It Came From Beneath The Sea (1955)

Sony

Cast: Kenneth Tobey, Faith Domergue, Donald Curtis.

Rating: NR.

Run time: 79 mins

Genre: Science Fiction.

Verdict: Beautiful (see rating system)

Despite being made on a budget of just $200,000, this is a gem of a movie from sci-fi special effects wizzard Ray Harryhausen.

If anything, the print is in even better condition than Earth vs. The Flying Saucers and the newly colorized version from Legend Films looks terrific.

Familiar movie and TV character actor Kenneth Tobey plays Capt. Pete Matthews, commander of a U.S. Navy submarine on a routine assignment in the Pacific Ocean. However, when sonar picks up a target following them, Matthews and his crew encounter a mysterious underwater creature that almost cripples the sub.

Once safely back to port in San Francisco, scientists, including the stunning Prof. Lesley Joyce (Faith Domergue), test some of the creature's tissue snagged by the sub . . . and come to a startling conclusion.

Using the "less is more" principal, Harryhausen created a believable sea monster and the footage of it attacking a ship and other targets still looks impressive. Equally good is the crisp direction of Robert Gordon and a nice screenplay from George Worthing Yates and Hal Smith.

There are several exciting scenes and a rising sense of tension as Matthews and his superiors figure out how to deal with a growing menace.

I really like Tobey's work in this flick. He had a long career in movies, often in minor roles alongside stars like Cary Grant (I Was A Male War Bride, 1949) and John Wayne (Wings Of Eagles,1957) plus Gremlins (1984). He also appeared in some solid sci-fi movies, including The Thing From Another World (1951). His TV work included Perry Mason, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, The Rockford Files and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Gorgeous co-star Faith Domergue, who starred in the cult-sci-fi classic This Island Earth (1955), also appeared in many TV shows, including Perry Mason and Bonanza.

As well as the superb colorized version - sanctioned by Harryhausen himself - this 2-disc set also includes the black and white original, Tim Burton's recent interview with Harryhausen and other extras.

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