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 a Tyrannosaurus Rex living in the Forbidden Valley and putting it in a Mexican circus. His victim, called the Gwangi, turns out ... See full summary »
The first spaceship to visit Venus crash lands in the sea, freeing a small native Venusian creature called the Ymir. Eventually growing to enormous size, it threatens the city of Rome.Written by
Steve Hill <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film was originally going to be set in Chicago, with the rocket crashing in Lake Michigan. Right before submitting the idea to producer Charles H. Schneer, Ray Harryhausen decided to change the setting to Italy at the last minute, after deciding that he always wanted to go on vacation there. See more »
In 1957 the exchange rate for Lira to Dollars is such that the 200 Lira the young boy asks for (to buy a cowboy hat) is only worth about 38 cents. See more »
Pepe! Is it your desire that the fishes, they swim away? Come on! Pull up on the net, here.
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Opening credits prologue: A FISHING VILLAGE IN SICILY See more »
Or should I say, Ray Harryhausen's creature IS the film. Compared to the creature, the human habitants here don't have a chance to emote and are only what one might charitably call "adequate" to the task.
WILLIAM HOPPER lacks the energy and personality he put into playing Paul Drake in all those "Perry Mason" TV movies. He appears to be almost immobilized and never changes his expression, even when the creature is doing maximum damage to the surroundings. JOAN TAYLOR is quite forgettable as "the girl", a woman who tells Hopper that she's "almost a doctor", when introducing herself. She's almost an actress too.
But nobody is going to give a whit about the acting in this sort of thing, so I'm happy to report that the frightful looking bit of slime that turns into a fast-growing creature with a human torso and scaly skin is extremely well animated by Harryhausen, who creates some very realistic looking fight scenes and displays of temper as the creature goes on the loose. There's an awful lot of screaming going on, both from the creature and the spectators who run into him.
Helpful too is the fact that this was filmed in Italy, where the action takes place, and there's a terrific climax shot in the Roman Coliseum where the creature finally meets his fate.
For the child in all of us, this is terrific fun--but just don't expect much from the human cast. The story is absurd and follows the usual sci-fi pattern of keeping you glued to your seat just to see how it all turns out.
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