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Creature from the Black Lagoon


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Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Carlson, Julie Adams, Richard Denning, Antonio Moreno, Nestor Paiva
  • Directors: Jack Arnold
  • Writers: William Alland, Arthur A. Ross, Harry Essex, Maurice Zimm
  • Producers: William Alland
  • Format: NTSC
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Mca (Universal)
  • VHS Release Date: Aug. 28 2001
  • Run Time: 79 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0783245130
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,858 in Video (See Top 100 in Video)

Product Description

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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

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Simon Davis on Oct. 24 2002
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jon Lidolt on Nov. 13 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The Creature From the Black Lagoon is a real eye opener for any fan of the current crop of 3-Dimensnional films. The pictures have a realism that's lacking in most of today's stereo motion pictures. For want of a better explanation, the images in the Creature From the Black Lagoon just look real. Even in Hugo, my favourite of the current crop of 3-D films, the actors don't appear naturally rounded the way we would see them in real life, but somewhat flattened. It's almost like the filmmakers are afraid of the technology or have been given bad advice.

The Creature From the Black Lagoon is not only a hoot to watch, but a great example of what 3-D motion pictures from the 1950's were able to accomplish. And all of this without the aid of digital technology.
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Format: Blu-ray
While nowhere near as intelligent, thought-provoking and well made as Anderson's brilliant "Incredible Shrinking Man", this is still smarter and more complex than your average monster movie, especially of its era.

This creature is neither tragic hero, nor unstoppable villain. He's just a living being, a prehistoric half-man, half fish, behaving as his
evolution has conditioned him, attacking invaders to his Amazonian paradise, attracted to the female human.

The film is full of mind numbing exposition, mediocre acting, low production values and heavy handed staking out of its ethical
positions; the humanistic scientist that wants to study and understand the creature versus the base desires of the expedition's financier who wants to kill the thing and bring it back to the world as a trophy.

But there are sequence of power and even poetry, as the creature swims silently beneath the team's female scientist (and eye candy). There are moments her that Spielberg would echo in "Jaws" years later, but here the threat is more eerie and complex than terrifying. And watching the creature pathetically gasp for breath like a fish out of water is a sad and strong image (actually, a lot of the creature's movements, especially under water, are surprisingly convincing as something other than a man in a latex suit).

While not, for me, the classic some see it as, it's still a solid cut above the dumb Saturday afternoon entertainment that has lead to our forgetting most of its cinematic cousins, but keeping this creature alive.
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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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