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The Giant Claw
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The Giant Claw More at IMDbPro »

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35 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

From the studio that made Lawrence of Arabia.

Author: Chris Gaskin from Derby, England
17 January 2002

Columbia, which made huge hits like Lawrence of Arabia and Jason and the Argonauts, were responsible for this.

A giant vulture like bird from outer space is responsible for aeroplanes disappearing and to make things worse, it has an anti-matter shield around it which makes it invisible on radar. After destroying some well known landmarks in Washington and New York and also picking a (model) train up in its beak, a way is devised to kill it and is successfully killed at the end when it is shot from an aeroplane.

The Giant Claw is one of the best so-bad-it's-good movies of the 1950's. When I first saw the giant wooden puppet bird, I couldn't stop laughing, even though it isn't supposed to be a comedy.

The cast includes 50s sci-fi regulars Jeff Morrow (This Island Earth, Kronos), Morris Ankrum (Invaders From Mars, Earth vs. the Flying Saucers)and Mara Corday (Tarantula, The Black Scorpian).

I enjoyed this movie very much and I don't see how anybody cannot enjoy it. Great fun.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

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25 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's a Puppet!

Author: Bucs1960 from West Virginia
5 August 2002

What a hoot!!!! This film tops them all......and the 50's had some real "winners" in the genre. And like all that went before and after, this will win your heart. Knowing that computer generated effects and advanced use of the blue screen were things yet to come, we usually have to bite the bullet and figure they did the best they could with what they had. BUT, in this case, they really hit bottom with the monster bird. It has to be the worst of's a damn wooden puppet on strings that bobs around like Big Bird on a binge......pretty pitiful. Jeff Morrow probably wanted to commit suicide or die of terminal embarrasment after seeing this film in its finished state. And the lovely Mara Corday, who was always stuck in the lower echelon of film making, had to count this as a low point in her career. She deserved better. And of course Morris Ankrum never learned....he just kept plugging away in "B" films and became on of the most famous faces seen in supporting roles. Now, after saying all those negative things, I can honestly say that I love this is so outrageous that you are just sucked in, forever becoming a fanatic of low budget, 50's horror/science fiction films. Yes, it is really bad, really bad.....but somehow you can't quit watching. Have fun with it!!!!!

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26 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Giant Buzzard From Outer Space!

Author: ClassixFan from USA
14 May 2000

This film is simply put.....pure entertainment! Nothing to be taken seriously, but rather to be savored as one of those classic gems from the 50s. Sure, the *Beastie* of this film is a huge turkey or buzzard from some distant galaxy, the acting is stiff and forced, the effects laughable, but if you watch this film for nothing more than to be entertained, you'll not be disappointed. This film is what makes *B* films so much fun....they're cheesy and campy and made on a budget of about $1.50, but you can't help watching it and coming back time and time, again.

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24 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Makes "Mothra" look like "Gone with the Wind"

Author: Bruce Corneil from Melbourne, Australia
10 July 2003

Yes, 'fraid I feel positively compelled to stand up and be counted in support of "The Giant Claw"(if only for sentimental reasons).It's yet another of those decidedly creaky but fun Z - Grade sci fi flicks from the golden days of late night television.

If you look closely at one of the Pentagon scenes where Jeff Morrow and lovely Mara Corday are chatting to military chief Robert Shayne you might just detect Mr Shayne trying hard to stifle a laugh as he turns away from the camera at one point. And by jingo, by crikey ... who could blame him ? He's just finished delivering an impassioned speech about "Bombarding the creature with guns, rockets and cannons ... God help us ..... NOTHING can stop It"! He's knows only too well of course that the so called "Monster" looks like an escapee from a Safeway freezer. In fact, it looks like a Christmas turkey that got away halfway through being plucked ....... about 47 years earlier! I mean, like man , that's got to be the most grisly lookin' buzzard in the entire history of ornithology.

After 70 minutes of failing to succumb to constant direct hits by interbalistic missiles the creature does, indeed, appear to be unstoppable. Finally, Vic and Mara decide to climb aboard a technologically challenged DC 3 prop plane which has some sort of unspecified atomic ray gun hangin' out the back of it. Apparently the idea is to squirt puffs of talcum powder in the pot boiler's face in the hope of blinding it and forcing it to crash land into the North Atlantic. And guess what ..... the whole crazy scheme WORKS!

Sure enough the buzzard cops a blast right in the baby blues, goes into a nose dive and takes a dramatic plunge into Neptune's Garden. OK, so what if the final impact does look suspiciously like a pile of garden rubbish being flung into a tank of water by someone who was standing just off camera. Even the most world weary monster chasers couldn't help but to feel just a touch sad as we watch the brave bird slowly disappear beneath the waves, Titanic style.

