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The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms
The Beast From 20000 Fathoms
Actors: Paul Hubschmid, Paula Raymond, Cecil Kellaway, Kenneth Tobey, Donald Woods
Director: Eugène Lourié
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
NR     2003     1hr 20min

Near the Arctic Circle, an atomic bomb is detonated. This fearsome experiment disturbs the sleep of a giant rhedosaurus encased in ice for more than 100-million years and sends it southward on a destructive, deadly rampage...  more »

     

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Movie Details

Actors: Paul Hubschmid, Paula Raymond, Cecil Kellaway, Kenneth Tobey, Donald Woods
Director: Eugène Lourié
Creators: Eugène Lourié, Bernard W. Burton, Daniel James, Fred Freiberger, Lou Morheim, Ray Bradbury, Robert Smith
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Horror, Classics
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Black and White - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 10/21/2003
Original Release Date: 06/13/1953
Theatrical Release Date: 06/13/1953
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 20min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 7
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English, French, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

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Member Movie Reviews

Damian M. (ratchet)
Reviewed on 3/11/2009...
The one that started it all with atomic bomb tests awakening sleeping giant beasts! No rubber suit here, but work by the amazing Ray Harryhausen - do yourself a favor and familiarize yourself with his works - detailed perfection every time - a true artist who obviously loved his work. Note the tribute to this film found in the modern day big monster movie "Cloverfield."
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

A True Sci-Fi Classic
Robert Childers | Longview, TX United States | 01/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Special effects by the legendary Ray Harryhausen and a story by popular science fiction author Ray Bradburry... this was destined to become a sci-fi classic. This was the first, and probably best, in the long line of prehistoric monster movies that followed and became part of sci-fi film history in the process.
The plot begins as a nuclear scientist sees his partner killed by a giant, prehistoric creature while monitoring an atomic blast near the north pole. Naturally, nobody believes him until a paleontologist, played by Paula Raymond, helps him link several sea and beach disasters (I particularly enjoyed the attack made by the creature on a lighthouse) to the beast and prove there is a real monster on the loose. Finally, the animal surfaces at the NYC docks near Wall Street, destroying buildings, cars and people in his wake. After more mayhem and the discovery of a mysterious disease the animal carries which won't permit it to be destroyed by conventional weapons, the creature meets it's fate when it's cornered within the old Coney Island rollercoaster.
This film is exceptional primarily due to the genius of Ray Harryhausen. His special effects in this film are outstanding, especially when you consider this film was made in 1953 on a budget that wouldn't pay the cost of one days electric bill on most movie shoots these days. The scenes where the creature has been awakened by the arctic atomic test and his (or is it a her?) journey back to it's prehistoric breeding grounds off the mouth of the Hudson River are superb. The intensity of the action never stops and has seldom been equalled. It begins with the opening scenes in the snowy arctic, continues with attacks on several fishing boats, the lighthouse and reaches a highlight when the creature comes ashore in New York City. We're even treated to a live action fight between a shark and an octopus, at least until the beast appears looking for lunch! Also, the acting by the stories human characters is excellent as well. Most of the actors (like Kenneth Tobey) will be recoginzed from other classic horror/sci-fi films of the period.
If you're looking for a real blast from the past and a movie considered by many (myself included) to be the best "prehistoric monster on the loose" flick ever made, you can't go wrong with The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms."
Prehistoric sea-giant rages against city!
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 02/25/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Based on a story by Ray Bradbury, The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953) was directed by Eugène Lourié and serves nicely as the first real showcase of technical effects master Ray Harryhausen.

The film starts out with an atomic test involving detonating a big boom boom the artic, giving us an opportunity to view stock footage of a lovely mushroom cloud. Seems these test were pretty common back in the day, but wait! Something was released from the ice...something that has been frozen in a state of suspended animation for 100 million years...and me be thinking it's a might peckish, after so many years of icy slumber. The beast, it's a big 'un alright, is spotted by two scientists, one being Tom Nesbitt, played by Paul Hubschmid (credited in the film as Paul Christian). The other scientist suffers an icy fate as the beast passes by, knocking into icebergs like a pregnant woman negotiating her girth around a china store, but Tom manages to escape. No one will believe his fantastic tale of a giant monster, but soon reports of boats being attacked by a giant sea serpent along the eastern coast of North America trickle in, lending a little more credibility to Tom's story. Who's crazy now? Jerks...this prompts an old geezer of a paleontology professor, working with Tom, to go down in a diving bell and check out this beastie (good idea there), giving us some more stock footage of a shark attacking an octopus (which, in fact, was really, really, cool). The gargantuan behemoth makes its' way on land, I guess to take in a show and grab a bite, and wreaks havoc among the inhabitants of New York, with all its' stepping on cars and people and smashing into buildings and such. There's a scene around this point that's pretty famous, one involving a patrolman standing before the creature in the middle of the street, firing his handgun in an effort annoy the creature, I suppose, who, once he gets the ravenous beasts' attention, gets all ate up. "Officer down, officer down! We need back up!" The army shows up with their big guns, and begins to do what they do best, shooting up the place. Use of a heavy artillery proves effective, but opens a wound in the creature unleashes yet another threat, prehistoric cooties...yes, germs from the monster's blood has a negative effect on humans, causing illness and death. Ooops...Well, now this is a pickle. How to kill the beast without spreading its' germs?

I really liked the way the movie ended, tying things up nicely, linking the beginning and the end. That's a Bradbury touch, obviously. There are a number of really decent performances in this film, but the highlight is Harryhausen's creature, which gets quite a bit of screen time. The story is also intelligent, but reaction of some of the characters to the situations seems a little out of whack. I would have expected much more shock and awe, but there you go.

The print on this disc is beautiful, and there are some really great special features included. There is a featurette called "The Rhedosaurus and the Rollercoaster: Making the Beast" that includes Harryhausen discussing how he brought the creature in the film to life and another featurette called "Harryhausen & Bradbury: An Unfathomable Friendship" which is basically the two Rays sitting before a small group talking about their professional and personal experiences with each other. Finally there are a like four trailers to other movies Harryhausen has worked on like Clash of the Titans (1981) and The Black Scorpion (1957), among others. On a side note, when the credits appeared at the beginning of the movie, I noticed Lee Van Cleef listed. I don't recall seeing him, but I later learned he was the sharpshooter near the end of the film.

Cookieman108"
Terrific stop-animation from genius Ray Harryhausen
audrey | white mtns | 04/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Featuring the remarkable animation of Ray Harryhausen and based on a short story by Ray Bradbury, this 1953 film has been re-released and should bring pleasure to Harryhausen fans and devotees of classic monster films. The best things about this movie are that the monster appears early and often, and that there are lots of interesting scenes, such as the fictional Rhedosaurus's attacks on a lighthouse, New York City, and the Coney Island roller coaster. The acting and dramatic tension are only mediocre, but the creature is lots of fun.DVD extras are brief but exciting -- trailers for Harryhausen films currently being released on dvd; a 6-minute making-of featurette; and a terrific 17-minute conversation between Harryhausen and Bradbury, reminiscing on their friendship and careers.The film can be heard in English or French, and subtitled in English, French or Spanish."