20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1916) - Rotten Tomatoes

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1916)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The 1916 silent version of Jules Vernes' 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was "sold" on the basis of its advanced underwater photography, the handiwork of the legendary Williamson Brothers. The film's storyline combines elements from both 20,000 Leagues and another Verne novel, Mysterious Island. Towards the end of the film the power-mad Captain Nemo, whose futuristic submarine is the film's centerpiece, explains why he has come to hate mankind--which segues into an elaborate flashback sequence set in India, which seems to have been concocted by Rudyard Kipling. The cost of this film was so astronomical that it could not possibly post a profit, putting the kibosh on any subsequent Verne adaptations for the next 12 years. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is available today in a tinted print, which has been somewhat truncated due to film-stock deterioration.


Allen Holubar
as Capt. Nemo
June Gail
as Princess Dasker
Alan Holubar
as Capt. Nemo
Martin Murphy
as Herbert Brown (uncredited)
Dan Hamlon
as Aronnax
Edna Pendleton
as Miss Aronnax
Matt Moore
as Lt. Bond
Clark Wallace
as Pencroft
Wallis Clark
as Pencroft
Lois Alexander
as Prince Dasker's Daughter
Jane Gail
as Princess Dasker
View All

Critic Reviews for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (1)

To describe in detail the marvelous workings as depicted by the Messrs. Williamson would consume columns of space and more columns to give even a synopsis of the melodramatic plot.

October 16, 2019 | Full Review…
Top Critic

this sets an extraordinarily high bar that many of the subsequent adaptations of Verne fail to reach

June 5, 2021 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

The filming of Jules Verne's immortal story has been capitally and, from a photographic viewpoint, at times, wonderfully done.

November 13, 2020 | Full Review…

A cluttered work that nevertheless maintains interest with its groundbreaking underwater photography and Verne's durable framework.

August 8, 2020 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

The struggles of the men against the undertow and the force of the water proved interesting, while the battle between the unarmed pearl diver and the octopus is weird and thrilling.

July 29, 2020 | Full Review…

Oh, I love this. It's a shame about sound and colour.

October 1, 2004 | Rating: 4/5

Audience Reviews for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

To modern audiences, accustomed to fluid storytelling techniques, this work may seem something of a relic and yet, forgiving the herky-jerky story jumps, one has a window into the imagination of the past. Captain Nemo seeks revenge on society and his instrument is a marvel of advanced design, all metal vessel with undersea capabilities. A remarkable achievement of sci-fi storytelling is worth a look to open hearts and minds.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

I guess you can call this the first Michael Bay film. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea was the second adaptation of the Jules Vernes novel, it features iconic mariner costumes. The story telling was a mess however, but the special effect was impressive considering the budget. It's not the most interesting films but deserves cinematic recognition.

Sylvester Kuo
Sylvester Kuo

Super Reviewer

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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