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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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The Height of the Verne Cycle, 1960–1962

The Height of the Verne Cycle, 1960–1962

(p.91) 5 The Height of the Verne Cycle, 1960–1962
Hollywood Presents Jules Verne

Brain Taves

University Press of Kentucky

The peak year of the Verne cycle was 1961, when four Hollywood Verne movies were released as well as several imports, along with television originals; never again would so many adaptations be produced in such rapid order. Verne filmmaking was about to move beyond spectacle and entertainment for the whole family to aim at younger filmgoers drawn by modestly budgeted but no less inventive science fiction; as one producer commented, Verne was as important a name as the biggest stars of the day. Some of these films, most notably Ray Harryhausen’s new version of The Mysterious Island, incorporated monsters reminiscent of those in Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959), while themes echoed Disney’s 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. This was apparent not only in the return of Captain Nemo in Mysterious Island but also especially in Master of the World, based on two Verne novels and scripted by science fiction writer Richard Matheson to transform the novels’ vague global threat into a highly topical disquisition on pacifism.

Keywords:   castaways, comet, Africa, Irwin Allen, Robert Florey, Ray Harryhausen, Richard Matheson, Vincent Price, William Witney, American-International Pictures

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