Atlantis, the Lost Continent (1961): George Pal’s Metrocolor Sci-Fi

George Pal produced and directed Atlantis, the Lost Continent a sci-fi in Metrocolor, starring Sal Ponti (screen name of Anthony Hall), Joyce Taylor, and John Dall.

Atlantis, the Lost Continent

Theatrical release poster

The storyline concerns the events leading to the total destruction of the mythical continent of Atlantis during Ancient Greece.

Greek fisherman Demetrios and his father rescue Princess Antillia from a shipwreck not knowing she is from the technologically advanced civilization of Atlantis.

Demetrios must travel beyond the Pillars of Hercules to take her home. After they are picked up at sea near Atlantis by giant fish-like submarine boat, Demetrios, expecting a reward for returning Antillia, is instead enslaved and forced to work in the crater of the volcano, the center of the continent.

King Cronus is being manipulated by ambitious usurper Zaren, collaborating with court sorcerer Sonoy the Astrologer, who wishes to use the resources to conquer the known world.

The slaves of Atlantis have mined unique power crystals which absorb the sun’s rays and can be used to fire heat ray beams. The crystals were originally used to produce light and heat, but due to its arrogance and corruption, Atlantis has made the crystals into deadly heat ray weapon, “an abomination before Heaven.”

George Pal directed for MGM Tom Thumb, which was a success, followed up by The Time Machine, The Brothers Grimm, Lost Eden, and a film about Atlantis.

Italian sword and sandal actor Fabrizio Mioni, known for portraying Jason in Hercules was cast as the lead, but his visa expired. Forced to leave the U. S., he was replaced by Sal Ponti (called Anthony Hall). Jon Dall, who had just acted in Spartacus, was cast as the villain.


Produced, directed by George Pal
Written by Daniel Mainwaring, Gerald Hargreaves (play)
Music by Russell Garcia
Cinematography Harold E. Wellman
Edited by Ben Lewis
Distributed by MGM

Release date: May 3, 1961

Running time: 90 min


TCM showed the movie on May 18, 2021.