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The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms
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The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953) More at IMDbPro »

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The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms -- Trailer for this monster movie

Overview

User Rating:
6.7/10   3,703 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Lou Morheim (screenplay) and
Fred Freiberger (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 June 1953 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
It's alive ! See more »
Plot:
A ferocious dinosaur awakened by an Arctic atomic test terrorizes the North Atlantic and ultimately New York City. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Attack of the Rhedosaurus See more (84 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Paul Hubschmid ... Prof. Tom Nesbitt (as Paul Christian)
Paula Raymond ... Lee Hunter

Cecil Kellaway ... Prof. Thurgood Elson

Kenneth Tobey ... Col. Jack Evans
Donald Woods ... Capt. Phil Jackson

Lee Van Cleef ... Corp. Stone
Steve Brodie ... Sgt. Loomis
Ross Elliott ... 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
Frank Ferguson ... Dr. Morton
King Donovan ... Dr. Ingersoll
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Merv Griffin ... Announcer & Bespectacled Man (in theatrical trailer) (voice)
Fred Aldrich ... Radio Operator (uncredited)

James Best ... Charlie - Radar Man (uncredited)
Edward Clark ... Lighthouse Keeper (uncredited)
Louise Colombet ... Nun / Nurse (uncredited)

Robert Easton ... Deckhand (uncredited)
Roy Engel ... Maj. Evans (uncredited)
Franklyn Farnum ... Ballet-Goer (uncredited)
Bess Flowers ... Ballet-Goer (uncredited)

Joe Gray ... Longshoreman (uncredited)
Kenner G. Kemp ... Cop with Rifle (uncredited)
Vivian Mason ... Miss Ryan - Secretary (uncredited)

Vera Miles ... Woman in Trailer (uncredited)
Steve Mitchell ... Police Officer (uncredited)
Leo Mostovoy ... Captain George LeMay (uncredited)
Lee Phelps ... Cop (uncredited)

Paul Picerni ... Man in Trailer (uncredited)
Hugh Prosser ... Doctor (uncredited)
William Woodson ... Opening Narrator / Radio Announcer (voice) (uncredited)
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Directed by
Eugène Lourié 
 
Writing credits
Lou Morheim (screenplay) and
Fred Freiberger (screenplay)

Ray Bradbury (story "The Fog Horn")

Daniel James  uncredited
Eugène Lourié  uncredited
Robert Smith  uncredited

Produced by
Bernard W. Burton .... co-producer
Hal E. Chester .... co-producer
Jack Dietz .... producer
 
Original Music by
David Buttolph 
 
Cinematography by
John L. Russell  (as Jack Russell)
 
Film Editing by
Bernard W. Burton 
 
Production Design by
Eugène Lourié 
 
Set Decoration by
Edward G. Boyle 
 
Makeup Department
Louis Phillipi .... makeup artist
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Horace Hough .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Hal Waller .... assistant art director
 
Sound Department
George Groves .... sound
Max M. Hutchinson .... sound
 
Special Effects by
Willis Cook .... special effects
Ray Harryhausen .... animation effects
George Lofgren .... special effects
Eugène Lourié .... special effects
 
Stunts
Gil Perkins .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Maurice De Packh .... orchestrator
 
Other crew
Michael Fox .... dialogue director
 

Production CompaniesDistributors
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
80 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:
Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | Sweden:15 | USA:Approved (PCA #16143, General Audience) | West Germany:12 (nf)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The film is based on a short story by Ray Bradbury.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: The diving bell entry it rife with problems. When it starts, heavy anchor chain is shown reeling out but the next show shows a multiple block and tackle arrangement with ropes in use from a boom. Then the anchor chain is shown again. As it enters the water, there is no boom rope at all. After it is in the water there is rope again but far too long for rope to be used. On the surface, and in the port hole shots, lots of bubbles are shown but none are coming from the diving bell.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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Frankenweenie (2012)See more »

FAQ

How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
Is the original story available online?
Where did the Beast come from?
See more »
29 out of 35 people found the following review useful.
Attack of the Rhedosaurus, 31 July 2004
Author: clydestuff from United States

If one is in need of a good laugh, there is no better place to start than by watching many of the creature features churned out in the fifties and sixties. Why else do we sit down to watch such perfectly awful schlock like The Giant Gila Monster or The Giant Claw? It is the total ineptitude of the film making process involved in putting those films onto celluloid that makes them endearing to us in their own special way. There were however, a few films of the era that somehow managed to rise above total mediocrity enough so that we can watch them simply because they are decent well made films. This is not to say they are any kind of spectacular cinematic achievement, but in comparison to the usual dreck of that era, they shine like the North Star.

