Mysterious Island (1961) - Adventure, Family, Fantasy

Hohum Score



During the Civil War a group of Union soldiers and two Confederates escape the stockade using a hot air balloon and end up on a strange Pacific island.

IMDB: 6.7
Director: Cy Endfield
Stars: Michael Craig, Joan Greenwood
Length: 101 Minutes
PG Rating: N/A
Reviews: 10 out of 77 found boring (12.98%)

One-line Reviews (66)

Filmed at a brisk pace, the story never lets up, keeping the viewer captivated until the thrilling conclusion.


Highly Enjoyable .

(my favourite Herrmann score, its rousing!

Admittedly, having been produced in the early 60's this film clearly shows its age but even so it is still entertaining for the most part and I have rated it accordingly.

And then we get the humorous line of dialogue: "I wonder how many minutes it would take to cook in a slow oven".

Mysterious Island is a decent enough fantasy adventure film, Harryhausen's monsters are the only real reason to see it since otherwise it's a pretty dull survival film.

Always an entertaining bit of escapism...

Mysterious Island opens in superb form, with its wonderfully exciting US Civil War escape sequence, followed by the soldiers' perilous flight; once the characters land on the island, the film settles into routine adventure mode, as they explore the island, confront a variety of perils, and are faced with an erupting volcano, before putting into action a far-fetched escape plan.

Compelling adventure/survival story (unlike, say, the comparatively boring "Jason and the Argonauts").

This mildly entertaining nonsense is enlivened by several impressive (for the day) Ray Harryhausen effects set-pieces (a giant crab, a huge flightless bird, some big bees, and a massive tentacled sea creature), but made far more enjoyable by the presence of gorgeous Beth Rogan, who plays shipwreck survivor Elena; once she sheds her Victorian gown for something a little (OK, a lot) more revealing, things definitely get more interesting!

Worth watching!

This is an entertaining movie and I would give it a 7.0 out of 10.

right from the start that pounding, intense musical score, you knew this film would be so good.

Mysterious Island offers many thrilling scenes.

Mysterious Island, despite some slow stuff, is very entertaining, and not just from a sci-fi perspective.

Fascinating adventures and glimmer scenarios along with colossal animals (such as an over-size crab, a giant hen and huge bees) , about a band of Union soldiers who flee a Conferate prison .

Mysteriously Entertaining .

Still an enjoyable romp, 40 years after I first saw this film.

Enjoyable Jules Verne adaptation from the early 60's with great FX by Harryhausen the master of early FX.

There's the usual clichés of course, and as much as I enjoyed it as a red blooded man, did they really need to make Beth Rogan's newly made island dress the shortest in the land?

I have read 7 comments on this film here, and they all captured the movie's intense charm.

It is a simple story of people stranded on a deserted island doing what they can to survive against the many beastly inhabitants, the creatures brought to life by the great stop-motion animation of Ray Harryhausen are indeed what keep you watching, and a good musical score by Bernard Herrmann, overall it is an entertaining classic adventure.

A Fantastic and Enjoyable Adventure .

Since sci-fi is intrinsically futuristic, it's always fascinating to see how technology is treated--in this case from the vantage point of Verne's 1874 publication date (though it's set in 1865).

The fact is that the sum of all the dull CGI effects in "Pirates of the Caribbean" do not match the one giant chicken toddler and its brief struggle for existence in a harsh world newly-invaded by a bunch of American Civil War soldiers, a journalist, and two women.

You see in believing that Jules Vernes work is "Boring" they took a tale of survival and turned it into Jason & the Argonauts.

Won't give anything away on who lives or dies, but if you delve deeply into the cherished agenda of Captain Nemo, to destroy ALL warships to end war worldwide, it's downright banal since, with most wars...

I think some of the humor is rather dry as the characters test each other.

Craig is a heroic, if somewhat bland, leading man.

