When a spaceship lands on the moon, it is hailed as a new accomplishment, before it becomes clear that a Victorian party completed the journey in 1899, leading investigators to that mission's last survivor.
Cowboy James Franciscus seeks fame and fortune by capturing an Allosaurus living in the Forbidden Valley and putting it in a Mexican circus. His victim, called the Gwangi, turns out to have... See full summary »
After an encounter at sea with an unknown underwater creature, a naval commander works with two scientists to identify it. The creature they are dealing with is a giant, radioactive octopus that has left its normal feeding grounds in search of new sources of replenishment. As the creature attacks San Francisco, the Navy tries to trap it at the Golden Gate Bridge but it manages to enter the Bay area leading to a final confrontation with a submarine.Written by
The car miniatures and the Golden Gate Bridge miniature were both made out of lead. See more »
In most shots of the octopus's tentacles wrapping around the clock tower, the clocks read 5:35, but in a couple of shots the hands show 9:25. See more »
From her beginnings on a Navy drawing board, through the months of secret field experiments out on the Western desert, then through the desperate search for new metals with the properties she needed, she was designed to be the nation's greatest weapon of the seas - the atom-powered submarine. Her engines were to be a miracle of speed and power, her sides strong enough to withstand any blow, her armament and fire power of greater force than the worst enemy she might encounter. The ...
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Opening credits prologue: For centuries the mind of man has learned comparatively little of the mysteries in the heavens above - - or in the seas below. Since the coming of the atomic age, man's knowledge has so increased that any upheaval of nature would not be beyond his belief. See more »
Originally, just before Matthews met Joyce and Carter, there was a freeze frame of him walking in the parking lot. Recent DVD releases smooth this out by adding a flash of sunlight at the appropriate moment. See more »
I've been a fan of Ray Harryhausen since I was old enough to appreciate movies, so I bought the DVD of "It Came From Beneath the Sea" even though I hadn't seen the film in many years. Having rewatched it, I have to admit that it's perhaps the least of his film accomplishments.
Once again, the atomic bomb provides the justification for another giant monster, though, despite what has been inaccurately reported elsewhere, the octopus in the film has not been mutated by radiation. It's simply a very large example of its kind that was living at the bottom of a deep ocean trench. When atomic testing made it radioactive, it couldn't effectively hunt because other sea creatures could somehow sense its presence. Therefore, it came to the surface in search of food.
One of the major problems with this film is that while an octopus makes a decent giant monster, it completely lacks the personality of some of Harryhausen's other creatures. Furthermore, it is confined to the sea--and, by extension, the shoreline--limiting its ability to go on a proper rampage.
Even at 79 minutes, the film moves very slowly until the climax. The opening sequence, in which the beast attacks a submarine captained by Kenneth Tobey's character, goes on for several very long minutes of inconsequential naval dialogue.
The lethargic pacing extends to the plot as well. The team of scientists assigned to determine what attacked the sub take a full two weeks to identify it as an octopus.
An odd love triangle of sorts pads the running time. Faith Domergue--who is presented as a modern feminist despite her tendency to scream on cue--seems just as interested in Tobey's navy man as she does in her fellow scientist. The two men acknowledge the triangle, but neither seems at all competitive about it.
Domergue is one of the best things about the film. She's credible as both scientist and sweater gal, and is a good example of the increasing role of female characters in science-fiction films of the period.
Once the octopus attacks in earnest, things pick up quite a bit, and Harryhausen's effects--including stop-motion-animated building demolition--are quite effective. While this is definitely a lesser effort for him, he still shows what he can do with a small budget and a relatively uninteresting monster.
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