Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) starring Richard Carlson, Julia Adams
In Creature from the Black Lagoon, an expedition exploring the Amazon River discover a ‘Gill Man’. A strange, half man and half amphibian. Thought by the team to be the missing link in human evolution, the creature is captured and kept under observation.
While in captivity it falls in love with the chief scientist’s (Richard Carlson) female assistant (Julie Adams). He kidnaps her before making its escape. Followed by two sequels, ‘Revenge of the Creature‘ (1955) and ‘The Creature Walks Among Us‘ (1956).
There’s no argument that Creature from the Black Lagoon is one of the classic Universal monster movies. But why? There are several components to the answer:
- First is the iconic design of the Creature itself. It’s a work of art, in many ways.
- Next, the underwater cinematography is beautiful to watch.
- The Creature is, in many ways, sympathetic. It doesn’t go around killing innocent people … Unless they’re trespassing on his territory. In which case, he’s merciless.
- The human cast is interesting, with some interesting conflicts. Not just a romantic conflict over the female protagonist, either.
- Do the human scientists have a right to remove the Creature from its’ habitat?
- What are the limits of science? What should they be?
- And, of course, the Creature turns the table on his pursuers. The humans become the Creature’s prey. And it’s very clever …
Editorial review of Creature from the Black Lagoon courtesy of Amazon.com
Perfectly blending Universal’s classic monster heritage with the science-fiction explosion of the 1950s, Creature from the Black Lagoon tells the mythical story of a dangerous half-human, half-fish creature lurking in the depths of the Amazon. After discovering a unique prehistoric claw fossil on an expedition deep in the jungle, scientists investigate its origins which lead them directly to a mysterious creature. Led by ichthyologist David Reed (Richard Carlson), the men try to capture the monster who has become obsessed with David’s assistant, Kay (Julia Adams). Originally released in 3D, this thrilling adventure inspired sequels, TV series and more that continue to strengthen the monster’s legacy to this day.
Cast of characters
- Richard Carlson (It Came from Outer Space) as Dr. David Reed. Dr. Maia’s former student, an ichthyologist. He persuades his boss, Dr. Williams, to fund a return expedition to the Amazon to look for the rest of the skeleton.
- Julie Adams as Kay Lawrence. David’s colleague and girlfriend. David hasn’t proposed to her yet, Mark is interested in her as well … as is the Creature.
- Richard Denning (Twice Told Tales) as Dr. Mark Williams. Scientist who funds the expedition. And, by virtue of his money, thinks that he’s in charge. He’s driven as much by financial profit as scientific curiousity. And he has his eye on Kay …
- Antonio Moreno as Dr. Carl Maia. The geologist who originally finds the fossilized hand with webbed fingers that begins the story. He leaves his two assistants behind, while he talks to Dr. Reed, his former student, about forming a marine expedition. In his absence, the creature kills them.
- Nestor Paiva as Captain Lucas. The captain of the tramp steamer Rita. He’s heard of the Black Lagoon, and is wise enough to warn the others. He’s smart enough to navigate the waters. And the captain’s tough enough to take no backtalk from the “leader” Mark, as well. After all, on his boat, he’s in command …
- Whit Bissell (Lost Continent) as Dr. Edwin Thompson. One of the scientists on the expedition. He’s severely injured by the captured Creature when it escapes.