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Tarantula (1955)

Approved | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 20 February 1956 (Sweden)
A spider escapes from an isolated desert laboratory experimenting in giantism and grows to tremendous size as it wreaks havoc on the local inhabitants.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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Complete credited cast:
Dr. Matt Hastings
Stephanie 'Steve' Clayton
Prof. Gerald Deemer
Sheriff Jack Andrews
Joe Burch
Edwin Rand ...
Lt. John Nolan
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, 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:

20 February 1956 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

The Giant Tarantula  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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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 »


The jets that take off to attack the tarantula at the end of the movie are F-84 "Thunderjets;" however, the attacking jets are F-80 "Shooting Stars." See more »


Dr. Matt Hastings: But what if circumstances magnified one of them in size and strength, took it out of its primitive world and turned it loose in ours?
Prof. Townsend: Then expect something that's fiercer, more cruel and deadly than anything that ever walked the earth.
See more »


Featured in The Rookie (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

Tarantula: First Impressions
19 March 1999 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I was eight when I saw Tarantula on the not-so-big screen. My youthful fear of death led me to a greater concern for the disease caused by the "nutrient" than by a very large spider. It contains a classic moment found in many 50's big monster "movies." Two guys are left behind in a car (which, of course, is in bad need of a tune-up and won't start) with a couple of puny rifles. They, of course, provide an evening meal for the spider. This was probably most people's first exposure to napalm as well.

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