April 12, 2015


The 1916 version of Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, once thought lost, is available and in the public domain. 

This is a remarkable film. It's the earliest surviving example of underwater motion picture photography (and may be the earliest ever). They couldn't build an underwater camera at the time and so used cameras on boats filming the underwater action via periscopes. I'll cut them a lot of slack on the blackface because, not only did they get Nemo's ethnicity and background largely right, he's a very sympathetic character with lots of melanin...in 1916

Of course they do diverge a bit from the novel. This film works the sequel (Mysterious Island) into the story and unlike either book, the film is in addition to a sci-fi story, both a period piece and a melodrama. 

You'll have to provide your own music, but it's probably worth 111 minutes of your time.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 01:34 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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