6.7/10
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The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953)

Approved | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 13 June 1953 (USA)
Trailer
2:34 | Trailer
A ferocious dinosaur awakened by an Arctic atomic test terrorizes the North Atlantic and, ultimately, New York City.

Director:

Eugène Lourié

Writers:

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

Videos

Photos

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

You'll see it tear a city apart! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Prof. Tom Nesbitt and Lee Hunter are looking through various dinosaur pictures to identify the monster, most of the drawings and paintings are the works of renowned nature artist Charles R. Knight. Knight was the most influential dinosaur artist of all time, as his paintings and drawings solidified the image of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals in the public mind and pop culture during much of the 20th century. The dinosaurs from early classic movies like The Lost World (1925), King Kong (1933) or Fantasia (1940) were directly inspired by his art, as were most of the dinosaurs and other ancient creatures animated by Ray Harryhausen, including this film's fictional Rhedosaurus. Charles Knight passed away shortly before the movie's release, on April 15, 1953. See more »

Goofs

When the bazookas fire at the beast, there is a puff of smoke at the back but neither smoke or a projectile comes out the front. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in A Night at the Movies: The Horrors of Stephen King (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

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

THE BEST DINOSAUR MOVIE EVER MADE
8 August 2002 | by sferberSee all my reviews

"The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms" is, quite simply, the best dinosaur-on-the-loose movie ever made. I would say "best monster-on-the-loose movie ever made" if it weren't for that King Kong guy (need we even say which version?). I loved "The Beast" when I was a little kid, and today--some 40 years later--the movie still knocks me out. Forty years ago I loved the fact that, unlike a lot of similar movies that followed in its wake, you don't have to wait a long time for the Beast to make its appearance. It shows up in the first 10 minutes of the film and makes regular appearances thereafter. The look of the creature is very realistic; one of Ray Harryhausen's greatest creations. There are so many terrific set pieces in this film that one doesn't know where to begin, but the attack on the lighthouse, beautifully done in silhouette; the initial sighting of the Beast from the bathysphere; the Beast's attack on lower Manhattan; and the grand finale at the Coney Island roller coaster are certainly all standouts. Music, acting and photography are all first rate, and the script is intelligent and moves along briskly and with purpose. But the main attraction of the movie is the Beasty himself, and every moment that he is on screen is riveting. This picture is a true classic; the inspiration for Godzilla and all the other thawed-out creatures that followed. I have seen this one over 50 times and never seem to get tired o f it. I have seen it several times on the big screen, at one of NYC's many revival theatres, and it is always greeted with cheers whenever the Beast theme begins during the opening whirlpool credits. The movie is well loved and remembered for good reason: It's the best in its class! By the way, it took me many, many years to figure out, but the Professor's last word in the diving bell is "cantileveric." 10/10


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

13 June 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Monster from Beneath the Sea See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Jack Dietz Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Black and White (Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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