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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms can be found here.
The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms is based on a short story of the same name by American fantasy writer Ray Bradbury. The story was first published in The Saturday Evening Post on June 23, 1951. The title was later changed to The Fog Horn.
The story is not yet in the public domain, but it can be found in various collections such as The Golden Apples of the Sun (1953), a collection of 22 of the most famous short stories by Ray Bradbury. "The Fog Horn" can also be found in The Fog Horn & Other Stories (1979) and in Dinosaur Tales (1983), both collections of Bradbury stories.
A fathom is six feet. 20,000 fathoms would be over 120,000 feet deep. The average depth of the ocean is just over 14,000 feet. So far known, the deepest part of the ocean is the Challenger Deep, located beneath the western Pacific Ocean in the southern end of the Mariana Trench, at 36,200 feet.
The Beast is a 30 foot tall dinosaur-like creature called a Rhedosaurus (fictional). A photo of the Beast can be seen here.
While conducting nuclear bomb tests north of the Arctic Circle, researchers unwittingly awaken the Beast from an icecap where it has been hibernating for 100 million years. The Beast then makes its way down the east coast of North America, along the way sinking a fishing boat off the Grand Banks and wrecking a lighthouse in Maine until it finally comes ashore in Manhattan (New York).
Realizing that they cannot blow up the Beast because of the deadly prehistoric germ it carries, it is decided to shoot a radioactive isotope into the bazooka hole made previously in the monster's neck, on the assumption that the isotope will kill the Rhedosaurus by burning it up from the inside. Sharpshooter Corporal Stone (Lee Van Cleef) is called in. When the Beast attacks the amusement park on Coney Island, Stone and Professor Tom Nesbitt (Paul Hubschmid as Paul Christian) ride a rollercoaster to the top so that Stone can get a clear shot at the creature's neck. Stone is successful, the Beast wallows in pain while destroying the rollercoaster (Stone and Nesbitt manage to climb down) until the Beast finally dies on the beach. In the final scene, Nesbitt and Lee (Paula Raymond) kiss.
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