The Beast from 20000 Fathoms

Year: 1953

Production: Mutual Pictures / Warner Bros.

Director: Eugene Lourie

Starring: Paul Christian, Paula Raymond, Cecil Kellaway, Kenneth Tobey

Screenwriter: Lou Morheim, Fred Freiberger

Based on The Fog Horn (1951) by Ray Bradbury

80 minutes; B/W


This was the second of the 1950s monster movies - the first being The Thing (The Thing from Another World) - and the one that established the basic formula for most of those that followed. An atomic test in the Arctic wakes a dinosaur frozen in the ice. It swims to its ancestral breeding-grounds - and area now covered by the city of New York. It is finally trapped and killed in an amusement park. This is the first film on which model animator Ray Harryhausen had full control over the special effects, though these are not remarkable. Nor is the film, though it looks good: Lourie usually worked as an art director on most non-sf films, including some of Jean Renoir's most distinguished; his other sf films are Behemoth, the Sea Monster (1958), The Colossus of New York (1958) and Gorgo (1959).

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

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