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The Great Alligator (1979) More at IMDbPro »Il fiume del grande caimano (original title)


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Release Date:
3 November 1979 (Italy) See more »
Tourists on a tropical island anger an island god, who turns himself into a giant alligator and stalks them. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Revolt of Nature Horror Films: The Must-Sees
 (From SoundOnSight. 26 October 2013, 10:14 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Better than its rep.--judge for yourself See more (19 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Barbara Bach ... Alice Brandt
Claudio Cassinelli ... Daniel Nessel

Mel Ferrer ... Joshua
Romano Puppo ... Peter
Fabrizia Castagnoli ... Minou's Mother
Enzo Fisichella ... Maurice, lover of Minou's Mother
Lory Del Santo ... Jane
Anny Papa ... Laura
Bobby Rhodes ... Joshua's forman
Clara Colosimo ... Tourist
Peter Boom ... Tourist With Rifle
Giulia D'Angelo ... British Tourist
Marco Mastantuono ... British Tourist
Piero Jossa
Marco Giannoni
Geneve Hutton ... Sheena
Silvia Collatina ... Minou

Richard Johnson ... Prophet Jameson
Donald Dias
Christopher Ferrando
Paul Taylor Odiase
Peter Peiris
D. Pauline Skilton
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Susan Spafford ... Alice Brandt (voice: English version) (uncredited)

Directed by
Sergio Martino 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
George Eastman  story (as Luigi Montefiore)
Cesare Frugoni  writer
Ernesto Gastaldi  writer
Sergio Martino  writer
Mara Maryl  (as Maria Chianetta)

Produced by
Luciano Martino .... producer
Original Music by
Stelvio Cipriani 
Cinematography by
Giancarlo Ferrando 
Film Editing by
Eugenio Alabiso 
Art Direction by
Massimo Antonello Geleng 
Costume Design by
Barbara Pugliese 
Makeup Department
Sergio Gennari .... hair stylist
Stefano Trani .... makeup artist
Production Management
Franco Cuccu .... production manager
Marco Giannoni .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Massimo Manasse .... assistant director
Sound Department
Bruno Moreal .... sound mixer
Roberto Petrozzi .... sound
Special Effects by
Carlo De Marchis .... special effects: alligator
Paolo Ricci .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Gianlorenzo Battaglia .... underwater camera operator
Bruno Cascio .... assistant camera
Rolando Ferrario .... assistant camera
Giorgio Garibaldi Schwarze .... still photographer
Claudio Morabito .... camera operator
Daniele Nannuzzi .... underwater camera operator
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Stella Battista .... seamstress
Editorial Department
Teresa Negozio .... assistant editor
Music Department
Stelvio Cipriani .... conductor
Other crew
Maria Luisa Rosen .... script supervisor
Raffaello Saragò .... administrator
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Il fiume del grande caimano" - Italy (original title)
"Alligator" - USA (imdb display title), USA (DVD title)
"The Big Alligator River" - USA (DVD box title)
See more »
USA:89 min | France:90 min | West Germany:89 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

A clip of this movie is on "The 50 Worst Movies Ever Made" DVD Region 1 NTSC.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The 50 Worst Movies Ever Made (2004) (V)See more »


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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Better than its rep.--judge for yourself, 8 August 2006
Author: lazarillo from Denver, Colorado and Santiago, Chile

This movie has generally been critically lambasted over the years, and quite unfairly. It's generally been regarded as a "Jaws" rip-off even though the only thing it really has in common with "Jaws" is a fake-looking beastie and a guy (Mel Ferrer) who doesn't want to scare off the tourists from the luxury hotel he is operating in an undisclosed Third World jungle location. The giant caiman (incredibly, this movie has even been taken to task by some people over its inaccurate English-language title)may not be just a normal overgrown monster, but may actually be the god of a nearby group of indigenous people (do you remember that from "Jaws"?--I sure don't), who turn out to be even more dangerous to the hapless tourists than the caiman. There is also a mad missionary (Donald O'Brian)living in a cave who might be the Robert Shaw figure, but might just as well have been "ripped-off" from the novel "Heart of Darkness" as from "Jaws".

The hero (Claudio Cassanelli) is a photographer(i.e. not a sheriff)who comes to the resort for a fashion shoot. But then his model gets together with a native to make the beast with two backs out on a river island, after which they're both promptly eaten by the giant beast with one back, so it is up to the photographer and the PR spokeswoman for the hotel (Barbara Bach)to stop the rampage of this enraged "god" before he chows down on more tourists. And they also have the murderous and sacrifice-happy native tribe to deal with. This movie has a real social and environmental message about the developed world exploiting the developing world and despoiling nature. It's pretty muddled (not much more convincing than the ones found in most Italian cannibal films) but it's also very un-"Jaws"like.

This movie has also been unfavorably compared to director Martino's previous cannibal outing "Mountain of the Cannibal God". This movie doesn't feature a naked Bond girl like Ursula Andress (and clothed latter-day Bond girl Barbara Bach is admittedly a poor substitute), but it also doesn't contain tasteless animal atrocity footage (watching people get eaten by a patently fake caiman is a lot more fun than watching a real monkey get slowly eaten by a real snake). It also gives the underrated Claudio Cassanelli a chance to shine, away from the shadows of big international and American stars like Andress or Stacy Keach (there's certainly no danger of Bach upstaging him). Sure the caiman's pretty fake, but this is still infinitely preferable to Tobe Hooper's "Crocodile" or other recent CGI garbage. Watch it and judge for yourself.

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