Media Stream

Watching final #SpringCleaning movie of the month: #20000LeaguesUnderTheSea Wanted to watch with kids earlier today, but ran out of time.
#20000LeaguesUnderTheSea has great cast & neat moments, but it's a bit in awe of itself & starting to drag after an hour. #SpringCleaning
Any movie in which Peter Lorre gets punched is OK with me. #20000LeaguesUnderTheSea #SpringCleaning
I don't think I've seen Kirk Douglas sing before. I find it unsettling. #20000LeaguesUnderTheSea #SpringCleaning
I'm not easily offended but this scene with the cannibals is making me uncomfortable. #20000LeaguesUnderTheSea #SpringCleaning
The giant squid must've heard about that racist cannibals scene & wants to clean house. #20000LeaguesUnderTheSea #SpringCleaning
Kirk Douglas is singing a duet with a seal. #20000LeaguesUnderTheSea #SpringCleaning
#20000LeaguesUnderTheSea was decent, good ending. Got too whimsical in the middle. #JulesVerne was no #HGWells, but not bad. #SpringCleaning

Trailer for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)