A scientific expedition searching for fossils along the Amazon River discovers a prehistoric Gill-Man in the legendary Black Lagoon. The explorers capture the mysterious creature, but it breaks free. The Gill-Man returns to kidnap the lovely Kay, fiancée of one in the expedition, with whom it has fallen in love.Written by
Marty McKee <email@example.com>
Producer William Alland was attending a 1941 dinner party during the filming of Citizen Kane (in which he played the reporter Thompson) when Mexican cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa told him about the myth of a race of half-fish, half-human creatures in the Amazon River. Alland wrote story notes titled "The Sea Monster" 10 years later. His inspiration was Beauty and the Beast. In December 1952 Maurice Zimm expanded this into a treatment, which Harry Essex and Arthur Ross rewrote as The Black Lagoon See more »
Far side of water tank visible during underwater scenes. See more »
In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. And the Earth was without form and void. This the planet Earth, newly born and and cooling rapidly from a temperature 6,000 degrees to a few hundred in less than 5 billion years. Heat rises, meets the atmosphere, the clouds form, and rain pours down upon the hardening surface for countless centuries. The restless seas rise, find boundaries, are contained. Now, in their warm depths, the miracle of life begins. In infinite ...
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I'm not usually one to believe a studio's publicity material, but on this occasion I'm firmly in Universal's corner. Creature from the Black Lagoon is a thrilling movie in 3-D. An enormous amount of time is spent underwater because this was the first time the murky depths had been enhanced by 3-D. Without 3-D, it's just another boring parade of swimmers swimming: the creature swimming, Polly Burson and Ginger Stanley swimming, Richard Carlson and Richard Denning swimming. If that sounds uninteresting (and it iswe never even get a good look at either Polly Burson or Ginger Stanley, because both, for obvious reasons, are always filmed in long shots), Creature from the Black Lagoon is bound to disappoint unless Universal decides to dust off those 3-D specs. Even the Creature himself seems far less menacing when viewed flatthanks not only to the lifelike depth of 3-D but the fact that the film was designed to pass through two filters to reduce the brightness of the image. Only the climactic scenes in the caves (designed specifically for 3-D but still fairly effective flat) and two or three shots when the Creature stalks Julie Adams still come across with any punch. Mind you, Miss Adams is a lovely, lovely girl and she also proves dazzlingly effective in any dimension.
Available on DVD through Universal. Quality rating: a reluctant ten out of ten. Why reluctant? Well, the image does break up once, but it's not an important sequence. My main complaint is thatfor 2-D viewingthe image is too bright. What I would have done (and I'm surprised this didn't occur to the Universal boys) was to print it in sepia. "Oh, horrors!" I can hear fanatics exclaiming. "The original presentations were in black-and-white, not sepia!" Wrong, boys! The film itself was processed in black-and-white sure, but the effect, when viewed through the polaroid glasses (and the projection filter) was that it was actually in sepiaand the movie was photographed by both Bill Snyder and Scotty Welbourne with this effect firmly in mind.
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