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The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953)

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

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Hubschmid ...
Prof. Tom Nesbitt (as Paul Christian)
Paula Raymond ...
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)
Michael Fox ...
ER Doctor
Alvin Greenman ...
First Radar Man
...
Dr. Morton
King Donovan ...
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

The dinosaur skeleton in the museum sequence is artificial. It was obtained from storage at RKO where it had been constructed for Bringing Up Baby (1938). See more »

Goofs

Nesbitt, trying to persuade Elson to consider his story, says that Galileo claimed the world is round. That was accepted in Galileo's time. His claim was that the earth moves around the sun. 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

Edited into Fantastic Dinosaurs of the Movies (1990) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Superior F/X Sets This One Apart...
9 September 2001 | by (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

"The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms" is one of many "nuclear explosion thaws out the pre-historic monster" movies popular in the 1950's. What sets this film apart from other similarly themed films, are the superior special effects created by the legendary Ray Harryhausen.

His dinosaur is as good as you will see in any sci-fi movie. It moves without that jerky motion common in so many stop-motion monsters (i.e. King Kong). The "monster destroys the city" sequence is outstanding. There is also an excellent fight between an octopus and a shark that is very exciting. The best sequence takes place at the end of the film when the monster is cornered in an amusement park.

As in all such movies, the human actors are incidental to the plot. The German/Swiss actor Paul Christian (aka Hubschmid) plays the requisite scientist, Paula Raymond and Cecil Kellaway are the "dinosaur experts" and Kenneth Tobey and Donald Woods play the sceptical military types. There are also a number of recognizable "B" movie faces from the period such as Lee Van Cleef, Steve Brodie, Jack Pennick and James Best.

One of the best atomic monster movies from the 50s.


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