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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In an interview, Ricou Browning stated that he came up with the idea of Julie Adams throwing her cigarette in the water and the camera showing the Gill-man underneath, looking up at the cigarette. He also mentioned that Julie Adams didn't smoke at the time, but was willing to for the scene. See more »
In one shot where the "Rita" is sailing up-river and into the lagoon, a telephone pole can be seen in the background, just above the treetops. See more »
I can tell you something about this place. The boys around here call it "The Black Lagoon" - a paradise. Only they say nobody has ever come back to prove it.
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As many times as this movie has been copied, filmmakers still can't seem to get it right. Considering that this film is considered a trend-setter, it's amazing how many rules this film BREAKS by today's standards. It breaks the notion that full shots of the creature and lots of blood and violence are needed to create a scare. In this film, all you need is a shot of the creature's hand and that piercing three-note musical motive played by brass instruments, and let the imagination fill in the blanks. It shatters the notion that monsters MUST be computer-generated--a guy in a suit CAN be scary. And it proves that black-and-white photography can be just as rich as color photography. The underwater sequences especially are both beautiful (almost surreal) and eerie at the same time.
And then there is the Gill Man himself. It's as if the writers took the best qualities of his predecessors and combined them into the last and best (IMHO) of the Universal monsters. Like The Mummy, he has lived long after he technically should have died; like Frankenstein's monster, he appears to be savage, yet shows intelligence and appreciates beauty; like Dracula, he is seductive. Just check out the scene where he swims with Julie Adams (unbeknownst to her, of course). I believe this is why he has achieved the status of a genuine icon, and deservedly so. Here's hoping he swims the waters for a long time.
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