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King Dinosaur (1955)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Sci-Fi | 17 June 1955 (USA)
A new planet moves into our solar system and four scientists (two couples) are sent to explore Planet Nova. In between romantic interludes, the cast faces an iguana masquerading as a Tyrannosaurus Rex.


Bert I. Gordon


Bert I. Gordon (based on an original story by), Al Zimbalist (based on an original story by) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
William Bryant ... Dr. Ralph Martin (as Bill Bryant)
Wanda Curtis Wanda Curtis ... Dr. Patricia Bennett
Douglas Henderson Douglas Henderson ... Dr. Richard Gordon
Patti Gallagher Patti Gallagher ... Nora Pierce
Marvin Miller ... Narrator (voice)
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Blasting off to a newly discovered planet called Nova, which moved into our solar system, four explorers behold a fantastic adventure. The mysterious new planet has similar characteristics of Earth, except it is home to terrifying monsters like giant snakes, giant ants, mutated alligators, and most terrifying of all, King Dinosaur, a strange lizard-like being that is a fatal threat to the explorers. Can these people survive this planet and escape? Written by Henry J. V. B-movie collector

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Terrifying! Fantastic! Startling! See more »


Adventure | Sci-Fi


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Mr. BIG (Bert I Gordon) actually reviewed dinosaur footage brought in by Ray Harryhausen and Ray Bradbury and did not even acknowledge them at the end of the viewing. There was no comment at all, no good, bad or get lost, just Gordon walking out. Obviously, Harryhausen and Bradbury were upset and disappointed. A couple of years later, Bert I Gordon came out with this jewel and upon leaving the premier, Ray Bradbury went up to Gordon, said "Remember me? Ray Bradbury. It won't make a dime!" And it didn't. See more »


When Ralph makes the remark "It'll be a lot easier to find our way in the daylight," it is very clear from the light shining through the trees that the film is shooting the scene day-for-night. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: On April 23rd, the word to start comes from Washington. Underneathly, our finest research laboratories change over to this all important project, the building of a passenger carrying rocketship. Every security measure is taken. Test upon test must be made to develop, improve, create, evolve.
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Crazy Credits

featuring Little Joe--The Honey Bear See more »

User Reviews

What Were They Thinking?
12 July 2008 | by Chance2000eslSee all my reviews

This is one of the worst 'monster island' type early fifties cheapies. It's note worthy only, however, for the mind boggling ending. This time the 'monster island' is actually a new Earth like planet, Nova, that has suddenly appeared near the Earth. The premise, development, dialog and acting are full of laughable 'science' making this an outstanding choice for Mystery Science Theater 3000. For some this also means it qualifies for the "So bad, it's good," category, but this is just plain bad film making. The great 'SBIG' movies, like Ed Wood's 'Citizen Kane,' 'Glen or Glenda' (1953) or 'Plan 9 From Outer Space' (1959) have absurd or unique qualities in the writing, photography, use of stock footage and acting.

You always hope that the dinosaurs in these films will not be men in monster suits as in 'Unknown Island' (1948), or close ups of iguanas and salamanders. But no-- there are the iguanas, but we also get a gila monster and a Kodomo dragon (monitor lizard).

It was Roger Corman who broke ground by creating his own monsters for his mid fifties science fiction films, definitely the peaks of the fifties genre with such wonders as 'The Day the World Ended,' (1955), the amazing story of the Ultimate Collaborator (Lee Van Cleef) in the under rated 'It! Conquered the World,' (1956), 'Not of This Earth' (1957), and 'Attack of the Crab Monsters' (1957), leading the way. But not Bert I. Gordon.

Usually when the characters first land and see a volcano, you know that at the end of the movie, the volcano is going to explode and destroy the island, a cliché done to death in countless movies (and serials) since the 1930s. But wait! This one ends differently! As two of the four scientists rush to the island to save the others, the man is lugging a rectangular box, and as they are reunited, running away from the 'dinosaurs' he says "I brought an atomic bomb. This is a good time to use it!" !! He sets the timer for 30 minutes, and they escape in rubber rafts to the mainland, hiding behind a knoll just as the A-Bomb goes off. As the mushroom cloud rises and blooms, one man says to the other, "Well, we did it!" The other replies, "Yes, we certainly did! We brought civilization to Nova!"

Your jaw drops in disbelief. The unintentional meaning of this according to our current reading (i.e., Civilization equals destruction by man-- see also the Catholic Church's list of new sins; Oppenheimer's naming the bomb Shiva, and the new definition of man as the species destroying the earth through global warming and causing extinction of other species) must be in stark contrast to the fifities' meanings, I'm assuming, which must combine "wiping out evils paves the way for civilization," and America's ability to wield such a weapon 'proves' that we are the forefront of 'civilization,' both referenced by our dropping of the A-Bomb on Japan.

Is that what they were thinking? Other than the ending, this movie was not absurd or well written enough to merit more than a 1.

NOTE: The current DVD version has another Lippert production, 'The Jungle' (1952), supposedly filmed in India, with a great Indian sound track, and some pre-Bollywood native dancing. Filmed in sepia, it's a better film.

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Release Date:

17 June 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

King Dinosaur See more »

Filming Locations:

Big Bear, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Zimgor Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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