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Creature from the Black Lagoon

Richard Carlson , Julie Adams , Jack Arnold    VHS Tape
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Jack Arnold's horror classic The Creature from the Black Lagoon spawned not one but two iconic images: the web-footed humanoid gill-man with a hankering for women and the leggy, luscious Julia Adams, the object of his desire, swimming the lagoon in a luminous white bathing suit. Not since King Kong has the "beauty and the beast" theme been portrayed in such sexually charged (though chaste) terms. Arnold turns an effectively B-movie plot--a small expedition up a remote Amazon river captures a prehistoric amphibian man, who escapes to wreak havoc on the team and kidnap his bathing beauty--into a moody, stylish, low-budget feature. The jungle exteriors turn from exotic to treacherous when the creature blocks their passage and strands them in the wilds. Much of the film is shot underwater, where the murky dark is animated by shimmering shards of sunlight, creating images both lovely and alien (the studio-built sets of the creature's underground lair are far less naturalistic, but serve their purpose). As with most of Arnold's '50s genre films, he's saddled with a less than magnetic leading man (in this case the colorless but stalwart Richard Carlson) and a conventional script, but he overcomes such limitations by creating a vivid and sympathetic monster (helped immeasurably by a marvelous suit of scales and fins) and establishing a mood thick with atmosphere. The film was originally shot in 3-D. --Sean Axmaker

Special Features

Bonus Materials: Creature from the Black Lagoon (3D Version), Back to the Black Lagoon, Production Photographs, Feature Commentary with Film Historian Tom Weaver, Trailer Gallery, 100 Years of Universal: The Lot

