The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms 1953

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(27) IMDb 6.7/10

As the result of an Arctic nuclear test, a carnivorous dinosaur thaws out and makes it way towards Manhattan. Only witness, Prof Tom Nesbitt is not believed even when he identifies it as a rhedosaurus to a palaeontologist. All doubts disappear when he's swallowed whole. But can Nesbitt save the city?

Starring:
Paula Raymond,Cecil Kellaway
Runtime:
1 hour, 16 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Science Fiction
Director Eugene Lourie
Starring Paula Raymond, Cecil Kellaway
Supporting actors Ken Tobey, Donald Woods, Lee Van Cleef, Paul Hubschmid
Studio Echelon
BBFC rating Parental Guidance
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Victor HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 18 Jan. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is an important film in the history of the medium. Honest! The first film in which the great Ray Harryhausen had full control over special effects, the first proper `creature feature', the first to use man's messing with the nuclear bomb as the cause of the problems. As well as these notable firsts, it is also a great romp, with classic effects from the Master.

Paul Hubschmid (here credited as Paul Christian) and Kenneth Tobey are in the arctic (a setting that would serve Tobey well in his most memorable film `The Thing') testing out a nuclear bomb. The blast melts some ice and releases a mezozoic dinosaur which is soon on the rampage. Hubschmid has seen the creature, but as usual no one believes him and he is soon on a psychiatric ward. The creature starts to make its presence felt, suddenly people believe him and the hunt is on. The creature is heading towards New York, where its old mating grounds were (hilariously overlooking the continental drift that would have occurred in the last 100 million years, after going to so much trouble to give scientifically plausible explanations for the existence of the beast!) and for reasons best known to itself it goes on the rampage, destroying everything in sight. It is up to nuclear physicist Hubschmid to come up with a plan to kill the beast, in a thrilling conclusion.

With all the standard creature feature fare of the time - a scientist in the middle of it all who just happens to have all the answers, a dotty old professor who dispenses wisdom before dying dramatically, the most implausible of dialogue, screaming hordes of citizens running down the street, military types unwilling (at first) to listen, and most importantly a well realised monster of epic proportions this is a classic of the genre.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 19 Dec. 2007
Format: DVD
It may come as a surprise to many, but Godzilla was not the first ancient "monster" reawakened by the testing of nuclear weapons; in fact, there is reason to believe that Godzilla was influenced to a significant extent by this 1953 classic. Produced on a miniscule budget of some two hundred thousand dollars, The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms features high quality all across the board: an intelligent script, some pretty good acting, and wonderful direction (by first-time director Eugene Lourie) - the film even showcases a rare example of beneficial stock footage. What make it particularly special and memorable, however, are the special effects by Ray Harryhausen, the veritable king of stop-motion animation. Remember the incredible animation of King Kong in the original 1933 film? Well, Harryhausen took those same animation techniques to a whole new level, using actual footage as the backdrops for scenes featuring the beast wreaking havoc in New York City. I actually prefer great stop-motion animation like this to today's CGI, as a Harryhausen beast such as this one seems more real to me.

The story opens in the Arctic Circle, where scientists are conducting nuclear weapons tests. Two scientists go out to check readings, but only one comes back. The survivor is rushed to a hospital in the States, and as soon as he is awake he starts telling people about the gigantic dinosaur he saw before he collapsed in the snow. Not surprisingly, no one believes his story. As a scientist, though, Tom Nesbitt (Paul Hubschmid) knows that what he saw was real.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Gavin P. Brooks on 29 Jan. 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
An absolute Harryhausen classic.
When you consider the age of this film, the special effects are still great, and a testament to Harryhausens work.
The film is far better than similar films of today, mainly because it does not rely on using actors for their ability to look good rather than act, some bint with more mamory glands than talent, or C-G-bloody-I!
The whole family can watch this and enjoy it, and the extras are a must for any Harryhausen fan, though if you already own a Harryhausen DVD the chances are you already own the extras as they all seem to have them.
The
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Victor HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 18 Jan. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is an important film in the history of the medium. Honest! The first film in which the great Ray Harryhausen had full control over special effects, the first proper `creature feature', the first to use man's messing with the nuclear bomb as the cause of the problems. As well as these notable firsts, it is also a great romp, with classic effects from the Master.

Paul Hubschmid (here credited as Paul Christian) and Kenneth Tobey are in the arctic (a setting that would serve Tobey well in his most memorable film `The Thing') testing out a nuclear bomb. The blast melts some ice and releases a mezozoic dinosaur which is soon on the rampage. Hubschmid has seen the creature, but as usual no one believes him and he is soon on a psychiatric ward. The creature starts to make its presence felt, suddenly people believe him and the hunt is on. The creature is heading towards New York, where its old mating grounds were (hilariously overlooking the continental drift that would have occurred in the last 100 million years, after going to so much trouble to give scientifically plausible explanations for the existence of the beast!) and for reasons best known to itself it goes on the rampage, destroying everything in sight. It is up to nuclear physicist Hubschmid to come up with a plan to kill the beast, in a thrilling conclusion.

With all the standard creature feature fare of the time - a scientist in the middle of it all who just happens to have all the answers, a dotty old professor who dispenses wisdom before dying dramatically, the most implausible of dialogue, screaming hordes of citizens running down the street, military types unwilling (at first) to listen, and most importantly a well realised monster of epic proportions this is a classic of the genre.
Read more ›
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