It looks sillier today than it did back in 1961, but it's still quite entertaining.

Worth watching for the FX and the dress.

For example the escape in the balloon delivers some exciting moments and other adventures on the island as well.

It still is a real fun and adventurous story, that has lots of entertaining moments in it.

) Worth watching for a wry and literate script and the interplay between the characters, if you can forgive the various weak points.

Using miniatures, matte paintings, and stop-motion animation, the film's visuals alone make the film worth watching, especially on the island.

Each scene is gripping and doesn't really slow down for me until the introduction of Capain Nemo.

Furthermore, an unstable volcano on the edge of eruption.

The opening kicks off with a thrilling battle for escape, involving fist fights, shoot-outs, and lots of near-misses.

Consistently Entertaining .

The team of Schneer and Harryhausen new how to show a story and the action sequences of all three films are stunning.

Fast-paced Exciting Stop-Motion Adventure; A Sleeper .

Film has serious aspirations under its popcorn-fun facade, yet the character ruminations are dreary and the performances by Lom, Michael Craig, Michael Callan and Joan Greenwood are occasionally wooden.

A beautiful and exciting trip.

But it's an entertaining adventure from the early 1960's with delightful stop-motion animated special effects by Ray Harryhausen and a forceful music score by Bernard Herrmann.

Off course , also encounter a lone captain Nemo and his riveting submarine of the future called Nautilus .

To be fair the film only comes to life when one of Ray Harryhausen's stop motion monsters appear, otherwise it's a fairly slow going & dare I say it even rather dull affair.

Rousing and thrilling musical score by Bernard Herrmann , Hitchcock's usual .

Escaped civil war prisoners, a riveting balloon ride, giant animals, an erupting volcano, pirates, Captain Nemo & his Nautilus, and that mysterious island that plays backdrop to it all.

Now rather than reveal any more I will just say that this was a splendid film which manages to combine the imagination of Jules Verne with the impressive special effects of Ray Harryhausen to yield a very enjoyable film.

The ending sums up the lack of cohesion in the film by being an empty noisy affair that concludes with some glib, throwaway sentiment about world peace.

Exciting and well-made film has excellent F/X by Ray Harryhausen and an engrossing story with few lulls.

Greenwood and Merrill are the two who fare best, Greenwood by satirizing her role as a Bored English lady, Merrill by getting laughs out of old jokes.

Analytically, it can be shown why these old films were so good and thrilling—and intense, and rich in emotion, and why everything made nowadays is crap.

During some intense fighting and poor weather conditions they make it into a hot air balloon and cast off.

"Mysterious Island" is a fantastic and enjoyable adventure from the 60's that recall many films that I used to see in my childhood.

HOWEVER, the film still looks good and is entertaining--making it sort of a 'turn off your brain and enjoy' sort of film.

This follow-up to ¨20.000 leagues under the sea¨ is an exciting fantasy-adventure full of special effects created by means of stop-motion technique by the magician Ray Harryhausen .

Overall verdict - it's all rather pointless and certainly doesn't leave you with anything to think about once the film has finished.

Not because of the effects, but because this movie is actually exciting and well acted / directed.

Better movies surely were to follow but at the time, this must have been thrilling.

Basically, Harryhausen's wonderful creations raise what is, in other respects, a fairly average yarn into something unique and exciting to watch.

It takes a while for the monsters to show up & even then I don't think Mysterious Island is Harryhausen's best work, the giant crab & the tentacled sea creature at the end are both cool but the giant bird looks silly & the bees are seemingly pointless.

Island wildlife that includes a giant crab, among others, look realistic, and make for entertaining story elements.

One of the truly suspenseful scenes of all time.

All of Verne's motivations for most of his imaginative works lack great philosophical depth; his characters are demonstrably not strong idea-level characters; his works are however, as generations of aficionados have testified, interesting and absorbing adventures, and this sequel to "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" I suggest is no exception to any of these rules.