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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea(1916)

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One contemporary trade reviewer states that the film also uses plot material from Verne's novel The Mysterious Island (Paris, 1874). The film was shot over a two-year period and cost nearly $500,000. Contemporary sources disagree on whether the Williamson organization co-produced the film or whether they were hired by Universal to carry out the film's undersea photography. The underwater scenes were shot in the Bahamas, and the film's interiors were shot both at Universal's Eastern studio in Leonia, New Jersey and at Universal City. Pre-release trade articles state that the film was planned as a twelve-reeler, and the copyright holdings list it as an eleven-reeler, but nearly all reviews give its length as eight reels.
       The film's first public showing was in Chicago in September-October 1916, and some trade journals list it on release charts as early as September 23, 1916, but the film did not open in New York until December 1916, and all trade reviews appeared in December 1916 or in early 1917.
       One pre-release article gives "Brulatier" as the last name of the cinematographer who shot the undersea scenes. No information has been located to determine his full name. The copyright holdings give the name of the character played by Matt Moore as Gideon Spilett, but reviews call the character Lieutenant Bond.
       Jules Verne's novel was also the basis of the 1954 Walt Disney production of the same name, directed by Richard Fleischer and starring Kirk Douglas and James Mason.