The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953)

Article #7 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 3-22-2001
Posting date: 8-5-2001


A Rhedosaurus is released from the icy polar regions to wreak havoc on the world.

This isn’t the first movie in which Ray Harryhausen worked on the special effects, but it’s the first one where he was in charge, and he does a fine job of showing that he’s learned his lessons well. It’s also an important movie in that it pretty much kicks off the “giant monsters rampaging through modern city” genre that arose in the fifties, and probably influenced the creation of Godzilla as well. I also find it to be one of the more consistent of his black-and-white movies; the surrounding story is somewhat stronger than it would be in EARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS or IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA, for example. Though it lacks the poetic sadness of “The Foghorn”, the Bradbury story that spawned the movie, it carves out a niche of its own, and works well on its own level. By the way, that’s Lee Van Cleef with the rifle in the final scenes.


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