Of course, it probably deserved it when you think about all those model cars that it destroyed and all those papier mache buildings that it sent crashing to the floor of the Columbia Studios.

Makes "Mothra" look like "Gone with the Wind"

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13 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

I haven't thought of this movie in years

Author: dmorgan-31 from United States
17 October 2007

I saw "The Giant Claw" several times on the Saturday afternoon creature feature in the late 60s and 70s. I LOVED IT!

This was before I started actually reading science fiction, and my friends and me really liked the science fiction movies that were being shown on the TV when you had about five channels. This movie ranks up there with "The Deadly Mantis" (giant praying mantis), "Them" (the giant ants), and "Tarantula" (the giant tarantula, of course). Being a kid growing up during the height of the space race, science fiction was always an "almost anything goes" genre to occupy a lazy afternoon. This movie is easily competitive with the Japanese monster movies, and I think that the creation of movies like this peaked out at "The Green Slime" (1968).

All you have to do is turn off your brain and throw out your "willing suspension of disbelief." It's just a plain old fun movie, good for everyone to watch on a rainy day. And if it would ever be shown again, I can watch it with popcorn AND a beer.

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Quit being so "picky", and just enjoy this fun little film!

Author: Marshall Oliphant from United States
21 April 2007

I'm really getting tired of people "dissing" this film by apparently taking the attitude that all films have to mimic "Citizen Kane" in order to be worthy of enjoying! Sure, the "science" in the film is decidedly unscientific, and the monster DOES look like Beaky Buzzard from a Warner Brothers' cartoon, but, so what? The film is enjoyable for what it IS: just a fun-to-watch, schlocky "sci-fi" film of the fifties--with acting that is NOT "amateurish" (as another reviewer noted)--with the additional benefit (to us guys, at least) of having one heck of a sexy-looking heroine (Mara Corday).

Lighten up, and ENJOY.

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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Gonzo From Outer Space

Author: pghmoe from Pittsburgh
19 January 2001

From the has-to-be-seen-to-be-believed school. A giant bird from space descends on earth, snatching up entire trains, hot rodding teenagers, and overacting bit players. Toss in terrible effects, hammy acting and science of the Ed Wood school and you have a surefire winner for any bad film fest. Then there is the bird itself, which comes complete with flareing nostrils.......

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13 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Why did they make this movie?

Author: dhreid from United States
9 November 2006

I really cannot understand why this movie was made. At least you get to see some standard 'B' actors such as Jeff Morrow, Morris Ankrum and Mara Corday who is a cute as she can be. Well you guessed it, this thing is about a big bird, what you couldn't have guessed is that it crossed the universe, believe it or not, to build a nest and lay eggs on our 'pale blue dot'(from Carl Sagan). This film has got to win the award for the use of the most stock film shots ever. In more than one sequence, you see folks running in panic in the streets of New York. --Shots taken straight from the Beast From 20,000 Fathoms. The special effects were not special, the bird was laughable, and there are so many continuity mistakes. I must have missed the transition from Mara thinking Jeff was a real immature jerk to the heavy romance. (??) Never-the-less I watched the movie wishing it would end yet interested enough to want to know how it would end. It seems to me that considering what a menace this bird was supposed to be, that there would be whole raft of scientists and military types trying to figure out how to kill this thing, there weren't, just a handful. Maybe because of the ridiculously low budget. I am glad however to have a copy to add to my 50's B Monster collection. There is no other film in my collection as bad as this one. I loved it!

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

The Giant Claw

Author: Tyler Phill ( from Manitoba, Canada
28 April 2007

Have an open mind and you'll love this movie. I wasn't even close to being alive in the 50's or even 60's so I'm not sure of what kind of technology they had to make movies, but I think this movie did a good job with it.

Yes it's a stick puppet but did they have anything better? At least they made it look good when it was going to eat someone, using the screen and then the guy in the front, then switching so it looks like he's actually getting eaten from afar. Yes the acting isn't the best, but it does the job.

And the science explanation for the bird, I loved that, it made sense if you don't know much about science and it works out. Possibly my favourite part of the movie.

I enjoyed this movie, and if you have an open mind it should be given a chance.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Lots of fun to watch if you aren't too serious about it.

Author: rixrex from United States
4 April 2007

A nice remembrance from childhood watching this one Saturday evening at my cousins place in Brooklyn. Probably a WOR channel 9 creature feature, but definitely one of the schlockiest of their stock. Still, what really sets these old 50s monster B and C flicks apart from today's low-rent stuff is the great seriousness of the characters and their delivery done with earnest. This style is standard fare from low-budget Corman through the cheapo AIP and Columbia stuff, and this is what makes these lesser efforts with poor quality effects rise to a level that makes them as enjoyable as the grade A Universal-International and 20th Century Fox sci-fi stuff.

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