Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
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as David Reed
as Kay Lawrence
as Mark Williams
as Carl Maia
as Edwin Thompson
as Dr. Matos
as Gill-Man (in water)
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Critic Reviews for Creature from the Black Lagoon
Jack Arnold has a flair for this sort of thing, and if there really is anything frightening about a man dressed up in a rubber suit with zippers where the gills ought to be, Arnold comes close to finding it.
The routine story is mightily improved by Arnold's sure sense of atmospheric locations and by the often sympathetic portrait of the monster.
Okay, it's just a guy in a rubber suit. Even people in the 1950's weren't afraid of this so-called monster. But, there's some camp value to this on-the-water and under-the-water adventure.
Audience Reviews for Creature from the Black Lagoon
great atmosphere and underwater scenes! a monster movie classic
The story and characters are rather simplistic but the true reason to see this film is for the legendary "Gill Man". The underwater scenes are beautifully shot, containing a surreal sequence were Gill Man swims beneath an unsuspecting female diver. That scene would later inspire the opening sequence for Steven Spielberg's "Jaws". The music was also awesome, filled to the brim with dramatic orchestral cues. A must see for any fans of the monster movie genre.
There's a reason why this is one of the most legendary monster films in existence. It doesn't really have that good of a story, or acting, but the underwater photography is very good for the time. But what really sets this film apart is the creature itself. Now, the design hasn't exactly aged well (the suit is obviously made of rubber), but there's something that has aged far more gracefully than the rest of the film: the creature performance. The inherent problem with B-Monster-Movies of the 50s is that the people playing monsters in a suit moved like people just flailing like they had a bulky suit on. The Creature from the Black Lagoon MOVES like a Creature From the Black Lagoon. When Gillman (his official Universal Studios name) swims underwater, he doesn't move like someone awkwardly maneuvering in a rubber suit, he moves like an aquatic creature. The Gillman on land's movements are a bit questionable, but the creature's physical performance is convincing enough that it becomes strangely immersive as an experience. Add in some real suspense at points and you have one pretty dang good monster movie. Check it out.