Captain Nemo and the Nautilus are back to save the world!
One of the first books I read as a kid was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and ever since I picked up that dogeared paperback and learned of Captain Nemo, I have been a big fan. I greedily watch remakes and reinterpretations of the film that I hope will satisfy me in the same way the original book and the Disney film classic did. The Amazing Captain Nemo, which is now available at the Warner Bros. Archive, does not live up to those classics, but in its own way it delivers the goods.
Before watching this you should know that The Amazing Captain Nemo was produced by Irwin Allen. Allen made big spectacle disaster films and interesting sci-fi TV in the 1960s and 1970s. But by the late 1970s, the B-movie subject matter that he excelled at was being co-opted and refined by others. So it was with an eye to this new class of films, like Star Wars, that Irwin put together The Amazing Captain Nemo. Is it Allen’s best work? Not by a long shot, but it is wonderfully campy, which makes it a satisfying viewing experience for armchair comedians. You know who you are.
The movie was pieced together from a three hour work that was meant to be act as pilot for a new TV series, so if the flow of the movie seems strange (and it does), keep that in mind. With its campy special effects and wooden acting you can see why the networks passed on it, but to me it the very fact that Irwin is trying to stage a low budget riff on Star War meets Captain Nemo, that makes the it so darn compelling.
So if you need a laugh or are planning an MST3K-style movie part with friend consider picking up The Amazing Captain Nemo.