The Beast from 20, 000 Fathoms is a giant dinosaur that has spent the last few million years as a perpetual frozen Popsicle. When some scientists start monkeying around with nuclear testing as they often did in these types of film, the beast does a quick thaw, and wakes up mighty darn hungry. When scientist Tom Nesbitt (Paul Christian) witnesses the creature, and his companion becomes dinosaur fodder, nobody believes him of course, attributing it to delusional traumatic distress, known more commonly in the fifties as hallucinations. Just as Tom is also about to chalk the whole thing up to delirium, he reads about a boat being attacked by a giant sea serpent. It is then that he enlists the aid of Paleontologist Professor Thurgood Elson (Cecil Kellaway), and his assistant Lee (Paula Raymond). The old professor says no dice, it just ain't happening. Lee, however, seems to be hot for Tom's heavy Swiss accent and has him look through some dinosaur mug shots to see if he can identify the beast. After a quick scene in which they let us know that if this film were being made in 2004, Tom and Lee would be looking at the pictures in the bedroom instead of just making eye contact, Tom identifies the beast as a Rhedosaurus. Lest you decide to go looking up what a Rhedosaurus is in the Dinosaur Almanac, I'll save you the trouble by telling you it's a complete figment of the imagination of the writers and animator Ray Harryhausen. From here the chase is on, and eventually the Rhedosaurus decides to homestead in New York City.

There are several reasons why Beast stands out as a cut above normal. Though the script contains the usual inane dialog one expects, the fact that Tom and Lee come up with a decent intelligent plan to prove its existence helps a great deal. There is also the fact that they actually give us a reason as to why the Rhedosaurus is moving down the Atlantic coast instead of making it all seem like random attacks. Foremost, and most importantly, the film works because of the animation of Harryhausen. Forced by a low budget to do all the work on animating the Rhedosaurus by himself, Harryhausen does a terrific job at bringing the beast to life, despite the fact that at times its size changes to fit the scene it happens to be in. After this film, Harryhausen did all of his animations working alone until Clash of the Titans where for the first time he required the help of assistants. It makes one almost regret the use of CGI in films today, as the animations by Harryhausen always had a certain kind of charm to them. Despite continually being saddled with low budgets (the entire budget for Beast was $200,000), Harryhausen could always be counted on to bring a certain amount of class to many of these films that would have otherwise ended up as just another vehicle for Mystery Science Theater. It should also be mentioned that Director Lourie who spent most of his career as an art director and production designer, does a terrific job in the Arctic Scenes, and especially in the New York scenes as soldiers following a trail of Rhedosaurus blood are overcome by radiation sickness.

There are of course the usual bits of silliness that seem to go with the territory. Professor Elson gives a running commentary as he discovers the Rhedosaurus while in a diving bell though he is quite oblivious to the fact that the creature has decided to make him today's appetizer. Likewise a New York policeman uselessly empties sidearm before experiencing his own private version of an esophagus water slide.

As for the acting, it's nothing terribly outstanding but still much better than what you usually get. Cecil Kellaway was always good in roles such as these and his presence alone will lift any film a notch or two. Some may complain about the woodenness of Christian and his Swiss accent, but I found his acting to be quite adequate and was actually glad of the accent as it seemed to add a little more to the character. As for Raymond, she's fine too but could have used a little help in the wardrobe department as one particular dress she wears is too hideous for any film of any decade. Other than that though, she's quite good.

Best of all, Beast is available on DVD and if you are inclined to revisit these old films this is one definitely worth a purchase. And believe it or not, the DVD also has a few extras on it, including previews of other Harryhausen films, an interview with Harryhausen, and a section where Harryhausen and Ray Bradbury reminisce about the good old days. While it may not seem like much, it is infinitely more than you usually get for these kinds of films.

Beast will never win any kind of the accolades reserved for films of obviously better quality, but for me it's just good enough that one can watch and enjoy simply because it is a step or two up from what you might expect. And if you're a step or two up I have no choice but to give you my grade which for Beast from 20,000 fathoms is a B.

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