During a nuclear test in the Arctic, a long dormant prehistoric monster is awoken. Whilst the beast gradually makes its way towards New York, a survivor of an encounter with the creature, Professor Tom Nesbitt(Paul Hubschmid) struggles to get the authorities to believe his seemingly outlandish story. His only hop is an elderly Paleontologist Thurgood Elson(Cecil Kelloway) and his assistant Lee(Paula Redmond). Meanwhile the carnivorous Rhedosaurus has reached civilization.
This excellent piece of mega monster mayhem does move at quite a leisurely pace, but this does allow for some well rounded characters. The 1950's was the decade of the monster movie, with everything from Giant Ants(Them!), a huge spider(Tarantula), a giant octopus(It Came From Beneath The Sea) or dogs wearing rugs(The Killer Shrews). This film holds the ace card of having one of Ray Harryhausen's finest animated creations on display, the Rhedosaurus is a magnificent achievement. Adapted from a story by Ray Bradbury, the story mixes elements from both science fiction and traditional monster moviedom to great effect. My favourite sequence is probably Professor Elson's descent in the diving bell. Okay, it was probably shot in a fish tank, but that doesn't diminish its impact one jot. There are also some nice touches such as when the blind man is trampled underfoot by the panicking herd. Of course, it's the climatic scenes of the creature flattening New York that are rightly remembered.
A iconic creature feature from the 1950's. 5 out of 5