IMDb > The Alligator People (1959)
The Alligator People
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The Alligator People (1959) More at IMDbPro »

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Orville H. Hampton (screenplay)
Orville H. Hampton (story) ...
View company contact information for The Alligator People on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
July 1959 (USA) See more »
Terror in the Bayou! See more »
A newlywed couple sit in a train. The husband receives a frantic telegram. He gets off at a station to make a phone call... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Imaginative and VERY Weird See more (41 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Beverly Garland ... Joyce Webster, aka Jane Marvin

Bruce Bennett ... Dr. Eric Lorimer

Lon Chaney Jr. ... Manon (as Lon Chaney)

George Macready ... Dr. Mark Sinclair
Frieda Inescort ... Mrs. Lavinia Hawthorne, Henry's Wife
Richard Crane ... Paul Webster
Douglas Kennedy ... Dr. Wayne MacGregor
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bill Bradley ... Patient 'Number Six' (uncredited)
Hal K. Dawson ... Train Conductor (uncredited)
Dudley Dickerson ... Train Porter (uncredited)
John Frederick ... 1st Male Nurse (uncredited)
Ruby Goodwin ... Louann the Maid (uncredited)
Ken Kane ... Third Male Nurse (uncredited)
Vince Townsend Jr. ... Toby the Butler (uncredited)
Lee Warren ... Second Male Nurse (uncredited)

Directed by
Roy Del Ruth 
Writing credits
Orville H. Hampton (screenplay)

Orville H. Hampton (story) and
Charles O'Neal (story)

Robert M. Fresco  uncredited

Produced by
Jack Leewood .... producer
Original Music by
Irving Gertz 
Cinematography by
Karl Struss (director of photography)
Art Direction by
John B. Mansbridge  (as John Mansbridge)
Lyle R. Wheeler 
Set Decoration by
Joseph Kish 
Walter M. Scott 
Makeup Department
Eve Newing .... hair stylist
Ben Nye .... makeup artist
Dick Smith .... makeup artist
Production Management
Herbert E. Mendelson .... production manager (as Herb Mendelson)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Herbert E. Mendelson .... assistant director (as H.E. Mendelson)
Art Department
George Westenhiser .... property master
Sound Department
W.D. Flick .... sound (as W. Donald Flick)
Arthur Cornell .... sound effects (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Fred Etcheverry .... special effects
Bob Bryant .... stunts (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Ollie Hughes .... costume supervisor
William McCrary .... costume supervisor
Editorial Department
Harry W. Gerstad .... supervising film editor (as Harry Gerstad)
Orven Schanzer .... first assistant editor (uncredited)
Other crew
Mary Coleman .... script supervisor
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
74 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)
USA:Approved | USA:Approved (Certificate #19352)

Did You Know?

In the early 1980s, 20th Century Fox produced, but did not release, a video game with the name of this movie. Made for the Atari 2600, it even very loosely followed the plot of the film, unlike some other 20th Century Fox games which just used the title of a film. A "prototype" copy of the unreleased game has since surfaced.See more »
Revealing mistakes: When Paul Webster is on the operating table, shirtless, only his head and hands are partly alligator, and not the other areas of his visible skin (no doubt due to budgetary reasons).See more »
Manon:Dirty, stinkin', slimy gators!See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Drive-in Movie Memories (2001)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
18 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
Imaginative and VERY Weird, 8 September 2005
Author: mrb1980

You can criticize this film on many issues, including the cheap special effects, the melodramatic piano-playing, the outrageous overacting of Lon Chaney…but you certainly can't say that the movie doesn't have any imagination.

The movie is told entirely in flashback, as a woman under the 50s wonder drug sodium pentathol remembers her troubled past for two psychiatrists (Bennett and Kennedy) during an extended hypnosis session. Paul Webster (Crane) disappears suddenly on his honeymoon, and his wife (Garland) spends years searching for him, finally ending up at a mysterious (and very damp) plantation called The Cypresses in the bayous of Louisiana.

Frieda Inescort plays The Cypresses' tyrannical matron, and is accompanied by her unhinged hired hand Chaney (who else?), the local "swamp doctor" Macready, and an assortment of other household helpers. Everyone keeps telling Garland to leave, so of course she stays, and eventually finds her husband…who has been partially turned into an alligator (no tail, just lots of scales)! It seems that Macready has been trying to help accident victims with some kind of alligator extract, and while the victims recover, well, there are some pretty bad side-effects. Besides being scaly and green (presumably, because this is a B&W movie), Crane also has a very deep, rumbling voice, which apparently happened when he received too much alligator hormone.

Macready has a bright idea that he can "cure" Crane through "massive radiation from a cobalt bomb", the usual fun 1950s radiation treatment. But when Macready says, "No more than 30 seconds…I determined that with my test alligator!", you know something is going to go wrong. At the critical moment during the treatment, Chaney bursts in, punches out the doctor, and manages to electrocute himself on Macready's space-age equipment, but not before Crane has been turned into a true "gator-man": big alligator head and scaly chest. The gator-man does, however, still have his neatly pressed trousers and belt on.

Crane runs into the swamp, followed by Garland (who apparently still loves him, even in his reptilian condition). A monstrous explosion destroys The Cypresses, and the gator-man promptly disappears in a convenient quicksand pit, leaving Garland to sit screaming in the middle of the swamp. Cut to Bennett and Kennedy, who have listened rather incredulously to the whole story…then simply decide to do nothing about the situation, thus ending the movie.

I have to admit, I've never seen a movie with a remotely comparable plot. Garland is her usual steady self, Crane hams it up as the gator-man, and Chaney…well, he chomps through the scenery with great enthusiasm. Macready, apparently thinking he may never again get the chance to play a mad doctor, becomes intensely philosophical at every turn, often staring off into space. Kennedy and Bennett spend most of the movie being baffled by Garland's story, then after discussing it to death, just ignore the whole affair! Even with all of its weird ideas and strange acting, I liked The Alligator People. The bayou settings drip with perspiration and humidity, and the story is very imaginative. Every time there's a slow spot, Chaney seems to burst in and liven things up. I just wish that the filmmakers had gotten a slightly better alligator suit.

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