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The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953)

Approved | | Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi | 13 June 1953 (USA)
A ferocious dinosaur awakened by an Arctic atomic test terrorizes the North Atlantic and, ultimately, New York City.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Prof. Tom Nesbitt (as Paul Christian)
...
Lee Hunter
...
Prof. Thurgood Elson
...
Col. Jack Evans
...
Capt. Phil Jackson
...
Corp. Stone
...
Sgt. Loomis
...
George Ritchie
Jack Pennick ...
Jacob Bowman
Ray Hyke ...
Sgt. Willistead
Paula Hill ...
Miss Ryan (as Mary Hill)
...
ER Doctor
Alvin Greenman ...
First Radar Man
...
Dr. Morton
...
Dr. Ingersoll
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Storyline

As a result of an arctic nuclear test, a carnivorous dinosaur thaws out and starts making its way down the east coast of North America. Professor Tom Nesbitt, only witness to the beast's existence, is not believed, even when he identifies it as a "rhedosaurus" to paleontologist Thurgood Elson. All doubts disappear, however, when Elson is swallowed whole during an oceanic bathysphere excursion to search for the creature. Soon thereafter the rhedosaurus emerges from the sea and lays waste to Manhattan Island until Nesbitt comes up with a plan to try to stop the seemingly indestructible beast. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Prehistoric sea-giant rages against city! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

13 June 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Monster from Beneath the Sea  »

Box Office

Budget:

$210,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$5,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

| (Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some film aficionados might recognize Alvin Greenman, the first character to speak after the narrator, and the first to notice the beast on on the radar. Six years earlier he played Alfred, the Macys Janitor in Miracle on 34th Street (1947). TV aficionados though might recognize the second character to speak. Playing the part of Charlie is actor James Best, best remembered for his role as Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane from The Dukes of Hazzard (1979). See more »

Goofs

When the fishing vessel "Fortune" is attacked by the Beast, it is shown moving from right to left. In the wheelhouse, Jacob looks to the left, which would be port, and reacts in horror as he sees the Beast rise up out of the water. The Beast then pounces right away, crushing the wheelhouse roof down, then the shot switches to the exterior. The ship is still moving right to left, but the Beast is shown attacking from the starboard side of the ship, when it should have been attacking off the port, where Jacob had just seen it. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Opening Narrator: This is Operation Experiment, a secret base far north of the Arctic Circle. Experiment was the codename for a top priority scientific expedition. These men arrived here on X-day minus 60. It has taken them the full two months to get ready. Today is X-day.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Lee Van Cleef saves the world!
11 February 2002 | by (Philadelphia, PA) – See all my reviews

This is the movie that introduced me to monster-on-the-loose pictures. Warner Brothers did not pioneer the genre; RKO started it off in 1951 with THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD. But it WAS Warner Brothers who began both the "radiation releases monster" and "radiation creates mutant monster" genre's with this film and THEM! two years later. I had never heard of Ray Harryhausen when I saw this for the first time at the tender age of 7 but I knew a scary monster when I saw it and this movie became an instant fave. Later I discovered Godzilla and could not figure out why that film had so much destruction and this one had so little. Later I learned about stop motion vs man-in-suit special effects. I also learned that Inoshiro Honda was using this film as a blueprint. Fantastic film! The first glimpse of the Beast is terrific! The destruction of the first ship is spellbinding! (That is Jack Pennick from many John Ford westerns as the shocked helmsman.) and the rampaging of The Beast through the streets of New York panicked me as a child. The only scene I did not (and still don't) care for is where the helpless blind man is knocked down and trampled by the fear crazed mob. The climax at Coney Island was amazing. I later found out the marksman in the end scenes is Lee Van Cleef who starred in so many spaghetti westerns. He actually saves the world in this movie. Well, maybe not the world, but New York anyway. I still watch this movie whenever I get a chance. When the film was new they tinted the underwater scenes where Cecil Kellaway is in the diving bell green. They did not restore the tinting to the video print and I think that was a mistake. Maybe when the movie gets to DVD they will do so. Don't miss your chance to discover this film. You will enjoy it.


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