The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms

08/25/2015 20:43

Film: The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms

Year: 1953

Director: Eugène Lourié

Writer: Lou Morheim and Fred Freiberger

Starring: Paul Hubschmid, Paula Raymond and Cecil Kellaway



This film begins in the Arctic where we learn they are testing nuclear bombs. They are dropping them and then going out to investigate what the effects of it were. A couple of guys go out there and one of them sees something huge moving. He falls and then fires his gun. His partner searches for him, he is played by Paul Hubschmid. He is actually a professor. He sees a large beast move away.

When he recovers though, no one believes his story. He tries to tell them that he is telling the truth, that even the guy who died saw it as well. That is when reports of this beast begin to come in. First a ship is destroyed in the North Atlantic. The captain survives, but no one believes him. He won’t even talk to Hubschmid.

He then goes to the world’s leading paleontologist; he is played by Cecil Kellaway. His assistant believes that it is possible; she is played by Paula Raymond. Kellaway won’t believe it without proof.

There was an attack on a lighthouse by the creature. Hubschmid goes up and speaks with him, convinced that he saw it too. Together they return to Kellaway’s and both identify the same exact creature. He is on board now as well.

Kellaway points out that the monster looks to be coming for New York City. He goes down in a pod to see if he can find a series of tunnels it is searching for, but when he does, he makes contact. The creature swallows him and the pod.

It then attacks New York City. It catches them off guard and they battle with the beast. They do end up wounding it, but they have a bigger problem. It carries diseases we haven’t seen and the shells from the guns are causing it to be released from the creature, getting everyone sick. Can they find a way to destroy this monster, without getting the entire city sick or will it destroy them before they can?

I have say, this is a pretty good monster movie. The beast was done by Ray Harryhausen, who was one of the best at the clay, stop-motion photography. The story is also based on a short tale from Ray Bradbury. The acting isn’t the greatest, but with the monster and how it looks, as well as the story, it is good enough to make this film enjoyable.

I would recommend this one if you’re a fan of monster movies. It is kind of short, so it doesn’t drag itself out. The monster is clay, so it doesn’t look all that real, but for what they had at the time, I think it is very well done. It is from the 1950s and in black and white, so keep that in mind. If you can get past that, I would give this one a viewing as it is a pretty solid monster film.


My Rating: 6 out of 10