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Movie(s)-A-Day #83: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1916 & 1954).

March 24, 2011

Jules Verne – the father of science fiction and just about the steampunkiest guy around – died on this day in 1905. His novels not only laid the groundwork for modern speculative fiction, but they have also been the basis of dozens of film adaptations. The submarine adventure “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” has been the subject of two particularly fun versions. The 1916 adaptation is wonderful to look at, keeping the Victorian look and feel of the book even as it jettisons most of the original story. Disney’s 1954 adaptation, starring Kirk Douglas, James Mason and Peter Lorre, is slightly more true to the story while being thoroughly Disney-fied but still entertaining. Look for a Disney revival of the story sometime in the next couple years, possibly with David Fincher directing.

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