Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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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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