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The Mysterious Island
Directed by Benjamin Christensen
Lucien Hubbard
Maurice Tourneur
Produced by J. Ernest Williamson
Written by Jules Verne (novel)
Lucien Hubbard
Carl Pierson
Starring Lionel Barrymore
Jacqueline Gadsden
Lloyd Hughes
Montagu Love
Harry Gribbon
Music by Martin Broones
Art Lange
Special Effects:
James Basevi
Irving G. Ries
J. Ernest Williamson
Cinematography Percy Hilburn
Editing by Carl Pierson
Distributed by Metro Goldwyn Mayer
Release date(s) October 5, 1929
Running time 95 min.
Country United States
Language English

The Mysterious Island, directed by Lucien Hubbard, is the 1929 film adaptation of Jules Verne's French novel L'Île mystérieuse (The Mysterious Island), published in 1874. It is an all-color (Technicolor), part-talkie feature film with talking sequences, sound effects and synchronized music.



According to an article in the original Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, production was actually started in 1926. There were various problems, including weather and the advent of talkies, which slowed/halted production several times before the film was finally completed and released three years later. The article included stills showing the original 1926 undersea denizens and the redesigned version which actually appeared in the film. Footage shot by Maurice Tourneur and Benjamin Christensen in 1927 was incorporated into the final 1929 version.


The film is loosely based on the back-story given for Captain Nemo in the novel The Mysterious Island, and might more properly be thought of as a prequel to Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea but for the fact that the man who would be Nemo dies in this film's finale. It is the story of Count Dakkar (Captain Nemo's real name is revealed to be Prince Dakkar in The Mysterious Island), how he built his submarine, how he was betrayed, and how he became an outcast seeking revenge.


No complete Technicolor prints survive. Only one reel with a color sequence survives, which is part of the UCLA Film and Television Archive. The complete black-and-white film exists in a black-and-white copy apparently made in the 1950s for television showings, though it remained uncut and intact as released in 1929.


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