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      The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms

      Released Jun 13, 1953 1h 20m Sci-Fi List
      91% Tomatometer 22 Reviews 68% Audience Score 2,500+ Ratings Near the Arctic Circle researchers detonate a nuclear device and unwittingly thaw a prehistoric beast frozen for millions of years. The monster leaves a path of destruction across eastern North America as it heads straight for New York City. When heavy artillery proves ineffective against the towering creature, scientist Tom Nesbitt (Paul Christian) concocts a radioactive formula to neutralize the beast -- and ace shot Cpl. Stone (Lee Van Cleef) will deliver it by grenade. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (22) Critics Reviews
      Kim Newman Empire Magazine This 50s bis Beastie movie is still a romp despite obviously dated effects. Rated: 3/5 Apr 29, 2014 Full Review A.H. Weiler New York Times Despite more than a suspicion of palaver, it generates a fair portion of interest and climactic excitement ... Oct 31, 2006 Full Review Time Out Freed from the Arctic ice by atomic blasts, one of Ray Harryhausen's most loveable prehistoric beasts trundles down the US coast to stomp New York ... Jan 26, 2006 Full Review Nell Dodson Russell Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder The monster didn't look like a fish to me. He looked like the land-borne type, so how come he could swim under water from the Artic except for coming to the surface long enough to bash in a few ships and a lighthouse or two? Dec 16, 2021 Full Review Mike Massie Gone With The Twins When the beast inevitably climbs onto dry land (near Wall Street) to wreak havoc on New York City itself, it's a riotous good time. Rated: 6/10 Aug 15, 2020 Full Review Clyde Gilmour Maclean's Magazine [A] naïve but entertaining fantasy. Dec 3, 2019 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (170) audience reviews
      Omar LK A A classic movie, it's sheer simpleness, passion of creating it, gives good vibes. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 07/03/23 Full Review dave s An early entry in the ‘atomic testing leads to nothing good' genre of science fiction, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms is a typical cautionary tale of the horrors brought about by the ignorance of humanity. After testing atomic weapons in the Arctic, a large reptile is roused from its lair and begins migrating down the Atlantic seaboard, creating mayhem along the way, ultimately finding an appropriate wrecking ground in New York. Ray Harryhausen's stop-motion effects are impressive when considering the time period in which the film was shot and the movie is decent enough as far as production values are concerned. However, the whole thing is terribly predictable and filled with some brutal dialogue ("I feel as though I'm leaving a world of untold tomorrows for a world of countless yesterdays"), making it a mixed bag as far as entertainment value is concerned. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review steven a This tightly edited monster tale was influential on the genre with its echoes seen in the following year's GODZILLA amongst many others throughout the decade, despite itself being derivative of KING KONG (1933), which had been re-released to theatres the previous year. The script offers little depth, but the lead cast performances are solid, and the effects work is respectable for its age. Russell's cinematography occasionally gives the film a documentary look, but Lourie's camera movement is frequently static due to the demands of the effects work. The Coney Island climax is well shot however and generates excitement. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Mikau It's one of the best old movies out there Rated 5 out of 5 stars 12/14/22 Full Review Taylor L A slumbering prehistoric monster is awoken after American scientific researchers drop a full-on nuke in the Arctic Circle. They don't even explain what it is they're studying, it's just the '50s so nuclear = "wow, science!" The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms is a direct inspiration for Godzilla (released the following year) as well as one of the earliest gargantuan-monster movies; no longer are you dealing with the Wolfman on a studio lot, the audiences want us to start demolishing tiny models of cities. It's mostly interesting as a direct comparison to the Ishirō Honda classic that it inspired; where the vague, hopeful musings on nuclear testing do bring about the release of a monster, it's not the melancholic and terrified response that the Japanese version would carry with the direct aftermath of a nuclear blast as thematic fuel. Two sides of the first atomic bomb drop, told through a similar story with completely different interpretations. As the first live-action monster film of its kind, The Beast is sort of a baby-steps project. Swiss actor Paul Christian is a leading man who occasionally lets his accent slip through, and the majority of the human elements of the story are there to check boxes (such as Paula Raymond's token love interest) or to pad for time rather than to add to the story. The effects were delivered by the legend Ray Harryhausen, which boast slighlty jagged motions alongside a less-than-perfect marriage to live-action, but it's still a major accomplishment given that it hadn't been done before; notably, the 'Beast' model would actually be recycled as the dragon in the better-remembered 1958 adventure film, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. (2.5/5) Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 10/15/22 Full Review Audience Member Ya gotta give this three stars for pure cheesiness! Formulaic Godzilla rip-off with a four-legged reptile stomping NYC rather than a bipedal one stomping Tokyo, both critters awakened by atomic blasts. In this one a DC-3 flying 350 mph drops an H-bomb in the Arctic. I recognized the actors playing the colonel and the professor; I presume they were both WB contract players. Can't call this a Total PoS 'cuz it's so bad it's entertaining in spots. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/12/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis Near the Arctic Circle researchers detonate a nuclear device and unwittingly thaw a prehistoric beast frozen for millions of years. The monster leaves a path of destruction across eastern North America as it heads straight for New York City. When heavy artillery proves ineffective against the towering creature, scientist Tom Nesbitt (Paul Christian) concocts a radioactive formula to neutralize the beast -- and ace shot Cpl. Stone (Lee Van Cleef) will deliver it by grenade.
      Director
      Eugène Lourié
      Producer
      Hal E. Chester, Jack Dietz, Bernard W. Burton
      Distributor
      Warner Bros.
      Production Co
      Warner Brothers/Seven Arts
      Genre
      Sci-Fi
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Jun 13, 1953, Wide
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Apr 19, 2016
      Runtime
      1h 20m
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