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Jules Verne

Walt Disney

 BY FAR the best live-action film Disney ever produced the celebrated novel by Jules Verne and set in the late 19th Century. Underwater photography was hardly new in 1954, but never had it been used so extensively nor to such visually beautiful effect, and the art designs–particularly those for the Nautilus–are justly celebrated.

But for all its beauty, it is the performances which make the film work. James Mason does not merely play Nemo, he seems to be Nemo; after seeing his performance it is impossible to imagine any other actor in the role. Kirk Douglas and Peter Lorre are Ned Land and Conseil of the Verne novel have surprising chemistry and lend the film considerable dash.

At the time of its release, LEAGUES was the single most expensive motion picture ever made and every penny of the money spent shows in the onscreen result. While many of Disney’s live-action films are fondly recalled, few have had enduring fame, it remains both a landmark and one of the most influential films of its decade.

Truly enjoyable from start to finish.

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