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A strange “sea monster” has been rampaging the seas. The United States sends the naval vessel Abraham Lincoln to investigate. During their search, the vessel runs into the “monster,” and it damages their ship. The mysterious monster turns out to be Nautilus, the technologically advanced submarine of Captain Nemo. After the attack, the Abraham Lincoln is adrift with no rudder. Then, a “strange rescue” takes place. Captain Nemo guides his submarine directly beneath the four people who had been aboard the ship and fallen into the sea during the attack. Nautilus surfaces, and Nemo’s crew brings the four rescued individuals aboard the submarine. The four include master harpooner Ned Land, a professor Pierre Aronnax, his daughter, and the professor’s assistant. Once aboard the submarine, the four must swear they will not attempt to escape. The captain introduces them to his vessel and the wonders of its underwater realm. He later takes them hunting on the seafloor.

Meanwhile, union soldiers in a runaway Union Army balloon are marooned on a mysterious island. The soldiers find a wild girl living alone. Soon the yacht of Charles Denver arrives at the island. A woman’s ghost (Princess Daaker) has haunted Denver, a former British colonial officer in India, whom he attacked years ago. Rather than submit to him sexually, she had stabbed and killed herself. Denver then fled with her young daughter only to abandon her on the island. Long tormented by his crime, he returned to find the girl or determine what happened to her.

One soldier scheme to kidnap the child aboard Denver’s yacht. Another hears of the plan and starts swimming to the yacht to rescue her. Simultaneously, Nemo discovers the yacht belongs to Denver, the enemy he has been seeking all these years. The Nautilus destroys the yacht with a torpedo, but Captain Nemo saves the girl and her rescuer.

In elaborate flashback scenes to India, Nemo reveals he is Prince Daaker and created the Nautilus to seek revenge on Charles Denver. It overjoyed him to discover that the abandoned wild girl is his long-lost daughter, but his emotion overcomes him, and he dies. His loyal crew buries him at the ocean bottom. They disband and set the Nautilus adrift. [6]

The Universal Film Manufacturing Company was not known in the silent era as premier producer of motion pictures.
Yet, in 1916 they produced a film that could not be made effectively without expensive special effects and special photography.
The novel had previously been made as short films in 1907 by Georges Méliès and in 1913 by French company ÃÂclair.)
Marshalling the expertise underwater experts Ernest and George Williamson, Universal financed the extensive production which would require location photography, large sets, exotic costumes, sailing ships, and a full-size navigable mock-up of the surfaced submarine Nautilus.

Based on the classic by Jules Verne
Produced By: Universal
Director: Stuart Paton
Run time: 108 min
Public Domain

Universal Pictures
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