ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Saturday Matinée ~ "Mysterious Island"

Updated on February 28, 2013

Please see a spoiler alert and the design and intent of these "The Saturday Matinée" film recommendations at ~ "The Saturday Matinee ~ a preview".

The Civil War, Pirates, underwater cities, monster-sized animals, Captain Nemo - 1961's "Mysterious Island" might be the all-time '10 year old boy movie' ever made. Ray Harryhausen is one of the most influential filmmakers ever, the list of directors who name him as their biggest reason for making movies and loving movies is a who's who of today's top film makers. Now, Harryhausen himself was not a director, he was a special effects genius. When Tom Hanks handed Ray Harryhausen his special Academy Award, Hanks announced that while some say "Citizen Kane" and some say "Casablanca", he thinks Harryhausen's "Jason And The Argonauts" is the greatest film ever made.

Enough cannot be said about Ray Harryhausen, but another off-camera genius must be mentioned when talking about "Mysterious Island" . . . Bernard Herrmann was a multiple Oscar nominee and winner who wrote some of the screen's most memorable film scores, including the music to "Citizen Kane", "Cape Fear", and "Taxi Driver", but, that's not even touching on the series of musical scores he did for two great filmmakers - Alfred Hitchcock and Ray Harryhausen. Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much", "Vertigo", "The Birds", "North By Northwest", "Psycho", etc, all featured music by Bernard Herrmann, as did many of Harryhausen's films. When you watch "Mysterious Island", right from the start, the first thing that grabs you is Bernard Herrmann's music . . . the double clashing cymbals as the waves first crash (TTSSSHHHH) against the rocks and then burst (TTSSSHHHH) into the air with a rousing "TTSSSHHHH TTSSSHHHH"! Just listen to the little bit you get in the trailer below.

All the performances in this film are great; Michael Craig is properly balanced between wonder and resolve as the heroic leader, Gary Merrill (husband of Betti Davis) as a newspaper reporter is one of those actors many in my generation know from dozens of films and is always good, and Michael Callan was the new rising star - but it's the Captain Nemo character and performance that is one of those perfect actor for the role circumstances that you can't always see coming.

In that era, the early 1960s, if I were to pick any actor to play Nemo in a film I would quickly and easily pick James Mason . . . and that's just what genius Walt Disney did for his 1954 film "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea", and James Mason was flawless as the tortured visionary Captain Nemo. However - Herbert Lom (who was frequently being driven batty as Inspector Clouseau's boss in the "Pink Panther" films) was inspired as "Mysterious Island"'s Captain Nemo.

I like to think if James Mason had been in the Nemo role in this superior film to his "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea", he would have been a superior Nemo as well (because I'm a great fan of James Mason) - but there's no denying it, Herbert Lom is THE screen Nemo. When Michael Craig's Captain Harding asks Nemo why he has kept himself hidden from the castaways, Lom as Nemo answers with one of my favorite lines in movie history . . . as a kid, I sat in the theater and knew just what Nemo was talking about, and it was helpful to the youthful me that someone else out there 'got' what I often felt.

So, make it a big deal, have movie night, have a cousin or friend join them, get some snacks, BUT - encourage them to attentively watch the movie, it's not play or goof-off time, if they sit still and pay attention "Mysterious Island" will teach them to want to do this some more, it will persuade them that mom & dad might just know what they're talking about sometimes. And, please remember, this is not for the kids, this is for the family . . . and if you sit attentively and actually watch the movie, you will see how well done a simple Saturday matinée movie from 50 years ago can be - a well told story is timeless and for young and old.

This is the first in my series of "The Saturday Matinée" movie recommendations. . . as I continue to publish other suggested films, this space will provide links to those entries in the series.

"A Preview" (an introduction to this movie review series)

1. "Mysterious Island"

2. "Horror Of Dracula"

3. "This Island Earth"

please also visit my other series "Regular, Normal Christianity"

Please do share any comments or questions below ~

One of the 'boy's back to school movie sleepovers with grampa' with just some of the grandsons . . . the younger ones will join us as they are able and interested to sit still and give their attention to the movie

Please do visit my other hubs ~

Regular, Normal Christianity

Preface ~ "The Premise And Definitions"

1. "The Bible"

2. "God"

3. "Jesus of Nazareth"

4. "The Trinity"

5. "Man, Sin, And Spiritual Death"

6. "The Covenant, The Promise, The Covenants, And The Gospel"

7. "The Atonement - Law & Grace" (coming soon)


1. "The Seasons"

2. "Why Do We Write?"

General Fussing About ~

1. "Vampires"

2. (coming soon)


"The Best Halloween Movie"

"Do I believe in love at first sight? Yes - sort of . . ."

"Leonard - The Best Dog Ever"


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)