Character actor Michael Shannon has been nominated for his second Oscar for his role in the 2016 thriller Nocturnal Animals. "No Small Parts" takes a look at some of the other characters he's played in the past.
A scientific expedition searching for fossils along the Amazon River discovers a prehistoric Gill-Man in the legendary Black Lagoon. The explorers capture the mysterious creature, but it breaks free. The Gill-Man returns to kidnap the lovely Kay, fiancée of one in the expedition, with whom it has fallen in love. Written by
Marty McKee <email@example.com>
Julie Adams has stated that she was not knocked out when she was being carried into the cave by the creature. Rather, Adams claims that she scraped her head against the plaster wall of the cave while the stuntman was carrying her. Neither Adams nor the stuntman had very good visibility while filming the scene. The scene called for Adams to pretend to be unconscious in the creature's arms, which meant that her eyes were closed, and the stuntman could barely see out of the creature's mask. See more »
When the Creature is deep at the bottom of the lagoon looking up at Kay as she swims, the dark silhouette of a very long and large cable suspended above the water can be seen above her. See more »
Unlike other sci-fi flicks from the 1950s, "Creature From The Black Lagoon" is not a film to laugh at. It's better made. Just by the title we know there's a monster lurking about. Yet, for the film's first 24 minutes we don't actually see it, only one of its claws. And that holding back of the monster's appearance fosters suspense and mystery. In addition, the film's B&W cinematography is good, for its time, with lots of credible underwater shots. And while the dialogue does contain lots of exposition, the film at least tries to educate viewers.
There's nothing complex about the story. A scientific crew heads for the Amazon to do an archaeological dig, after a large fossil is found. The crew ends up at the Black Lagoon, a place of serenity, with its still waters, surrounded by palm trees and the sounds of monkeys and exotic birds. Through much of the film the peaceful setting together with soothing background music actually makes for a rather relaxing movie. Even when we see the monster, it seems lonely and hardly threatening as it glides gracefully through its watery home.
I suspect that the film's popularity when it was first released relates to the creature's distinctive appearance, with those moving gills and those bulging dark eyes. And of course, back in those days, the film was made for 3-D viewing, a novelty then that made the monster seem more real. Today, the film has an ever-so-slight environmental theme, given that at least one of the scientists prefers that the monster not be harmed, and given that humans obviously are encroaching into its habitat.
Because so much of the plot takes place underwater and therefore lacks dialogue, and given a runtime of only about 78 minutes, there really isn't that much to this movie. But what there is of it is interesting for its historical significance as a precursor to later sci-fi films, and for a monster that's not only photogenic but also alone and arguably lonely in a world that has passed it by, after eons of time.
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