Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953)

Starring Paul Christian, Paula Raymond, Cecil Kellaway, Kenneth Tobey, Donald Woods
Directed by Eugene Lourie
(actor & director credits courtesy

A scientist tries to convince the military that an atomic blast in the Arctic has freed a still-living dinosaur, which begins to make its way towards New York City.

This is one of my favorite films and a terrific monster movie, with appealing characters, good direction, a fine music score, and the skilled animation effects of the great Ray Harryhausen.  Though Harryhausen's work is the showpiece, director Lourie does a nice job of pacing the scenes between the dinosaur's appearances, aided by the characterizations of his actors, with Christian a good determined hero, Raymond supportive as the lady who believes in him, and Kellaway, perfectly cast as a kindly professor.  David Buttolph's score is just about perfect, adding ominous notes where appropriate, and providing a dirge-like theme for "The Beast."

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