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The Alligator People (1959)

Approved | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 16 July 1959 (USA)
A woman in a hypnotic state recounts to two doctors the details of a horrific experience from her past life that began with the mysterious and sudden disappearance of her husband.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Dr. Eric Lorimer
...
Manon (as Lon Chaney)
...
Dr. Mark Sinclair
...
...
Paul Webster
...
Dr. Wayne MacGregor
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Storyline

A newlywed couple sit in a train. The husband receives a frantic telegram. He gets off at a station to make a phone call, the train pulls away without him on it, and that's the last his wife sees of him. Years later after a long search she finally tracks him down on his family's southern estate where she discovers that a failed medical treatment has turned him into an alligator mutant. Written by Jeremy Lunt <durlinlunt@acadia.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Terror in the Bayou! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

16 July 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El caimán humano  »

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally released on a double bill with Return of the Fly (1959). See more »

Goofs

Joyce gets into the truck without her suitcase. Manon never touches the suitcase. When she gets out of the truck the suitcase is there for her to take. See more »

Quotes

Louann, the maid: Miz Hawthorne, she deal with the Evil One.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 20th Century-Fox: The First 50 Years (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Alligator People (1959) ***
9 September 2007 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

With a crazy title like "The Alligator People" this late '50s shocker is much too vulnerable to jokes and attacks, and that's unfortunate because it's actually much better than you might think, and the subject matter is taken quite seriously. Beverly Garland plays a newlywed wife named Joyce who despairs when her husband (Richard Crane) ducks off the train they're honeymooning on to make an urgent phone call, and then is never heard from again. Desperate, she tries without success to locate him until she eventually gets a lead that he could be at a house secluded off in the swamplands of the Louisiana bayou. Once there she is made aware of unusual experiments gone awry which involved her husband, and faces the horror that he is gradually turning into a scaly reptilian creature. His mother (Frieda Inescort, who's pretty bad in this) tries to discourage Joyce in her search and at first does not give her a welcome reception.

Miss Garland is quite believable and sincere in her part, and this is a nice-looking black and white film shot in the cinemascope process, showing off some nice imagery in the land of alligators and snakes. Also adding to the experience is Lon Chaney, one of the uncouth local Cajun men who sports a hook in place of his left hand, having been a victim himself of an alligator attack. He never lets these "dirty, stinking gators" forget it either, as he constantly gets drunk and fires his gun at them, and tries to run them down with his jeep when they cross the road. One of the best lines in '50s schlock cinema may be when Lon yells to the human victim of the story: "I'll KILL you, Alligator Man... just like I'd kill any four legged gator!!". Chaney is also involved in a violent rape sequence, which is pretty shocking for those times.

The scaly makeup for Richard Crane in its early stages is pretty effective, but when he emerges in full alligator-headed form later on, the first instinct is usually to laugh. But this is a '50s monster movie, after all, and many creatures of this era have been bizarre. Once you get past the initial sight of the Alligator Man, the result actually comes off not too bad at all. This is an enjoyable movie of its type for the period, and also comfortably short at only 75 minutes. *** out of ****


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