IMDb > Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
Creature from the Black Lagoon
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Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) More at IMDbPro »

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Creature from the Black Lagoon -- A scientific expedition traveling up the Amazon River encounter a dangerous humanoid amphibious fish creature.

Overview

User Rating:
7.0/10   14,765 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Harry Essex (screenplay) and
Arthur A. Ross (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Creature from the Black Lagoon on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 March 1954 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Not since the beginning of time has the world beheld terror like this! See more »
Plot:
A strange prehistoric beast lurks in the depths of the Amazonian jungle. A group of scientists try to capture the animal and bring it back to civilization for study. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win See more »
NewsDesk:
(511 articles)
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User Reviews:
We didn't come here to fight monsters, we're not equipped for it. See more (169 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Richard Carlson ... David Reed

Julie Adams ... Kay Lawrence (as Julia Adams)
Richard Denning ... Mark Williams

Antonio Moreno ... Carl Maia
Nestor Paiva ... Lucas

Whit Bissell ... Dr. Edwin Thompson

Bernie Gozier ... Zee
Henry A. Escalante ... Chico (as Henry Escalante)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ricou Browning ... The Gill Man (in water) (uncredited)
Ben Chapman ... The Gill Man (on land) (uncredited)

Perry Lopez ... Tomas (uncredited)
Sydney Mason ... Dr. Matos (uncredited)
Rodd Redwing ... Louis - Expedition Foreman (uncredited)

Directed by
Jack Arnold 
 
Writing credits
Harry Essex (screenplay) and
Arthur A. Ross (screenplay) (as Arthur Ross)

Maurice Zimm (story)

William Alland  idea (uncredited)

Produced by
William Alland .... producer
 
Original Music by
Henry Mancini (uncredited)
Hans J. Salter (uncredited)
Herman Stein (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
William E. Snyder (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Ted J. Kent 
 
Art Direction by
Hilyard M. Brown  (as Hilyard Brown)
Bernard Herzbrun 
 
Set Decoration by
Russell A. Gausman 
Ray Jeffers 
 
Makeup Department
Joan St. Oegger .... hair stylist
Bud Westmore .... makeup artist
Robert Hickman .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Jack Kevan .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Chris Mueller .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Foster Thompson .... unit manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Fred Frank .... assistant director
Russ Haverick .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Leslie I. Carey .... sound
Joe Lapis .... sound
Ray Craddock .... sound editor (uncredited)
Albert E. Kennedy .... sound editor (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Polly Burson .... stunt double: Julie Adams (uncredited)
Ginger Stanley .... underwater stunts (uncredited)
Al Wyatt Sr. .... fire stunts (uncredited)
Jack N. Young .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Scotty Welbourne .... special photography (as Charles S. Welbourne)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Rosemary Odell .... wardrobe: Miss Adams
 
Music Department
Joseph Gershenson .... musical director
Robert Emmett Dolan .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Milton Rosen .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
 
Other crew
James Curtis Havens .... director: underwater sequences (as James C. Havens)
Milicent Patrick .... creature designer (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
79 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Brazil:Livre | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Finland:K-15 (2004) | Finland:K-12 (1954) | Norway:16 (original rating) | Spain:T | UK:PG | USA:Approved (PCA #16854) | USA:G (re-rating) (1972) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The Creature's appearance was based on old seventeenth-century woodcuts of two bizarre creatures called the Sea Monk and the Sea Bishop. The Creature's final head was based on that of the Sea Monk, but the original discarded head was based on that of the Sea Bishop. In one sequence Julie Adams' character is captured by the creature and carried into a cave. During the filming the stuntman misjudged where the side of the entrance was and accidentally struck Ms. Adams' head against the wall, knocking her unconscious.See more »
Goofs:
Errors in geography: Among the many jungle birdcalls heard in the Amazon is the cry of the kookaburra, an Australian species.See more »
Quotes:
Lucas:There are many strange legends in the Amazon. Even I, Lucas, have heard the legend of a man-fish.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Opera Ghost: A Phantom Unmasked (2000) (V)See more »

