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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Atlantis: The Lost Continent (1961)

Starring Anthony Hall, Joyce Taylor, John Dall, Bill Smith, Edward Platt
Directed by George Pal
(actor & director credits courtesy

A Greek fisherman rescues a shipwrecked woman, who reveals she's a princess of Atlantis, and guides him to her advanced but cruelly ruled kingdom.

Producer/director George Pal's follow-up to the better regarded The Time Machine, this picture isn't quite of the same quality, but is still a fun adventure.  Shaping the fall of Atlantis as a cautionary tale for the power hungry, the film doesn't focus too much on the benefits of Atlantis' advanced civilization in favor of presenting its excesses, like the slavery of foreigners and the transformation of its slaves into literal beasts of burden.  As a consequence we don't really get to see enough of the world that Pal and his crew have created before it's destroyed, but the romance of the young people at the heart of the story works well enough, and there's thrills a plenty from young hero Demetrios' battle to win his freedom and free his fellow captives.

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