EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS, THE (director/writer: Eugene Lourie; screenwriters: Fred Freiberger/Louis Morheim/Robert Smith/from the Saturday Evening Post story The Fog Horn by Ray Bradbury; cinematographer: Jack Russell; editor: Bernard W. Burton; music: David Buttolph; cast: Paul Christian (Professor Tom Nesbitt), Paula Raymond (Lee Hunter), Cecil Kellaway (Prof. Thurgood Elson), Kenneth Tobey (Col. Jack Evans), Donald Woods (Capt. Phil Jackson), Lee Van Cleef (Cpl. Stone), Steve Brodie (Sgt. Loomis), Ross Elliott (George Ritchie), Jack Pennick (Jacob Bowman), Ray Hyke (Sgt. Willistead), Michael Fox (ER Doctor), Alvin Greenman (1st Radar Man), Frank Ferguson (Dr. Morton), King Donovan (Dr. Ingersoll); Runtime: 80; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Hal Chester/Jack Dietz; Warner Bros.; 1953)|
sci-fi film that overcomes its slight story and
flat acting with
wonderful cheesy special effects."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Eugene Lourie ("The Colossus of New York"/"Gorgo"/"The Giant Behemoth"), former designer, directs this lovable bad sci-fi film that overcomes its slight story and flat acting with wonderful cheesy special effects. This low-budget B/W film was the first film to feature the marvelous stop-motion animation of Ray Harryhausen (called by him Dynamation), in his first solo assignment. Ray created the carnivorous dinosaur from pre-historic time called "rhedosaurus," the film's central piece monster and the only reason for seeing the pic. The film adaptation is based on the Saturday Evening Post short story The Fog Horn by Ray Bradbury, and is cowritten by Lourie, Fred Freiberger, Louis Morheim and Robert Smith.
At the North Pole, a
nuclear test thaws out a giant pre-historic monster,
whose presence is
not believed by either the military head of the
Jack Evans (Kenneth
or the scientific establishment represented by the
paleontologist Prof. Thurgood
Elson (Cecil Kellaway), even if
by the reliable AEC scientist Tom Nesbitt (Paul
Christian). The colonel
thinks the nuclear physicist suffers from trauma after
buried in the
snow during a sudden blizzard in the Antarctic and has
him checked out
in a NYC hospital by a doubting psychiatrist (King
there are a few newspaper reports of
the monster attacking ships at sea off the coast of
Elson's loyal assistant Lee Hunter (Paula Raymond),
who has developed a
crush on Tom, convinces her boss that it's possible.
professor goes down in a diving bell in the Atlantic
Sea to see the
monster for himself and dies mysteriously. Soon the
mystery is cleared
up as the giant monster makes its way down the
American coast and walks
on all fours menacingly through Gotham's downtown
radioactive germs (and deadly unknown germs from the
and killing the citizens with ease without being
stopped by the Army or
NYC's finest. When the beast is wounded, Tom convinces
Colonel Jack to
use an Army sharpshooter to shoot it in its wound with
isotope, which will make sure the germs do not spread
after its death.
(Lee Van Cleef) stands in a roller coaster ride at
Coney Island and
successfully hits his mark, and a fire breaks out
cremating the monster.
It's a limp but
pic, that gets my nod in its favor because its
is a hoot and that it has the audacity to have the
take charge of destroying the monster in Gotham. If
this was a more
real story, he would be outranked by generals and
civilians like the
mayor, governor or president.
REVIEWED ON 3/19/2010 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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