FAQ

Why aren't the people affected by the Rotenone in the water?
How does the movie end?
What is 'The Creature from the Black Lagoon' about?
See more »
10 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
We didn't come here to fight monsters, we're not equipped for it., 17 July 2010
Author: Spikeopath from United Kingdom

Out of Universal Pictures, Creature from the Black Lagoon is directed by Jack Arnold, and stars Richard Carlson, Julia Adams, Richard Denning, Antonio Moreno, and Whit Bissell. The eponymous creature was played by Ben Chapman on land and Ricou Browning for the underwater scenes. The cinematography is by William E. Snyder and the score is composed by a trio of men, Henry Mancini, Hans J. Salter & Herman Stein. The story sees a scientific expedition at the top end of the Amazon encounter a Devonian Period amphibious creature. As the creature starts to defend its turf by attacking members of the expedition, in fighting begins to take a hold as the men argue about the best course of action to take. Should it be killed, or should it be captured for scientific research? Either way they need to act fast as the creature has taken a fancy to Kay, the sole female member of the expedition group.

One of the better creature features that surfaced in the 1950s, Creature from the Black Lagoon was one of the film's made as part of the 3D craze that filtered out of Hollywood in 53 & 54. However, unlike many of those film's that were made in the format over those two years, this one has rightly managed to break away from its gimmicky beginnings to become regarded as a genre classic. There are many reasons why it is still well regarded and taken in appreciatively by newcomers.

The story of course is nothing new, the old "beauty & the beast" theme can be traced back to the daddy himself, King Kong. But much like Kong, Arnold's movie thrives within the endearing story by getting the audience to sympathise with the titular creature. He is after all only defending his territory, he was happy wallowing down in the depths, remaining undiscovered for many a moon. That he is fascinated by the considerable beauty of Kay Lawrence (Adams sexy and gorgeous), is no crime either. The amount of sympathy garnered for "Gill-Man" is helped enormously by the illogical actions of the humans; who in turn go diving and swimming where legend has it men get eaten! This coupled with their bickering about pro science or trophy hunting makes it easy to side with the amphibious one.

It also helps that the film is pretty brisk and only runs for 80 minutes, there's no sags or pointless filler. Too many similar film's of its ilk labour until the monster shows up and all hell then breaks loose. But under Arnold's (It Came From Outer Space/The Incredible Shrinking Man) astute direction, atmosphere and unease is built up by ominous talk and sightings of the Black Lagoon-and only initial glimpses of the creature's scaly webbed claw; accompanied by the attention grabbing theme music. And when the creature finally reveals itself it doesn't disappoint for its an impressive creation. A half-man/half-fish creature covered in scales, resplendent with gills and with cold, dark featureless eyes. It also has great characteristics with a distinctive swimming style in the water, and a lumbering Frankenstein thing going on when on the land. A definitive monster that would be merchandised for ever after.

There's also technical accomplishments away from the creature itself, notably with the memorable underwater photography by Snyder, who uses a portable camera to flow with the swimming sequences, while his shadow and light work down in the depths is memorably mood enhancing. The three tiered score is also one of the best to feature in a B movie schlocker, three different composers, three different emotional strands; nice. Then there's of course the definitive sequence, the sexy underwater flirting as "Gill-Man" swims below the shapely form of Kay, beguiled by her, it's love at first sight. He's not the only one beguiled, we all are, as was Steven Spileberg, who would homage the more dramatic part of the sequence in his opening for Jaws 21 years later. Whilst last but not least it should be mentioned that there are little asides to ecological issues in the piece, something Arnold was want to do. Two sequels would follow, Arnold would return for Revenge Of The Creature in 1955 and then the John Sherwood directed The Creature Walks Among Us would round off the trilogy in 1956.

It's the original that still holds up today. 8/10

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