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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:

They couldn't believe their eyes! They couldn't escape the terror! And neither will you! 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

While visiting his friend Ray Harryhausen on the set, Ray Bradbury was given a copy of the script (which was going under the working title "Monster From the Sea") and was asked if he could possibly do some rewriting on it. After reading the script, Bradbury remarked about a scene in the story (which featured the monster destroying a lighthouse) that seemed very similar to a short story that he had published in "The Saturday Evening Post" several years earlier called "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms". Bradbury's story was about a dinosaur that destroys a lighthouse. The next day Bradbury received a telegram offering to buy the film rights to the story. After the sale, the film's title was changed to "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms". When Bradbury's story was reprinted years later, he changed its title to "The Fog Horn". See more »

Goofs

When the four men are traveling aboard the half-track near the beginning of the movie, the far distant mountains in the background are moving past very rapidly. For that to occur, at that rate, the half-track would need to be moving at 1,000mph or greater. It would have been far more realistic if the background mountains had remained completely stationary while the half-track was simulating movement forward. 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.
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Connections

Featured in The Fifties (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A piece of sci-fi history.
15 May 2001 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

The first true Harryhausen films, and it's a real landmark film, the first of the atomic age monster movies (and one which led to the creation of a certain Japanese monster).

Atomic tests in the arctic release a prehistoric beast which has been trapped in the ice for millions of years. In no time the mysterious creature is wrecking havoc, but sceptical scientists refuse to believe in the existence of such a thing.

In common with a lot of Harryhausen's creations, the Beast itself has a real character, is a believable animal rather than just a monster. The film is cleverly-written and the characters are well-thought-out. A first-rate tale.


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