The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms

1953

Eugene Lourie
Director
Warner Brothers
Studio

Atom bomb test in Arctic awakens an ancient Rhedosaurus. Naturally being grumpy after his long nap, he takes his anger out on the eastern seaboard.

The grandpappy of all giant lizard flicks, and a pretty good one at that. Buoyed immeasurably by Kellaway's likable and unlucky paleontologist, and of course Ray Harryhausen's wonderful effects. The ending is a bit absurd, but Lee Van Cleef's bad-assery sells it. This is also the film with either the bravest or stupidist cop in all cinema, who, seeing the monster marauding his way through the Financial District, unloads his six-shot revolver at it before promptly being eaten. You see the same actor shortly after, only now with a rifle, so maybe the Rhedosaurus spat him out.

Note: The cast list given in most sources is missing some roles and confused on who played others. Supposedly "authoritative" sources like the American Film Insitute don't help. From the AFI film summary: "The character of the surviving seaman portrayed by Jack Pennick, who was listed as "Jacob" in the NYT and Variety reviews, was called "George LeMay" in the film." Do the people who work for the AFI even the watch movies that are their reason for existence? Arggghhh!

-Dave W.



13th June 1953
Cinema

Not Rated

80 mins
1.37:1

TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection
Sci-Fi Adventures
2nd February 2010
DVD

Not Rated


1.33:1




"
Paul Hubschmid
Professor Tom Nesbitt
(as Paul Christian)
Paula Raymond
Lee Hunter
Cecil Kellaway
Professor Thurgood Elson
Kenneth Tobey
Colonel Jack Evans
Donald Woods
Captain Phil Jackson USCG
Lee Van Cleef
Corporal Stone
Steve Brodie
Sergeant Loomis
Ross Elliott
George Ritchie
Jack Pennick
Jacob Bowman
Ray Hyke
Sergeant Willistead
Paula Hill
Miss Ryan (as Mary Hill)
(incorrectly called 'Miss Nelson' on IMDb)
Michael Fox
Emergency Room Doctor
Alvin Greenman
First Radar Operator
Frank Ferguson
Dr. Morton
King Donovan
Dr. Ingersoll
William Woodson
Opening Narrator (voice)
Radio Announcer (uncredited)
James Best
Charlie, Radar Operator
(uncredited)
Unknown
Radio Operator
(uncredited)
Unknown
Soldier at Arctic Base
(uncredited)
Unknown
Army Doctor (uncredited)
Unknown
Master of Fishing Boat Fortune
(uncredited)
Unknown
Nurse (uncredited)
Leo Mostovoy
Captain George LeMay
(uncredited)
Unknown
Clive Thompson, Editor
(uncredited)
Louise Colombet
Sister (uncredited)
Unknown
Young Lighthouse Keeper
(uncredited)
Edward Clark
McDunn, Lighthouse Keeper
(uncredited)
Unknown
Petty Officer in Jackson's Office
(uncredited)
Bess Flowers
Ballet-Goer (uncredited)
Franklyn Farnum
Ballet-Goer (uncredited)
Unknown
Ballet Usher
(uncredited)
Fred Aldrich
Mate on Diving Tender
(uncredited)
Robert Easton
Deckhand (uncredited)
Unknown
Deckhand (uncredited)
Unknown
Wilson, Diving Bell Crewman
(uncredited)
Unknown
Longshoreman (uncredited)
Joe Gray
Longshoreman (uncredited)
Unknown
Cop (Light Snack)
(uncredited)
Unknown
Woman Seeing Cop Get Eaten
(uncredited)
Lee Phelps
Cop on Call-Box (uncredited)
Unknown
Unfortunate Man in Car
(uncredited)
Unknown
Cop with Rifle (uncredited)
Kenner G. Kemp
Cop with Rifle (uncredited)
Gil Perkins
Blind Man / Stunts (uncredited)
Unknown
Hospital Attendant (uncredited)
Unknown
Emergency Room Doctor
(uncredited)
Unknown
Sam, Hospital Attendant (uncredited)
Unknown
Corporal Manning 20mm Gun
(uncredited)
Unknown
Soldier Who Finds Blood Patch
(uncredited)
Unknown
Sergeant Wintoni (uncredited)
Unknown
Soldier on Walkie-Talkie
(uncredited)
Unknown
Army Captain (uncredited)
Roy Engel
Harbor Defense Major
(uncredited)
Unknown
Soldier in Harbor Defense Post
(uncredited)
Unknown
Soldier in Harbor Defense Post
(uncredited)
Unknown
Soldier in Harbor Defense Post
(uncredited)
Unknown
Deliveryman (uncredited)
Steve Mitchell
Police Officer (uncredited)
Hugh Prosser
Doctor (uncredited)
Mark Sheeler
Fleeing Crowd
(uncredited)
Merv Griffin
Bespectacled Man / Announcer in Trailer
(uncredited)
Vera Miles
Woman in Trailer (uncredited)
Paul Picerni
Man in Trailer
(uncredited)

Dave Wright: Screencaps & Notes