20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)

USA, 1954
mono, English

An American science fiction film directed by Richard Fleischer and adapted from the novel by Jules Verne.

Plot Summary

In the late 19th century, ships are being sunk and rumours are rife of a sea monster. Professor Aronnax and his assistant Conseil join forces with professional whaler Ned Land to track the monster down. What they find is mad genius Captain Nemo and his spectacular submarine the Nautilus.


Director: Richard Fleischer
© MCMLIV Walt Disney Productions
Walt Disney presents. Buena Vista Film Distribution Co., Inc. A Walt Disney production
Screen Play by: Earl Felton
Novel: Deux cent mille lieues sous les mers by Jules Verne
Photographed by: Franz Planer
Edited by: Elmo Williams
Music by: Paul Smith
Sound Director: C.O. Slyfield
Sound Recording: Robert O. Cook
Costumer: Norman Martien
Make-up and Hairdressing: Louis Hippe
Special Effects: John Hench, Josh Meador
Effects Photographer: Ralph Hammeras
Art Director: John Meehan

Kirk Douglas (Ned Land)
James Mason (Captain Nemo)
Paul Lukas (Professor Pierre Aronnax)
Peter Lorre (Conseil)
Robert J. Wilke (first mate)
Ted De Corsia (Captain Farragut)
Carleton Young (John Howard)
J.M. Kerrigan (Billy)
Percy Helton (diver)
Ted Cooper (mate on Lincoln)
Fred Graham (Casey Moore)
Edward Marr (shipping agent)

Alternative Titles

20.000 Meilen unter dem Meer – Austria, West Germany
20 000 mil podmorskiej zeglugi – Poland
20.000 Lèguas Submarinas – Brazil
20.000 leguas de viaje submarino – Spain
20.000 lieues sous les mers – France
20.000 llegües de viatge submarí – Spain (Catalan)
20000 Meilen unter dem Meer – West Germany
20000 leghe sotto i mari – Italy
Sukelluslaivalla maapallon ympäri – Finland
En Världsomsegling under havet – Sweden
En Verdensomseiling under havet – Norway
En Verdensomsejling under havet – Denmark
Vingt mille lieues sous la mer – France
Vinte Mil Léguas Submarinas – Portugal

Extracts included in
Making of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (2003)
Screen Test: 26 May 1972
Screen Test: 24 May 1979
The Walt Disney Story (1973)



  • American Cinematographer June 1954 p.282 – article
  • Boxoffice vol.137 (June 2001) p.58 – review (by Wade Major)
  • Castle of Frankenstein no.4 p.5
  • Cinefantastique vol.14 no.3 (May 1984) pp.32-52; 36; 41 – illustrated article (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Joel Frazier and Harry Hathorne); illustrated article (The original Jules Verne Novel); illustrated article (The Nautilus)
  • Cinemacabre no.5 (Fall 1982) pp.36-40 – illustrated interview with James Mason (James Mason on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Bernie O’Heir)
  • Dirigido Por no.296 (December 2000) pp.48-63 – illustrated article (by Quim Casas)
  • Dirigido Por no.279 (May 1999) pp.74-75 – illustrated article (by Antonio Castro)
  • Filmfax no.58 October 1996-January 1997 pp.44-52, 139 – illustrated article (The making of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Brian Taves)
  • Film Music vol.14 no.3 (January-February 1955) p.6 – review
  • Films and Filming vol.25 no.6 (March 1979) p.39 – review (by Eric Braun)
  • Films in Review July-September 1954 p.333 – review
  • Hammer’s Halls of Horror vol.2 no.9 (June 1978) pp.12-13 – note (Media Macabre by Tony Crawley [uncredited])
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.132 no.26 (15 December 1954) p.3 – credits, review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.22 no.258 (July 1955) p.103 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Motion Picture Herald vol.197 no.12 (18 December 1954) p.249 – review
  • Nosferatu: Revista de Cine no.14/15 (February 1994) pp.222-224 – illustrated article (20.000 Leagues Under the Sea by Quim Casas)
  • Perfect Vision vol.6 no.21 (Spring 1994) pp.38-39, 42, 44-45 – illustrated article
  • Radio Times 20 December 1980-2 January 1981 p.116 – review (Films by Sheridan Morley)
  • Revue du Cinema no.313 (January 1977) p.118 – review (Vingt mille lieues sous les mers by Daniel Sauvaget)
  • Revue du Cinema no.320/321 (October 1977) p.299 – credits, article (by Daniel Sauvaget)
  • Science Fiction Studios vol.22 no.2 (July 1995) pp.209-225 – article (Between Jules Verne and Walt Disney: Brains, brawn and masculine desire by James W. Maartens)
  • Screen International no.123 (28 January 1978) p.31 – illustrated preview
  • Sight & Sound Summer 1955 p.36 – review
  • Starburst no.20 (1980) pp.12-16 – illustrated article
  • Starburst Special October 1994 pp.12-15 – illustrated interview
  • Supernatural no.1 (January 1969) p.28 – note (Round the cinema’s zoo of horrors with Supernaturalist)
  • Time Out no.461 (16 February 1979 p.47 – review
  • Today’s Cinema vol.84 no.7269 (18 May 1955) p.13 – review
  • Variety 15 December 1954 – review


  • Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed.) pp.149-150 – illustrated credits, review
  • The Encyclopedia of Novels Into Films second edition by John C. Tibbetts and James M. Welsh pp.470-472 – credits, review (by P.S. [Philip Simpson])
  • Hoffman’s Guide to SF, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.13 – credits, review
  • Horror! 333 Films to Scare You to Death by James Marriott & Kim Newman p.66
  • Reference Guide to Fantastic Films by Walt Lee p.507 – credits
  • Sci-fi Chronicles by Guy Haley (ed.) pp.30-31
  • Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Film Sequels, Series, and Remakes: An Illustrated Filmography, with Plot Synopses and Critical Commentary by Kim R. Holston and Tom Winchester p.495-496 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • The World of Fantasy Films by Richard Myers p.95

Other sources

  • BFI Southbank Guide December 2014 p.6 – illustrated listing