Tarantula (1955)

Approved  |   |  Horror, Sci-Fi  |  14 December 1955 (USA)
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A spider escapes from an isolated desert laboratory experimenting in giantism and grows to tremendous size as it wreaks havoc on the local inhabitants.



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Complete credited cast:
Dr. Matt Hastings
Mara Corday ...
Stephanie 'Steve' Clayton
Prof. Gerald Deemer
Nestor Paiva ...
Sheriff Jack Andrews
Joe Burch
Edwin Rand ...
Lt. John Nolan
Bert Holland ...
Barney Russell
Andy Andersen


In the Arizona desert, Professor Gerald Deemer is experimenting with growth hormones in the hopes of finding a way to increase the world's food supply. His partner in the project was recently found dead in the desert, suffering from a disease that normally takes years to advance but in his case seems to have afflicted him in only a few days. The local doctor, Matt Hastings, is puzzled by the strange case and with Deemer's recently arrived - and very pretty - assistant Stephanie Clayton tries to figure out what is going on. When cattle remains are found in the countryside, the evidence points to a giant tarantula as the culprit. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Even Science was stunned! See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

14 December 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Giant Tarantula  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Look for a young Clint Eastwood as the (uncredited) leader of the jet squadron that attacks the tarantula in the film's climax. See more »


At the tarantula's final size, humans would no longer be a suitable prey for it since more energy would be expended catching and eating such a (relatively) small food source than would be gained from ingesting it. See more »


Dr. Matt Hastings: I may be just a country doctor, but I know what I know.
See more »


Referenced in The Naked Monster (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

Top-of-the-Line Universal-Int'l Sci-Fi Thriller!
18 June 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a top-of-the-line Sci-Fi thriller from the studio that did 'em best in the 1950s - Universal-International. Produced by William Alland (who also produced "Creature From the Black Lagoon" and "It Came From Outer Space", and directed by Jack Arnold (who directed those films) it has an intelligent script and good acting all the way around. Arnold does a great job of building suspense as he cleverly keeps the titular monster mostly off-screen for the first 2/3 of the film until it's simply too big to hide. And then --- watch out, folks! As in many another sci-fi story, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and if there's a villain of the piece, it's the Nuclear Age - the spider of the title is merely doing it's natural thing: searching for food. Except that, thanks to Leo G. Carroll's well-meaning experiments (to increase the world's supply of food), this is one BIG spider with an equally BIG appetite! Universal's special effects department just about out-did themselves here - the matte work is almost flawless (check out Leo G. Carroll's house after the spider's visit), and the make-up department did excellent work as well. This is one of the best of it's kind, and great fun on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

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