Monster That Challenged the World

The Monster That Challenged the World

Director: Arnold Laven

Cast: Arnold Laven, Tim Holt, Audrey Dalton, Hans Conried

     
 

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Arnold Laven's The Monster That Challenged the World has proved one of the more durable horror/sci-fi movies in the United Artists catalog -- not that the film is that inventive, but the script is based on a surprisingly sensible idea (inspired by fact) and is intelligent in the way it develops the tension in the story. The casting is ever so slightly offbeat…  See more details below

Overview

Arnold Laven's The Monster That Challenged the World has proved one of the more durable horror/sci-fi movies in the United Artists catalog -- not that the film is that inventive, but the script is based on a surprisingly sensible idea (inspired by fact) and is intelligent in the way it develops the tension in the story. The casting is ever so slightly offbeat (Hans Conreid plays a straight dramatic role, but some other cast members, most notably Milton Parsons, have some funny scenes), and the monsters are quietly memorable in their low-key, low-tech way. Previously available as part of an MGM/UA laserdisc box, the movie makes its debut on DVD in a beautiful full-screen digital transfer. The movie looks great -- one brief scene (alas, one of Milton Parsons' scenes as the museum curator) has a minor flaw in the film source -- and the sound is clean as well, though mastered at a fairly low level that will require doubling the volume setting. The chapters are generous as well although, as part of MGM's Midnite Movie series, there is no insert to list them. The menu opens automatically on start-up and is easy to maneuver, not surprising since there aren't any real "extras," just the movie, chapters, and a choice of French and Spanish subtitles. But for a $15 list price it's difficult to complain. The film has been mastered full-screen, ever so slightly compromising the suspense in one chilling suspense sequence, but the 1.33:1 aspect ratio generally works perfectly.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
An underwater earthquake in the Salton Sea uncovers a nest of giant prehistoric sea snails that hatch after exposure to radiation. The ravenous, blank-eyed mollusks drain the blood from several swimmers and sailors until hard-bitten Navy man Tim Holt steps in to combat the menace. One of the more suspenseful entries in the "big bug" subgenre of '50s science fiction, The Monster That Challenged the World benefits from the capable hand of mainstream director Arnold Laven, who brings a degree of gravity and logic to the proceedings that's usually missing from most B monster movies. The film is also aided by a solid cast, especially Holt (a long way from Treasure of the Sierra Madre, but still game) and character actor Hans Conried in an atypically serious role, as well as special effects man Augie Lohman's unnerving, 11-foot-tall mechanical creature. MGM's full-frame DVD presentation, part of their "Midnite Movies" series, is regrettably bereft of any extras.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/28/2001
UPC:
0027616865632
Original Release:
1957
Rating:
G
Source:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[B&W, Full Frame]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital, monaural]
Time:
1:24:00

Special Features

English: mono; French & Spanish language subtitles

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tim Holt Lt. Cmdr. John Twillinger
Audrey Dalton Gail MacKenzie
Hans Conried Dr. Jess Rogers
Harlan Warde Lt. Bob Clemens
Casey Adams Tad Jones
Mimi Gibson Sandy MacKenzie
Gordon Jones Josh Peters
Marjorie Stapp Connie Blake
Dennis McCarthy George Blake
Barbara Darrow Jody Sims
Mack Williams Capt. Masters
Jody McCrea Seaman Fred Johnson
William Swan Seaman Howard Sanders
Charles Tannen Wyatt
Byron Kane Coroner
Gilbert Frye Deputy Scott
Milton Parsons Lewis Clark Dobbs
Ralph Moody Old Gatekeeper
Michael Dugan Clarke
Hal Taggart Mr. Davis

Technical Credits
Arnold Laven Director
David Duncan Original Story
John D. Faure Editor
Pat Fielder Screenwriter
Arthur Gardner Producer
Jules Levy Producer
Augie Lohman Special Effects
Heinz Roemheld Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
James D. Vance Art Director
Lester White Cinematographer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Movie Selections
1. Main Title [:09]
2. Lost At Sea [6:17]
3. Strange Submarine [4:52]
4. Drained And Scared [4:58]
5. No Swimming! [4:16]
6. Underwater Creature [6:15]
7. Not Coming Home [9:28]
8. What It Is [3:34]
9. Creature Patrol [7:52]
10. Romantic Dinner [1:49]
11. Down The River [3:09]
12. Heating Up [3:46]
13. Junction 57 [4:24]
14. Underground Well [4:26]
15. Man vs. Mollusk [3:33]
16. Swimming Again [7:42]

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