His goal was Atlantis – but first he must conquer the menace of the depths!
The Amazing Captain Nemo (1978) is among the newer releases from our friends over at Warner Archives. It is a bit of a mixed bag. Originally a TV miniseries, TACN is an edited down version running at roughly feature length. As such it is a bit choppy- the original three hour series had a full story line and one can tell in this current release where each episode clearly would have begun and ended. You can still follow the plot but it is just a bit more difficult.
Produced by disaster movie mogul Irwin Allen the plot isn’t half bad. Nemo awakens from a 100 year cryogenic sleep to find the US navy needs his help against a mad scientist played by Burgess Meredith.
What does detract from the picture are the production values: obviously lessened by the TV budget, the results are campy and in some cases hysterical. The uniforms are straight from 1978 and in a period not known for it’s great fashion sense this really dates the picture quite a bit. It does supply a fairly good cast, with, in addition to Burgess Meredith as previously mentioned, Academy Award winner Jose Ferrer as a laid back Captain Nemo. Suffice to say paychecks may have been in short supply in 1978 and everyone is in on the joke and plays their roles likewise.
What would have been a better idea would be to release the complete miniseries so one could “enjoy” the entire story arc. Granted, this is burned on demand per the usual Archives process, so there is little overhead, but one wonders why certain pieces are selected for release and other languish.
This perhaps isn’t the place but it seems that the folks controlling the release schedule at the Archives have a penchant for newer and originally made for TV items for release. This could be due to many reasons, perhaps ease of release due to the quality of the remaining film elements or even higher demand from the public. Although the latter seems hard to believe this is all conjecture. It has been nice of late to see some of the later Errol Flynn films become available so this trend is by no means all encompassing.
The disc and quality itself is like most of these releases, adequate if unstellar.
Not overly recommended unless this fills some void for you personally or completes a collection of some sort. Definitely, like many of the Archives releases, a niche product.
As always, you may click the cover art above or go to The WB Shop to grab this one.