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Hollywood Presents Jules VerneThe Father of Science Fiction on Screen$
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Brian Taves

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813161129

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813161129.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 09 April 2020

Creating a Style, 1946–1955

Creating a Style, 1946–1955

(p.49) 3 Creating a Style, 1946–1955
Hollywood Presents Jules Verne

Brain Taves

University Press of Kentucky

With his emphasis on a factual background in his stories, Verne offered the first analysis, in fictional form, of the challenges of the scientific age, but his stories also were set in his own time, limiting them primarily to the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, making them increasingly remote to modern audiences. By the late 1930s, however, adaptations of Verne novels began to be heard over the radio, becoming widespread by the end of the 1940s, reversing the decline in Verne readership and publication. The initial cinematic reflection was a movie serial in 1951, and the next year television broadcasts of Verne stories began. The spark that had been lit might easily have dimmed had not Walt Disney realized how Verne could be the source for a modern movie spectacular. His 1954 film 20,000 Leagues under the Sea is undoubtedly the most influential Verne movie ever made, achieving a level of critical, commercial, and artistic success that launched a seventeen-year cycle of live-action filmmaking of Verne’s work. Moreover, Disney also situated the work to echo for residual benefit, exploited through books, records, associated television shows, and theme park attractions.

Keywords:   atomic power, CinemaScope, radio, special effects, theme park attractions, Disneyland, Walt Disney, Kirk Douglas, Peter Lorre, James Mason

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