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This is set during the American Civil War, so it's slightly Steampunk. In the story, 5 men - 3 Union soldiers (Michael Craig, Michael Callan, Dan Jackson), a newspaperman (Gary Merill) and a confederate soldier (Percy Herbert) they take along - escape from a prison camp in an observation balloon. They travel over the sea in rough weather and barely make it to the island of the title, which has a volcano in its center. Though they note how some of the plant life has apparently grown out of control, nothing really alarms them until they have a confrontation with a giant crab (the crab ends up as their first good meal). Then, in one of those strange movie coincidences, two women (Joan Greenwood, Beth Rogan) are washed ashore, survivors of a shipwreck. They all set up shop in a cave up the side of a cliff, which they dub "The Granite House."
The film ends up as a sequel to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (54) and as a variation on Robinson Crusoe and The Swiss Family Robinson - these survivors are trapped on the island but make the best of it, setting up their own private conclave. Pretty soon, it is evident that there is an unknown/unseen presence on the island which, for example, sends them a chest full of goodies. This turns out to be the famous Captain Nemo (Herbert Lom); most of the group know of him, since he was made famous as the submarine commander who destroyed warships 8 years previously. This film, however, is more famous for the Ray Harryhausen FX, which also include giant bees and birds. The climax is the expected spectacular volcanic eruption. BoG's Score: 7 out of 10
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