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The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms


The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953) starring Paul Hubschmid, Paula Raymond, Cecil Kellaway

Synopsis of The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms

In The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms a nuclear test thaws and revives a frozen dinosaur. Freed from its Arctic imprisonment, it takes off on a path of destruction.

 Have you ever wondered what Godzilla would have been like if it had been made with stop-motion animation? If so, look no further than The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. It precedes the classic Godzilla movie by a year, with much the same plot: a sleeping prehistoric dinosaur is awoken by a nuclear explosion, and makes its way back to its home, where humanity lives, causing untold damage on the way. But there’s more going on here than that.

The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms tangles with a lightouse – a shout-out to Ray Bradbury’s short story, The Fog Horn, that the movie is based on

Cast of characters

  • Professor Tom Nesbitt (Paul Hubschmid), physicist. The last survivor of the scientific team that exploded the nuclear device that awoke the sleeping dinosaur; not only will no one believe him, they tend to think that he’s gone insane
  • Lee Hunter (Paula Raymond, Flight that Disappeared), paleontologist – the only scientist that initially believes Tom; she works as an assistant to:
  • Professor Thurgood Elson (Cecil Kellaway, The Mummy’s Hand, I Married a Witch), paleontologist. The scientist who doesn’t believe Tom initially, even after a second eye witness corroborates the species of dinosaur, but eventually does, and observes the Beast from a diving bell- and dies in the process
  • Colonel Jack Evans (Kenneth Tobey) – the officer in charge of the military when the Beast attacks New York

“What the cumulative effects of all these atomic explosions and tests will be, only time will tell.”

Updated November 6, 2021


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