Beast From 20,000 Fathoms

Beast From 20,000 Fathoms

4.5 4

Cast: Eugène Lourié, Paul Christian, Paula Raymond, Cecil Kellaway

     
 

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A longtime "dream" project of production designer-turned-director Eugene Lourie, The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms sees the titular beast unleashed on the world via nuclear testing. Making its way from the Arctic Circle, the monster-a carnivorous "rhedosaurus"-begins advancing towards New York. It stomps its way around Wall Street,See more details below

Overview

A longtime "dream" project of production designer-turned-director Eugene Lourie, The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms sees the titular beast unleashed on the world via nuclear testing. Making its way from the Arctic Circle, the monster-a carnivorous "rhedosaurus"-begins advancing towards New York. It stomps its way around Wall Street, pausing to have a policeman for lunch. By the time it has reached Coney Island, the rhedosaurus is more of a danger than ever because of the deadly bacteria it carries within its system. It's up to researcher Paul Christian and sharpshooter Lee Van Cleef to try to liquidate the beast with a grenade chock full of radioactive isotopes. Beast From 20,000 Fathoms represented effects artist Ray Harryhausen's first solo effort, after assisting Willis O'Brien on Mighty Joe Young (1949).

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
The first of the "atomic monster" flicks (which reached their apex of popularity with the globally successful Godzilla), The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms lays the groundwork for many of the films that followed in its wake. There's the hero with an incredible story that finds few takers, the atomic explosion that causes a gigantic mutation, the wanton destruction of a significant portion of a city and, of course, the female laboratory assistant that ends up as the hero's true love. It's been done countless times, and so Beast isn't as fresh as it was in 1953; but the film still has an air of simplicity and innocence about its plotting that is rather beguiling. It's all nonsense, of course, but it good clean fun nonsense, and it still is quite engaging. The legendary Ray Harryhausen cut his solo teeth on Beast and while audience used to computer-generated special effects will find them a bit less than realistic, they still make an impact. They also are surprisingly dramatic, one of Harryhausen's strong points: his monsters may lumber, but they lumber in individual ways, with twitches or pauses or small twists that give them a sense of genuine behavior and character. As the hero, Paul Christian is fine, if unspectacular, and the same can be said of Paula Raymond as his paramour. But Kenneth Tobey is solid, and Lee Van Cleef and, especially, Cecil Kellaway, quite good.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/06/2015
UPC:
0883929458714
Original Release:
1953
Source:
Warner Home Video
Time:
1:20:00

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Paul Christian Tom Nesbitt
Paula Raymond Lee Hunter
Cecil Kellaway Prof. Thurgood Elson
Kenneth Tobey Col. Jack Evans
Donald Woods Capt. Phil Jackson
Jack Pennick Jacob Bowman
Lee Van Cleef Corporal Stone
Steve Brodie Sgt. Loomis
Ross Elliott George Ritchie
Ray Hyke Sgt. Willistead
Mary Hill Miss Nelson
Michael Fox Doctor
Frank Ferguson Dr. Morton
King Donovan Dr. Ingersoll
James Best Radar Man
Alvin Greenman First Radar Man
Paul Hubschmid Tom Nesbitt

Technical Credits
Eugène Lourié Director,Production Designer,Screenwriter
Edward Boyle Set Decoration/Design
Bernard W. Burton Co-producer,Editor
David Buttolph Score Composer
Hal E. Chester Co-producer
Willis Cook Special Effects
Jack Dietz Producer
Fred Freiberger Screenwriter
Ray Harryhausen Special Effects
Horace Hough Asst. Director
Lou Morheim Screenwriter
Jack Russell Cinematographer
John L. Russell Cinematographer
Robert Smith Screenwriter
Ray Bradbury Source Author

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