Creature from the Black Lagoon
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FAQ Contents

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been 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 Creature from the Black Lagoon can be found here.

When Dr Carl Maia (Antonio Moreno) of the Instituto de Bologia Maritima discovers a fossilized, clawed, human-like hand with webbed fingers in the Amazon valley of northern Brazil, he and his associates -- Dr David Reed (Richard Carlson), Reed's girlfriend and research assistant Kay Lawrence (Julie Adams), Dr Edwin Thompson (Whit Bissell), and financial backer Dr Paul Williams (Richard Denning) -- take a boat, the Rita, up the Amazon River in hopes of finding the rest of the skeleton. What they encounter, however, is the Gill Man (Ben Chapman on land and Ricou Browning in water), a vestige from the Devonian Era, alive and looking for a mate.

The story is said to have been inspired by tales producer William Alland heard about half-fish, half-human creatures in the Amazon River. His ideas were worked into a story by American film writer Maurice Zimm. From that, a screenplay was written by American screenwriters Harry Essex and Arthur Ross. The story was subsequently novelized, albeit very differently from the movie, in 1977 as The Creature from the Black Lagoon by Carl Dreadstone, a pen name used by a number of writers who novelized various Universal horror films. The Creature from the Black Lagoon is reputed to have been penned by author Walter Harris. A remake, also titled Creature from the Black Lagoon, is 'in development' with no release date given.

The Devonian Era is a subdivision of the Paleozoic Era, a geologic period dated between 540 to 250 million years ago. The Devonian subdivision is dated at 416 to 350 million years ago. The Devonian period is characterized by rapid advancement of both plants, such as ferns, mosses, conifers, and flower-producers, and of fish species in the seas. In fact, the Devonian era is often dubbed the "Age of Fish."

Yes. Rotenone is a chemical pesticide used primarily to kill insects and fish.

Presumably the Rotenone affects only those who breathe the water, i.e. Gill Man.

Water exerts more pressure than air does on the body. The further a diver descends, the greater the pressure. At about 30 feet, the pressure on a diver's body is equal to two atmospheres (ATM) of air, and the ATM increases for every 30 feet the diver goes down. What this increase in pressure does is to compress all of the air gases within the body, e.g., in the ears, lungs, and blood, as well as in the SCUBA tank. The reverse is true when a diver rises to the surface. The air gases expand, and the excess is released into the lungs and breathed out. For this reason, divers who have gone 30 feet or more must gradually rise to the surface so that the excess gases can be exhaled on the way up. If the diver rises too quickly, the air can form bubbles in the blood, resulting in air embolisms, a condition known as 'the bends'.

It's Dr Thompson. He is mauled by the creature after it escapes from the holding tank. However, before the creature can kill him, he manages to hit it with the lantern in his hand, causing it to catch on fire and release him.

Reed decides that they must leave the lagoon, but the Rita's way has been blocked by a barrier of logs, courtesy of the Gill Man. They try to use the winch to clear the logs, but the Gill Man snaps the line. Reed dons his aqualung (SCUBA tank) and attempts to remove the blockage from underwater while Williams goes hunting for the Gill Man with his spear gun. Williams shoots at the creature, who counterattacks. Reed drives off the creature with his spear gun, but Williams is fatally wounded and floats dead to the surface. Reed decides to try the Rotenone again. He dives down to the blockage armed with Rotenone. When the creature appears, he sprays him three times, slowing the creature down long enough for Reed to clear the blockage. While the crew winches away the logs, the creature climbs aboard the Rita, grabs Kay, and jumps back into the water with her, taking her to his cave. Reed follows but the creature attacks him. Dr Maia and Lucas (Nestor Paiva), the captain of the Rita, enter the cave from the land entrance and shoot the creature several times. Gill Man wanders out of the cave to the beach,walks off into the water, and swims away. In the final scene, as Kay and Reed hug each other, the Gill Man can be seen floating lifelessly.

Over a decade after Universal had launched its last "star" creature in The Wolf Man (1941), it belatedly found a new leading monster in Gilll Man. Unlike the prolific Dracula, Frankenstein, Invisible Man and others, Gill Man's popularity stood him for only two sequels: Revenge of the Creature (1955) and The Creature Walks Among Us (1956).

Yes. Creature from the Black Lagoon was among the most popular of the many films shot in 3D during the early 1950s, but until recently the 3D version has only been available for home viewing in low-quality anaglyph 3D (red and blue) copies. The current release is a 3D Blu-ray, meaning you need a 3D Blu-ray player (or a Playstation 3), a 3D-capable TV, and at least one pair of active shutter 3D glasses. This is as close as possible to seeing the film in a theater as you can achieve at home.


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