Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Theatrical From TV Release > Space Opera > TV Mini-Series > The Amazing Captain Nemo (1978 aka The Return Of Captain Nemo/Feature Version of TV Mini-Series/Warner Archive DVD)

The Amazing Captain Nemo (1978 aka The Return Of Captain Nemo/Feature Version of TV Mini-Series/Warner Archive DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C-     Film: C



Alongside adaptations of Jules Verne’s original novels 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea and Mysterious Island, the character Captain Nemo has surfaced in places Verne could have never imagined, even when Atlantis was involved.  This included a low-budget animated series and his use in the book and not-so-good film of The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen.  But one you may not have seen or remembered seeing is a 1978 TV mini-series version that was also cut into a feature-length version and is a howler all the way: The Amazing Captain Nemo.

Original shown as The Return of Captain Nemo, this was produced Irwin Allen at the point he moved from interesting genre producer to upscale exploitation with films like The Swarm and When Time Ran Out.  This version is meant to capitalize on Star Wars, but looks more like the Gil Gerard Buck Rogers or Disney’s The Black Hole (1979, also loosely based on 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea) as Nemo (José Ferrer) turns up in modern times to battle a mega-villain (Burgess Meredith in his Rocky glory while his Penguin appearances on the 1960s Batman were all over syndicated TV) professor bent on causing a nuclear war so he can take over the world.


Of course, this was the plot in the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me and this production (they hired Lamar Boren, who shot the sequences on that film to do the ones here, to be Director of Photography for the whole production) as well as 1965 Bond film Thunderball if that helps.  Warner Bros. now had a production deal with Allen and may have hoped this would be a TV series, but that did not work out and this edition was theatrically released since it was shot in 35mm to begin with.


Other cast on board includes Mel Ferrer, Horst Buchholz, Lynda Day George, Warren Stevens, Richard Angarola, Peter Jason and Anthony Geary, adding to the craziness.  The visual effects and some of the robot voices are also a hoot, while fans of Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea (reviewed elsewhere on this site) will notice the Nautilus is really the original model of the Seaview repainted copper for this project.  A curio worth a look, The Amazing Captain Nemo is the Star Wars imitator that did not join Battlestar Galactica or Buck Rogers as imitators doomed to cancellation.  It arrived dead in the water.



The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image may be soft at times and the print here may show its age, but the color is decent, though the many visual effects are more obvious than ever.  Boren lost some control to the visual effects department on this one.  The Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono is also not bad for its age, but seems especially dull since the space operas of today have multi-channel sound and this has recycled sound effects.  Allen veteran Richard LaSalle does the amusing score.  The only extra is a trailer for this cut.



You can order this and other Archive releases at this link:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com