The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953)

I watched The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), a 1953 Warner Brothers film based on the short story, The Fog, by Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man) on Svengoolie. This a Ray Harryhausen stop-motion creature, the fictional Rhedosaurus, inspired by King Kong, the head of a T-Rex, the body of an Iguana and crocodile features. In the movie it appears to be 200 feet long but the model was actually only 30 inches.

20,000 fathoms is 22.73 miles in case you were wondering. The Arctic scenes were filmed at Hollywood studios on the hottest day of that year using snow machines. The avalanche, near the opening, was actually borrowed from the 1935 movie She.

They used glycerin on the monster model when they wanted it to look wet and the stop-motion scenes took 6-7 months to film. The growls of the Rhedosaurus were actually those of a large cat.

When they are trying to identify the monster they go through dinosaur drawings by Charles R. Knight, who was a Harryhausen inspiration. At the movie’s end the roller coaster was the Cyclone Racer at the Pike in Long Beach.

The movie was directed by Eugène Lourié and produced by Jack Dietz and Hal E. Chester. The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms stars Paul Christian (My Fair Lady, Skullduggery), Paula Raymond (she turned down the role of Miss Kitty in Gunsmoke),

Cecil Kellaway (Destination Space, The Shaggy Dog, Guess Who is Coming to Dinner), Ross Elliott (was in War of the Worlds radio broadcast), Steve Brodie (The Caine Mutiny, Blue Hawaii), Frank Ferguson (House of Wax, Abbott and Costello Meets Frankenstein),

Alvin Greenman (Miracle on 34th Street in 1947 and 1994), James Best  (Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane in Dukes of Hazzard), Donald Woods (13 Ghosts, Kissin’ Cousins, True Grit), Merv Griffin (was the DJ on a radio show heard during the movie) and

Lee Van Cleef (is the sharpshooter at the movie’s end, For A Few Dollars More, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly). I enjoyed the movie although I did feel a little bad for the monster at the end, I’ll give it 3 out of 5 stars. For more information read Wikipedia, IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes.

Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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