I saw the movie “Atlantis the Lost Continent” (1961) when I was young and it made a big impression on me and got me waiting for more films about Atlantis. Unfortunately, that 1961 film remains by far (in my opinion) the best film that features Atlantis. Here’s a list of my 10 favorite Atlantean themed films.
1. Atlantis, the Lost Continent (1961) – A humble fisherman is kidnapped by an Atlantean submarine. There he finds all kinds of weirdness including humans turned to half-animals and a neat power ray. This movie is not held in high regard but it’s a classic to me.
2. Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959) – James Mason and Pat Boone find Atlantis at the center of the earth. Just a good, fun adventure film. The expedition escapes in a giant bowl up through a volcano.
3. Alien from L.A. (1988) – A socially awkward teen (played by swimsuit super model Kathy Ireland) goes to Atlantis looking for her archaeologist father who disappeared. In Atlantis, Ireland is considered an invading alien. I love how Ireland is portrayed as the ugly ducking in the beginning of the movie and gets dumped by her surfer boyfriend. Anyway, this is an incredibly low-rated movie by most, but I like it a lot.
4. War-Gods of the Deep (1965) – Also known as “City under the Sea”. This film has Vincent Price as a mad scientist sort, and Tab Hunter as the hero. OK, the city isn’t really Atlantis but close enough. A generic adventure film from the 1960s but entertaining.
5. Warlords of Atlantis (1978)) – Stars Doug McClure who was in a ton of sci-fi adventure films in the 1970s and 80s. The heroes find Atlantis using a diving bell then have to find a way to escape. A pretty good film.
6. The Amazing Captain Nemo (1978) – This was originally a TV miniseries by Irwin Allen who did the “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” series. The miniseries was intended to become a regular series but that didn’t happen so the shows were repackaged into a movie. Jose Ferrer is Captain Nemo who is revived from suspended animation.
7. Siren of Atlantis (1949) – This is a fairly obscure film starring Maria Montez who was a big star in the 1940s. A soldier in the French Foreign Legion stumbles across the lost kingdom of Atlantis, ruled by the beautiful Queen Antinea.
8. 10,000 BC (2008) – My list is getting desperate and I’m taking some films that have only a very loose connection to Atlantis. Here the caveman hero tosses a spear through the bad guy who is a survivor from Atlantis. Pretty good special effects are the best part of this movie.
9. Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) – This is a Disney animated film. It wasn’t well received when released. The art is fantastic but the story isn’t. This is one of those films that could have been great with a better plot.
10. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012) – This Disney film starred Dwayne Johnson and is a sort of a sequel to “Journey to the Center of the Earth” (2008) which starred Brendan Fraser. As with most films on this list, the plot is confused and involves escaping from a volcano, and Nemo’s Nautilus submarine.
Island of the Fishmen (1979) – This Italian-produced movie has actress Barbara Bach but not much else going for it. Once again there is a volcano, but this time there are some creepy half-man, half-fish things.
Undersea Kingdom (1936) – Is a re-editing and compilation of an old Republic serial. Not bad if you like 1930s serials (like I do). Appears on Mystery Science Fiction Theater 3000.
Kull the Conqueror (1997) – With Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tia Carrere; doesn’t really involve Atlantis except for the fact that Kull is from Atlantis.
Hercules and the Conquest of Atlantis (1961) – One of millions of Italian movies about Hercules from the 1960s. Has a certain charm.