Film (1958; vt The Diabolic Invention; vt The Deadly Invention; vt The Fabulous World of Jules Verne; vt Invention of Destruction; vt Weapons of Destruction). Krátký film Praha/Studio loutkových filmů Gottwaldov. Directed by Karel Zeman. Written by Zeman, František Hrubín, based primarily on Jules Verne's Face au drapeau (1896; trans as For the Flag 1897), but also drawing on sections of his Vingt mille lieues sous les mers (1870; trans as Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Seas 1872), L'île mystérieuse (1874-1875; trans as The Mysterious Island 1875) and Robur le conquérant (1886; trans as The Clipper of the Clouds 1887). Cast includes Miroslav Holub, Arnošt Navrátil, Lubor Tokus and Jana Zatloukalová. 83 minutes. Black and white.
This Czech film is a charming blend of cartoon animation, puppet film and live action, with the overall style patterned on nineteenth-century steel engravings. A monomaniacal scientist invents an incredibly powerful new explosive; he and his assistant are captured by a Captain Nemo-like character and his followers. There are various adventures with submarines, Balloons, a giant octopus and a vast cannon. At the end patriotism triumphs over unscrupulous technology. Zeman directed a number of excellent films of this sort (see Czech and Slovak SF). [JB/PN]
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