Tarantula (1955)

Approved  |   |  Horror, Sci-Fi  |  14 December 1955 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 6,043 users  
Reviews: 94 user | 65 critic

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


Researchers seeking clue! Can anything escape it? See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

14 December 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Giant Tarantula  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Prof Deemer predicts that by the year 2000 the human population will be 3.6 billion. In fact it was almost double that at that time. See more »


In one shot of the tarantula crawling over the mountains, the matte is cut incorrectly, so that one of the spider's legs seems to disappear in mid-air. See more »


Prof. Gerald Deemer: The history of medicine is the history of the unusual;
See more »


Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Giants (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

The second best 1950's big bug movie !
6 December 2004 | by (Texas, USA) – See all my reviews

This one has a special place in my memories ! I grew up in New Mexico near the desert, and whenever they showed this one on the late night science fiction Saturday night TV thriller show, I was afraid to walk to school and back on Monday! As I have grown up over the last forty years, I have come to appreciate it as a well crafted science fiction near classic! Jack Arnold directed many good sci-fi movies in the 1950's, but there is no doubt this was the creepiest! Next to the superior "THEM", released the year before (at a different studio), this UNIVERSAL STUDIOS chiller was , for my money, the second best of the giant bug movies of that decade! You will never look at the desert the same way again. Actress MARA CORDAY impressed me so much in this one, that I named one of my daughters after her! JOHN AGAR gave a great performance, and this one led to him doing a string of more horror and sci-fi movies for the next decade or two! It helped that they used a real Tarantula (named TOMORROW), instead of a fake one, and Clifford Stine's special effects will convince you that spider is really 100 feet tall! Another plus is Henry Mancini wrote some of the music score! So, I recommend this one to all those that hate creepy crawlers of any kind! Get out the can of RAID! But, you had better make it a really big can !!!

Signed, Baron Beast

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