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The Great Alligator (1979)

Il fiume del grande caimano (original title)
Not Rated | | Horror | 3 November 1979 (Italy)
Tourists on a tropical island anger an island god, who turns himself into a giant alligator and stalks them.


Sergio Martino


George Eastman (story) (as Luigi Montefiore), Cesare Frugoni | 3 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Barbara Bach ... Alice Brandt
Claudio Cassinelli ... Daniel Nessel
Mel Ferrer ... Joshua
Romano Puppo ... Peter
Fabrizia Castagnoli Fabrizia Castagnoli ... Minou's Mother
Enzo Fisichella Enzo Fisichella ... Maurice, lover of Minou's Mother
Lory Del Santo Lory Del Santo ... Jane
Anny Papa Anny Papa ... Laura
Bobby Rhodes ... Joshua's forman
Clara Colosimo Clara Colosimo ... Tourist
Peter Boom Peter Boom ... Tourist With Rifle
Giulia D'Angelo Giulia D'Angelo ... British Tourist
Marco Mastantuono Marco Mastantuono ... British Tourist
Piero Jossa Piero Jossa
Marco Giannoni Marco Giannoni


A tourist resort in Africa finds itself at the mercy of a huge man-eating crocodile from a local native legend which the croc is the incarnation of a native god angered by the intrusion of the tourists on its nesting ground. After a group of indigenous natives are subsequently killed and eaten, the rest that are still alive naturally blame the tourists and they set out to kill them. All while the survivors try to rally on a boat with the hungry crocodile in the water, and the blood-thirsty natives wanting retribution on land waiting for them. Written by Anonymous

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Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Filming took place during the summer of 1979 in Sri Lanka and Italy, and began on 3 June. Filming was originally slated to start on 20 May. See more »

User Reviews

Not great - It's the 'all right' Alligator
5 December 2018 | by BezenbySee all my reviews

Although this is billed as a Jaws rip-off, the whole theme park threatened by a huge lizard sounds a lot like Jurassic Park too me, more than ten years before Michael Crichton published that book.

In some country, somewhere, photographer Claudio Cassinelli has been employed to take publicity shots for new resort owner Mel Ferrer. This new resort is seems to be smack bang in the middle of a jungle surrounded by hostile country and natives who help the newcomers, but also seem pretty superstitious and twitchy. Claudio, like in Island of The Fishmen, loves to do a bit of snooping, and finds that Mel isn't beneath some dodgy antics to get the tourists in, like having sidekick Romano Puppo feed musk rats to the local crocodile population.

Also like in Island of the Fishmen, Claudio sets his eyes on Barbara Bach, Ferrer's assistant who can talk with the natives (basically the same role she had in Island of the Fishmen then!). Whereas everything seems to be going okay for everyone, there are rumblings from the natives that all these newcomers have angered the God of the river, and that he's come back as an Alligator (not a crocodile - they do have a discussion about this). So, is monster Alligator real, and more importantly, how many people is it going to eat?

This is a film of two halves, really. There constant bickering of the characters and the lack of gore is a complete letdown, and yet the elevated cheese factor completely saves the film in the end. While it takes ages to get to any action, it's worth waiting until the film gets to Richard Johnson's appearance as a crazy priest. His demented performance as a man driven insane by the alligator is hilarious. Director Martino also saves most of the action until the end, and although we never do get a gore-fest, the alligator does get to go radgy and attack every person in the resort, at exactly the same time every person in the resort is trying to escape from the angry natives!

Although made in 1979, just check out that eighties vibe with the dancing tourists. I was already to hate this one but then Martino pulls it out of the bag in the last thirty minutes. Well done m'man! Martino's next four films are comedies, so I'm giving them a miss.

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Italian | English

Release Date:

3 November 1979 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Big Alligator River See more »

Filming Locations:

Sri Lanka

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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