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It Came from Beneath the Sea
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It Came from Beneath the Sea

5.0 2
Director: Robert Gordon, Kenneth Tobey, Faith Domergue, Donald Curtis

Cast: Robert Gordon, Kenneth Tobey, Faith Domergue, Donald Curtis


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It Came From Beneath the Sea was the first of several fruitful collaborations between producer Charles H. Schneer and special-effects wizard Ray Harryhausen. "It" is a giant, six-tentacled octopus, which is galvanized into action by an H-bomb test. Worse still, the monster is highly


It Came From Beneath the Sea was the first of several fruitful collaborations between producer Charles H. Schneer and special-effects wizard Ray Harryhausen. "It" is a giant, six-tentacled octopus, which is galvanized into action by an H-bomb test. Worse still, the monster is highly radioactive, rendering useless the normal means of defense against it. Scientists Donald Curtis and Faith Domergue team with atomic-submarine commander Kenneth Tobey to halt the creature's progress before it begins to attack major coastal cities. Alas, the monster manages to reach San Francisco, wreaking havoc on the Golden Gate Bridge, the Ferry Building, and Market Street before Tobey figures out a way to destroy it. The stop-motion animation utilized by Harryhausen in It Came From Beneath Sea is convincingly frightening, but before long he'd top this achievement with such superb projects as Earth vs. Flying Saucers and Seventh Voyage of Sinbad.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
It's easy to underestimate It Came From Beneath The Sea 50 years after its release. Not only have there been lots of monster-on-the-loose thrillers since, butits own creators, special effects designer Ray Harryhausen and producer Charles H. Schneer, have done much more obivously impressive work together during the ensuing 25 years. What's more, Harryhausen's earlier Beast From 20,000 Fathoms had a more haunting set of images scattered throughout its length. It Came From Beneath The Sea, however, had its own virtues that aren't entirely lost today, if you take the trouble to spot them. As a sci-fi film, it also utilized elements of the documentary, with a narration that makes the first half of the movie seem almost like a newsreel, which gives the action a greater immediacy than could be communicated by any plot summary. The script, by George Worthing Yates and Hal Smith, also drew from the best available model of its era, following the lead of Gordon Douglas's Them! (1954) by interweaving elements of mystery in the movie's first half-hour. And the film contained an extremely potent topical element -- the first 12 minutes of the movie are a realistic depiction of an atomic submarine on maneuvers, in a time when nuclear submarines were the scientific marvel of the moment. This is all presented in a cool, clipped realistic manner, with a strong but convincingly stated macho tone (which will figure prominently in the interaction of two of the key characters later in the movie); indeed, It Came From Beneath The Sea may well have been the earliest screen depiction of a nuclear sub in action, at a time when ships like the submarine Nautilus were making headlines and history around the world. It all served to make the first quarter hour of the film almost irresistably suspenseful, and gave Harryhausen one of the best lead-ins that one could ask for, for his effects -- luckily, the latter lived up to the anticipation and the movie ended up packing a powerful visual punch in its time, especially the scenes of the destruction of well known pieces of San Francisco real estate. What's more, the screenplay engaged in some interesting (though partly unfulfilled) sex-role by-play between the Kenneth Tobey, Faith Domergue, and Donald Curtis characters, and also included an interesting subtext about the nature of bureaucracy -- the manner in which the survivors of the first shipwreck are treated nearly short-circuits the investigation before it begins, and the depiction of the inability of bureaucrats to deal with answers they don't expect or want are all strangely honest and disquieting, almost subversive elements to turn up in a mid-1950's mainstream movie.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:

Special Features

Disc One:; Feature available in original B&W and color (ChromaChoice to toggle between B&W and color); Audio commentary with Ray Harryhausen, visual effects artists Randall William Cook and John Bruno, and Arnold Kunert; ; Disc Two:; Remembering It Came From Beneath the Sea; Tim Burton sits down with Ray Harryhausen; David Schecter on film music's unsung hero; A present-day look at stop-motion; Digital sneak peek of It Came From Beneath the Sea...Again! comic book; Video photo galleries; Original ad artwork

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kenneth Tobey Pete Mathews
Faith Domergue Lesley Joyce
Donald Curtis John Carter
Ian Keith Adm. Burns
Dean Maddox Adam Norman
Harry Lauter Bill Nash
Del Courtney Robert Chase
Tol Avery Navy Intern
Ray Storey Reporter
Rudy Puteska Hall
Jack Littlefield Aston
Jules Irving King
Eddie Fisher McLoed
C. Griffiths Graff
Captain R. Peterson Capt. Stacy

Technical Credits
Robert Gordon Director
Mischa Bakaleinikoff Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Sidney Clifford Set Decoration/Design
Jack Erickson Special Effects
Henry Freulich Cinematographer
Ray Harryhausen Special Effects
Sam Katzman Executive Producer
Leonard Katzman Asst. Director
Paul Palmentola Art Director
Charles H. Schneer Producer
Hal Smith Screenwriter
Jerome Thoms Editor
Josh Westmoreland Sound/Sound Designer
George Worthing Yates Screenwriter

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- It Came From Beneath the Sea
1. Man's Greatest Weapon [2:18]
2. Steady on Course [2:18]
3. Ful Dive [3:44]
4. First Attack [3:44]
5. Ready Divers [1:18]
6. Resurface [1:18]
7. Beyond the Scope [1:29]
8. Drafted [1:29]
9. Some Secrets [1:32]
10. Lack of Sleep [1:32]
11. Octopus [2:30]
12. Hypothesis [2:30]
13. Second Attack [2:44]
14. Going Away Dinner [2:44]
15. Being a Man [2:21]
16. Finding Survivors [2:21]
17. Seeing Things [2:18]
18. Pacific Ocean Closed [2:18]
19. Harper's Cove [:34]
20. Top Priority [:34]
21. Pacific Coast [2:05]
22. Jet Propelled [2:05]
23. Sonar Signal [4:22]
24. Golden Gate [4:22]
25. Lock Down [1:38]
26. Evacuation [1:38]
27. Torpedo Run [1:44]
28. Vulnerable [1:44]

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It Came from Beneath the Sea 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Wade1000 More than 1 year ago
It Came From Beneath the Sea is the greatest tale of man vs. monster cephalopod. It is analagous to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. A mysterious sea monster is sighted and there is an investigation to track it down. A ship is sunk and there's a confrontation between submarine and beast. This is my favorite Ray Harryhausen movie. I first saw it when I was four. I was so freaked out that whenever I visited San Fransico Bay, I expected the Kraken to emerge and demolished the Golden Gate Bridge. CGI is so overdone this century that it's no longer impressive. Harryhausen's work will always endure and entertain.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago