A ferocious dinosaur awakened by an Arctic atomic test terrorizes the North Atlantic and, ultimately, New York City.


Eugène Lourié


Lou Morheim (screenplay), Fred Freiberger (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2 nominations. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Paul Hubschmid ... Prof. Tom Nesbitt (as Paul Christian)
Paula Raymond ... Lee Hunter
Cecil Kellaway ... Prof. Thurgood Elson
Kenneth Tobey ... Col. Jack Evans
Donald Woods ... Capt. Phil Jackson
Lee Van Cleef ... Corp. Stone
Steve Brodie ... Sgt. Loomis
Ross Elliott ... George Ritchie
Jack Pennick ... Jacob Bowman
Ray Hyke Ray Hyke ... Sgt. Willistead
Paula Hill Paula Hill ... Miss Ryan (as Mary Hill)
Michael Fox ... ER Doctor
Alvin Greenman ... First Radar Man
Frank Ferguson ... Dr. Morton
King Donovan ... Dr. Ingersoll


As a result of an arctic nuclear test, a carnivorous dinosaur thaws out and starts making its way down the east coast of North America. Professor Tom Nesbitt, only witness to the beast's existence, is not believed, even when he identifies it as a "rhedosaurus" to paleontologist Thurgood Elson. All doubts disappear, however, when Elson is swallowed whole during an oceanic bathysphere excursion to search for the creature. Soon thereafter the rhedosaurus emerges from the sea and lays waste to Manhattan Island until Nesbitt comes up with a plan to try to stop the seemingly indestructible beast. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They couldn't believe their eyes! They couldn't escape the terror! And neither will you! See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi


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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


One of the highest grossing films of 1953. See more »


During the diving bell sequence, there is a fight between an octopus and a shark. Early on, as the octopus tries to get away, it can be seen that it is using the glass wall of its aquarium to move itself. See more »


[first lines]
Opening Narrator: This is Operation Experiment, a secret base far north of the Arctic Circle. Experiment was the codename for a top priority scientific expedition. These men arrived here on X-day minus 60. It has taken them the full two months to get ready. Today is X-day.
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Alternate Versions

The original 1953 version cuts the shot where the cop is swallowed whole. This shot is restored in the video version of the film. See more »


Don't Take Your Love From Me
Written by Henry Nemo
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User Reviews

Rhedosaurus rampage as Harryhausen genius starts to work.
30 April 2008 | by hitchcockthelegendSee all my reviews

Nuclear testing out in the arctic rouses a prehistoric Rhedosaurs from its icy incarcerated sleep. It promptly lays waste to everything that gets in its path, and its next stop is New York City.

The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms stands as one of the most important of the 50s sci-fi/creature feature films that filled the screens during that particular decade. Notable for being the first picture where Ray Harryhausen had total control over the effects {and thus setting his career on an upward route}, it is also one of two pictures from 1953 that would be the first adaptations of the gifted writings of Ray Bradbury (the other being It Came from Outer Space).

Watching it now you can see just what a template movie it was to be for the genre, the perils of nuclear testing a vivid jolt of paranoia, the rugged alpha male, the svelt sexy strong lady, and of course the creature to terrify all who come into contact with it, yep it's safe to say that this picture has all the trademarks. The Rhedosaurus {completely made up name} is a wonderful creation from Harryhausen, a giant stalking lizard who sinks ships for fun, pulls down lighthouses, and has no problems about feasting on local police officers, it's safe to say that since being woken from his sleep he is in a very bad mood!. The ending is wonderful, as the giant beast finds himself cloaked in a roller-coaster with mankind fighting the good fight, a perfect finish to a hugely enjoyable picture. 8/10

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English | French

Release Date:

13 June 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Monster from Beneath the Sea See more »


Box Office


$210,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Jack Dietz Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)


Black and White (Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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