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars THE GILL-MAN OF THE AMAZON..... May 22 2004
Format:DVD
Probably the most celebrated monster film of the 50's (it even had a small role in "The Seven Year Itch"), "Creature from the Black Lagoon" deserves re-issue along with it's two sequels "Revenge of the Creature" and "The Creature Walks Among Us". The legendary tale of an ill-fated expedition up the Amazon after the discovery of a humanoid claw fossil remains a favorite for so many reasons. The Gill-Man monster suit and the leading lady Julie Adams are two reasons in my book. The Creature still looks good on film and Adams was the perfect heroine in her short-and-halter top oufits and, of course, that white swim suit. The underwater scenes of the Creature swimming underneath her in the lagoon have stayed in my memory all these years. Director Jack Arnold created a lasting film that may not hold up as well as it once did, but it's a treasure for sci-fi/horror fans all over the world. Richard Carlson and Richard Denning provided the stalwart male drama and heroics but the Creature's pursuit of Julie Adams is what gives this classic that strange sort of sex appeal that lies underneath the terror. It's a beautifully photographed b&w thrill ride for those of us who never get tired of watching it. Out of print? For now maybe. But he'll be back. And maybe with his sequels...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Universal's original "Jaws" of the 50's March 25 2004
Format:DVD
I had the pleasure of seeing this film last Fall on a movies in the
park festival and it still brings in a packed house. Who would't go
see the age old story of beauty and the beast so skillfully done by
Director Jack Arnold.
The story is that of a group of Amazon explorers on the thier way
to unearth the "find of the century" a fossil of a missing link of
between fish and man but instead come to meet that of a living sea
creature in which science can't explain and seems to have general
dislike toward these invaders of his Black Lagoon. Followed by 2
sequels this was a big event in 1954 and without added spectacle
of the 3D process this still remains a sci-fi classic with great
cast including Richard Carson, Julia Adams, Richard Denning, Whit
Bissell, Nestor Paiva and Rico Browning as the creature.
Universal maybe slow at getting thier golden age 50's sci-fi film
collection going but they went all out on this monsterfest disc.
The dvd is without doubt one of the cleanest prints of this flick
that your most likely to see (From Laser disc legend has it) The
disc also includes a "Back to the black lagoon" featurette and I
believe every trailer for Black Lagoon in existence plus assorted
vintage ads and stuff and of course that beautiful 50's art cover
make this must for any classic sci-fi dvd collector. I hope that
Universal does this film's sequels "Revenge of the creature" and
"Creature walks among us" on a double disc.Someone pass the word!
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Demon of the Amazon Feb. 10 2004
Format:DVD
The classic feature "The Creature of the Black Lagoon" is the latest DVD in Universal's Classic Monster Collection. In a forbidden lagoon on the Amazon, a scientific expedition searches for the fossilized remains of an "amphibious missing link" and discover a living specimen that falls for the head scientist's female assistant. When attempts to capture the creature failed, the powerful beast plots his revenge upon the scientists. Though not the scariest feature in the Universal Monster Collection, "The Creature of the Black Lagoon" is a solid and effective Sci-Fi film that features one of the most inventive movie monsters. This 1954 film contains a well-paced storyline, interesting characters and great underwater photography. The "Gillman's" scaly design is quite remarkable. The cast includes Richard Carlson, Julie Adams and Richard Denning.
Universal earns high marks for giving a classic monster feature a great DVD presentation. The film is presented in its original fullscreen format. The DVD contains a stunning B&W picture quality with great clarity. The 2.0 Dolby Digital sound is well preserved and surprisingly clear. The DVD also includes audio commentary with film historian Tom Weaver, theatrical trailers and "Back to the Black Lagoon" featurette. With such fine picture quality and interesting supplements, "The Creature of the Black Lagoon" earns a solid "B".
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Format:VHS Tape
"Creature From The Black Lagoon" would have to go down as one of the classic titles of the 1950's horror/Sci Fi genre. Too often dismissed as drive-in fodder, this film is a real classic and is a film which grows more on me with each screening. Indeed I find more to like about this production all the time. It's enduring popularity is a great testimony to its excellent production values, good acting, intelligent storyline, and the real claustrophobic atmosphere it engenders.
"Creature" also boosts one of the most memorable of Universal's great gallery of classic monsters in the form of the Gillman superbly realised by the genius of designer Bud Westmore. Coming quite late in the long tradition of Universal monsters the Gillman is right up there with such memorable creations as Dracula, Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein and The Wolfman. He was to return to the screen in two sequels "Revenge Of The Creature" and "The Creature Walks Among Us" however it is for this original effort that he is justly remembered. The story in reality is a simple one. A rare find of a clawed hand that has no relationship with any known link in evolution is unearthed during an excavation in the Amazon jungle. The possibilty of a sensational find prompts a group of scientists to set out on a expedition to find the rest of its body only to discover themselves having to deal with a live ancestor of this fossil in the form of a strange underwater Gillmam. Much to their distress they find themselves trapped in the eerie and mysterious Black Lagoon having to literally fight for their lives against this creature who is not only aggressive towards those that disturb his Amazion shelter but begins killing off the expedition team one by one.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful transfer of a classic horror movie
This is one of my all time favourite monster movies (I would rate it right up there with the original Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolfman, and Mummy................ Read more
Published 13 months ago by GLENN A. OBRIEN
4.0 out of 5 stars Love that Creature!
The Creature From the Black Lagoon is a real eye opener for any fan of the current crop of 3-Dimensnional films. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Jon Lidolt
2.0 out of 5 stars Should have included a Field Seqential 3-D version!
Not that many people are aware of the Field Sequential 3-D.
This is a 3-D TV system that uses special shutter glasses that can be purchased here through Amazon in a set that... Read more
Published on July 1 2004 by movie man
5.0 out of 5 stars Good thing it was made in the 50's
This movie is one of the best horror/scifi/monster movies ever! Its shows how good monster movies could be even after the Golden Age of Universal's horror into the fifties where... Read more
Published on June 28 2004 by Tricer1447
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than I thought it would be, now one of my favorites.
First of all, I am fairly new to these classic monster movies. I have seen Dracula before but that was it. Read more
Published on May 28 2004 by J. Hayes
5.0 out of 5 stars The origional Jaws!
The 1950's brought us many sci fi horror films such as The Mole People, This Island Earth, and Attack of the Crab Monsters. Read more
Published on April 15 2004 by Richard Stange
5.0 out of 5 stars All Time Classic!
This would be an all time classic among monster movies.You
would have to rank this up there with Frankenstein,Dracula,and the Wolfman. Read more
Published on Feb. 14 2004 by Melvin Hunt
5.0 out of 5 stars What's the problem...?
Is anyone else out there as annoyed as I that this film (maybe the whole trilogy) isn't re-released on DVD? Regarding the horror films of the 50's, this MUST stand as a classic. Read more
Published on Jan. 31 2004 by R. Gawlitta
5.0 out of 5 stars A Monster Movie That is Good Clean Fun
I have seen "Creature From the Black Lagoon" many times,and I love it. I t is one of my favorite monster movies. Read more
Published on Nov. 9 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Takes you away from the problems of the day
Nice to go back to a simpler time, a time that reminds you of being at the movies on Saturday afternoon in the 50s/60s. Read more
Published on June 11 2003 by Sandra in Motown
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