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Mysterious Island

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During the American Civil War, Union soldiers Cyrus Harding, Herbert Brown, and Neb Nugent, along with war correspondent Gideon Spillet, escape Libby Military Prison in Richmond, Virginia. They abscond with a gas balloon and a Rebel guard, Pencroft, who can pilot it. The balloon carries them west over the Pacific Ocean, where a storm forces them to crash land on an unknown island of tropical jungles, harsh plains, and active volcanoes. While exploring it, the men are attacked by a giant crab. They push it into a boiling geyser and have crab for dinner. Afterwards, they find two unconscious English ladies, Lady Mary Fairchild and her niece Elena, shipwrecked by the same storm. Eventually, the castaways make home in a cave formerly inhabited by another castaway. Later, a chest washes ashore. It contains rifles, nautical charts, and a copy of Robinson Crusoe. Markings on the rifles indicate it came from the submarine Nautilus.

Spillet tells Lady Fairchild of the Nautilus, its creator Captain Nemo, and its supposed destruction off Mexico eight years earlier. Using one of the charts, the castaways plot their location and begin constructing a boat. One day, Mary, Elena, and Spillet encounter a giant flightless bird. As it tries to eat Elena, Herbert arrives and knifes the creature. Later, as they consume the bird, they discover it was actually killed by a bullet none of them had fired. Weeks later, Herbert and Elena come across a hive of giant bees. They escape into a large flooded cave, where they spot the Nautilus. They enter the vessel to investigate before swimming out of the cave. Meantime, the others spy an approaching pirate ship, and a fight ensues. The castaways prevail only after an explosion mysteriously sinks the ship with all hands aboard.

The castaways finally meet Captain Nemo, who has been watching the castaways, secretly assisting them by sending the chest, shooting the giant bird, and sinking the pirate ship. He invites them to dinner aboard the Nautilus. There, they find the giant creatures are results of Nemo's genetic experiments to enlarge the world's food resources, eliminating hunger. Further, he has selected the castaways to make his achievements known to the world. One of them is an air-filled raising system which can refloat the pirate ship, the only readily seaworthy vessel on the island. Nemo teaches them to breathe underwater using his "shell" air tanks, and they raise the ship despite interference from a giant Ammonite. But as the castaways set sail, the island's central volcano erupts, killing Nemo and destroying the Nautilus. The rest begin the journey home, vowing to continue Nemo's dream of achieving lasting peace throughout the world.


DIRECTOR(s): Cy Endfield







Michael Craig (Capt. Cyrus Harding)
Joan Greenwood (Lady Mary Fairchild)
Michael Callan (Herbert Brown)
Gary Merrill (Gideon Spilitt)
Herbert Lom (Captain Nemo)

Beth Rogan (Elena Fairchild)
Percy Herbert (Sgt. Pencroft)
Dan Jackson (Cpl. Neb Nugent)
Harry Monty (Pirate [uncredited])

LINKS / RATINGS (%)      
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Updated - 05/05/2024