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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 »
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Revolt of Nature Horror Films: The Must-Sees
 (From SoundOnSight. 26 October 2013, 10:14 PM, PDT)

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The not-so-great alligator 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)
"The Great Alligator River" - USA (alternative 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?

German Import DVD has a Super-8 Version (German language only), as a special feature on the disc.See more »
Movie Connections:


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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
The not-so-great alligator, 29 April 2011
Author: Chris. from Australia

The inhabitants of a remote South American village worship a prehistoric alligator god that is part reptile and mostly mythology. When a resort opens to tourists, they run afoul the tribe and their protective 'god'. Fortunately, hotel manager Bach also holds a degree in archaeology and can interpret all the signals with astonishing accuracy. It's also helpful that some of the tribesman speak English remarkably well. Cassinelli is the no-nonsense photographer who begins to suspect the natives are restless, a plea that falls on the deaf ears of Mel Ferrer as the consortium's rather passive financier.

As for the alleged "great" alligator, looking more like a piece of driftwood with beaming torch-lights for eyes, it's far from an impressive or especially menacing looking specimen; even still, the sub-continental "natives" all have panic attacks at the mere thought of encountering the great rubber log. One-time Bond girl and Italian eco-horror staple Bach, quickly loses her safari suit, eventually succumbing to the locals as a sacrificial offering to their 'god', and it's left to the anti-hero of Martino's trilogy, the remarkably relaxed-looking Claudio Cassinelli, to do all the work himself. It's somewhat disconcerting to see Cassinelli alight from the helicopter in the film's opening sequence, knowing that he would later lose his life in a helicopter crash, while filming for Martino's "Hands of Steel" in 1985. A very capable actor, who was well equipped to move between western mainstream and Italian exploitation cinema.

Given that this movie was made back-to-back with Island of the Fishmen, the cast is virtually identical, and both Ferrer and Richard Johnson (in a meaningless cameo as a traumatized Christian brother) again dedicate their time, while genre fans will also recognize the brawny action-man Romano Puppo in a frivolous utility role. It's the least of Martino's jungle trilogy, with tired looking set-pieces (there's only so many times the same personnel can stage a human sacrifice and make it gripping), and extras in grass skirts courtesy of Bollywood rentals incorporated. With miniatures doing the work of the special effects department (thanks to Carlo De Marcels for lending his kids' toys) and the dim hope of redemption in Johnson's appearance confined to a pointless five-minute cameo, there's not a great deal to recommend "The Great Alligator".

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