20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

Subscribe to Kirk Douglas alerts

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Run time: 127 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 23rd December 1954

Box Office Worldwide: $28.2M

Budget: $5M

Distributed by: Disney

Production compaines: Walt Disney Productions


Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Fresh: 24 Rotten: 3

IMDB: 7.2 / 10

Cast & Crew


Starring: Kirk Douglas as Ned Land, James Mason as Captain Nemo, Paul Lukas as Prof. Pierre Arronax, Peter Lorre as Conseil, Robert J. Wilke as First Mate of the Nautilus, Ted de Corsia as Capt. Farragut, Carleton Young as John Howard, J. M. Kerrigan as Billy, Percy Helton as Coach Driver, Ted Cooper as Mate on 'Lincoln'

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea Movie Review

Even grander and more rambling than Swiss Family Robinson, Walt Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea simultaneously sets a bar for both child-friendly epicness and overblown goofiness. On one hand there's the classic attack of a giant squid, on the other there's hokey moments with a singing Kirk Douglas and natives doing a hot-foot dance as they're electrocuted on a trap.

Corny, but I guess that's what Jules Verne wrote back in the mid-1800s. The hot-foot dance hadn't become a cliche yet.

The film is a hodgepodge of hgihlights and lowlights. First our nature expert Paul Lukas (with expert harpooner Douglas and assistant Peter Lorre in tow) spend half an hour circling the Pacific in search of a giant monster that's been sinking ships. They finally give up, but not until we see countless Jacques Cousteau outtakes of schooling fish, lobster harvesting, etc. But then they're rammed by a submarine equipped with a spike on its nose and commanded by the malevolent Captain Nemo (James Mason), who's hatching some kind of fiendish plot to (essentially) destroy the world (when he's not playing his underwater pipe organ, that is).

It's a curious way to spend two hours, hit and miss all the way, but often dazzling in Cinemascope grandeur. Even Douglas's singing isn't half bad. And Mason is quite memorable as the megalomanic captain.

Squid battle aside, though, 20,000 Leagues doesn't give us much more pioneering footage, and that doesn't take place until the very end. The rest of the film -- in retrospect -- is just waiting for the finale.

Disney has issued the film on DVD finally and if you're a fan, it's a grandiose adventure hardly equalled anywhere else. The remastered film (with THX sound) adds a commentary from director Richard Fleischer (now 87). A second disc includes hours of extras: outtakes, behind-the-scenes archives, script bits, and Grand Canyonscope, the animated short that was appended to the film in its original release.


Subscribe to Kirk Douglas alerts


20,000 Leagues Under The Sea Rating

" OK "


More Kirk Douglas

Entourage Trailer

After making a name for themselves in Hollywood, Vincent Chase and his entourage of friends from Queens have finally made a movie. The only problem...

Bastille - Things We Lost In The Fire [Live] Video

Live on the Honda Stage at Music Midtown in Atlanta, Bastille perform 'Things We Lost In The Fire', the final single from their debut album...

Bastille - Oblivion [Live] Video

Bastille perform their single 'Oblivion' live on the Honda Stage at Music Midtown in Atlanta. The track followed Platinum hit 'Of The Night' and featured...

HAERTS - Interview Video

Brooklyn band Haerts released their self-titled debut album this year, and here they talk about how they first got into music, their lifelong friendship and...


Mark Ronson - Daffodils ft. Kevin Parker [Audio] Video

Mark Ronson will finally unveil his fourth album 'Uptown Special' on January 26th 2015 through his new label deal with Sony Music. He has teamed...

Meghan Trainor - Lips Are Movin [Live] Video

Meghan Trainor performs her latest single 'Lips Are Movin' at one of her favourite places in the world: an aquarium. The song features, alongside smash...

HAERTS - Be The One [Live] Video

Haerts perform an intimate live rendition of their song 'Be The One', taken from their self-titled debut album released in October 2014 through Columbia Records....

ScHoolboy Q - Hell Of A Night Video

ScHoolboy Q released his first number one with third album 'Oxymoron', and he now unveils the video to its latest single 'Hell Of A Night'...