The magic window of 1916

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, 1916 film is a mixture of two Verne works with about two-thirds being loosely adapted from The Mysterious Island. It’s an East Indian silent film version. But it was the underwater sequences that made it such a spectacular film for its time, and the impressive Nautilus. Everything had a quite cinematics’ effect.

The film presented the first real underwater sequences, made possible by the Williamson Brothers Tube, they managed to film underwater throughout the photosphere. The submarine aspects of the film increase the imagination due to the current Great War at the time and the submarine warfare in the Atlantic.

“Through these crystal plates constructed to withstand the pressure of the water at his great depth, we gaze on scenes which you might think God never intended us to see”

A 1915 illustration of the tube, drawn by Ernest’s younger brother George

Underwater sequence:

Complete film:


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