In Search of the Castaways (1962)

Article 3132 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-24-2009
Posting Date: 3-12-2010
Directed by Robert Stevenson
Featuring Maurice Chevalier, Hayley Mills, George Sanders
Country: USA
What it is: Vernian adventure

When a Frenchman finds a message in a bottle that indicates that a captain is still alive, he, along with the captain’s two children, convinces a British lord to use his yacht to begin a search for the missing man.

Disney returns to the works of Jules Verne for this colorful adventure film, though the fantastic content of the film seems to be much fainter; THE MOTION PICTURE GUIDE describes it as a “fantasy/adventure”, but it’s only marginally a fantasy, and I can’t even point to a specific element that makes it qualify, unless the existence of a giant condor qualifies. It’s also a much more lighthearted effort; it’s even partially a musical, with Maurice Chevalier crooning a couple of songs during the movie. It’s almost impossible to take the movie seriously, especially when the adventures ride down a snow covered mountain in the Andes on a piece of cliff dislodged by an earthquake. In fact, this movie somewhat reminds me of the Indiana Jones movies in terms of the action setpieces. The cast also includes Wilfred Hyde-White as the lord, and features a cameo from Roger Delgado as a sailor held hostage.

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