I'm thinking of a movie that starred Peter Lorre and Kirk Douglas.
Here's a hint....
There is hope for the future.
And when the world is ready for a new and better life
all this will someday come to pass.
In God's good time.
Captain Nemo's last words.
I was eight years old when I first saw 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
At that age I didn't realize it ended with sea-man Ned Land
witnessing a 19th-century nuclear explosion.
Ned's rescue meant the professor's journal goes down with Captain Nemo's sinking submarine, the
Nautilus. "Perhaps you did humanity a favor," the professor says
It's interesting to reflect that the movie was made at the dawn of
the nuclear era -- telling the story of a tortured soul who'd wanted to keep his
knowledge of atomic physics from all of humankind.
Parts of the movie are laughable. Over a dozen crew-men are lining up,
pulling axes and harpoons off the rack, because -- they have to dislodge the giant squid
clinging to their bumper. In serious, hushed tones, the Captain warns
the crew of its ferocious tenacity. I'm sorry, you reach a point where
you break out laughing when you hear the words: "Giant squid."
Recently "The Friday Five" asked what five movies you'd like to
have if shipwrecked on an island. I was embarrased to say
this G-rated Disney fare would've been one of them. It's got
what I call a Technicolor plot --
a melodramatic travelogue where every character is an overdrawn caricature.
But the aimless storyline, the lack of any warmth between the four leads --
just leaves more space for the viewer's own unscripted responses.
There's the awe at being
undersea in a crazy spiked submarine. The inexorable dread as it sinks uncontrollably. The pageant of humanity -- the prison camp, the ocean-floor funeral, the anonymous warships attacking.
Inconsolable hatred. Kelp farms. Drinking pure alcohol from a beaker.
Bad stunts with a seal.
I enjoyed reflecting on how much the world has changed -- since Jules Verne, since Disneyland. Since Walt Disney's all-American optimism. Since I first saw this movie 25 years ago....
Anticipating my eventual shipwreck, I bought this movie for $3 in the bargain bin of a video store.
Video stores are shucking their tapes for DVDs -- so it's reached a point
where instead of renting a movie, it's cheaper just to purchase it.