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After an encounter at sea with an unknown underwater creature, a naval commander works with two scientists to identify it. The creature they are dealing with is a giant, radioactive octopus that has left its normal feeding grounds in search of new sources of replenishment. As the creature attacks San Francisco, the Navy tries to trap it at the Golden Gate Bridge but it manages to enter the Bay area leading to a final confrontation with a submarine. Written by
The Special Jet Propelled Torpedo is actually a aerial torpedo (it was delivered by aircraft and by torpedo boats) that had it's propellers and rudders removed. See more »
Near the end of the film, when fear of the giant octopus is at its most frenzied, there is a highway scene purportedly showing people fleeing San Francisco in their cars. However, this shot actually shows traffic coming INTO the city. The shot is of I-80 west and the cars are just entering San Francisco from the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. It is evident that the traffic is flowing into San Francisco and not away from it because one of the bridge's two towers can clearly be seen in the background perpendicular to the road. The "Bay Bridge" (as it appeared in 1955 and still appears today - a new bridge is currently under construction) consists of two spans connecting San Francisco and Oakland via a small island in the middle of San Francisco Bay. The western span connecting the island to San Francisco is a "double-deck" suspension bridge with traffic flowing into San Francisco on the top deck and traffic flowing out of the city on the bottom deck. If this were a shot of cars traveling out of the city (with the camera placed at a similar angle showing the on-coming traffic), it would be impossible to see either of the towers because they would be obstructed by the top deck. See more »
From her beginnings on a Navy drawing board, through the months of secret field experiments out on the Western desert, then through the desperate search for new metals with the properties she needed, she was designed to be the nation's greatest weapon of the seas - the atom-powered submarine. Her engines were to be a miracle of speed and power, her sides strong enough to withstand any blow, her armament and fire power of greater force than the worst enemy she might encounter. The ...
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When an atomic-powered submarine runs afoul of something most bizarre on their radar, its Commander Pete Matthews decides not to risk the $ 55 million dollar naval submarine he commands and tries to head out of the area but suddenly the submarine is unable to move while something outside them is emitting radiation. Eventually after a considerable struggle, they do escape and later discover that what had held them down was in fact a giant Octopus!
From scientists Dr. John Carter (Donald Curtis) & Dr. Leslie Joyce (Faith Domergue), working along with the military's Commander Matthews, we learn that this Octopus has undergone an atomic mutation and has now come to prey on man instead of fish and is all set to ravage the West Coast of America. Eventually it surfaces and attacks the Golden Gate Bridge while San Francisco panics in fear! Can It be stopped?
The real star of this film is Harryhausen's Giant Octopus, who even with only six tentacles, manages to make a more lasting impression on the viewer than most of the cast. That said, the theme of feminism is also an important undercurrent of this story and I felt Faith Domergue did a wonderful job with what she was given to work with. The moments she coaxes the trans-steamer survivor into admitting it was a giant Octopus that attacked his ship is a great one for her.
While this movie is much too slow getting to its eventual pay-off for most viewers, it's never bothered me as much because I felt Domergue and Tobey had a great chemistry on screen together and I actually liked the addition of their romance here. Still this has to be one of the first disaster films really considering how a giant Octopus nearly does in San Francisco...and well that's a cool and fun premise for a movie in my book (even if one does have to swallow one's disbelief).
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