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Creature from the Black Lagoon (Universal 1954)

Creature from the Black Lagoon (Universal 1954)

Universal’s most effective new traditional classic monster came in the shape of the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Although the film was billed at the time as a sci-fi thriller, the gill man has ultimately joined the ranks of the studio’s most famous entries into their gothic horror stable. Creature from the Black Lagoon is a set piece of style, substance and above-par acting. Beautifully directed by Jack Arnold, it features wonderfully enduring performances, particularly from leads Richard Carlson and Julia Adams.

Creature from the Black Lagoon 1954 Ultimate Guide Magazine

Excellent support comes from Richard Denning, Whit Bissell and Nestor Paiva as skipper Lucas. The Creature from the Black Lagoon himself, meanwhile, has become one of the most iconic and enduring monsters of all time, much loved by legions of fans the world over.

On land, the Creature suit – sculpted by Jack Kevan and Chris Mueller Jr – was worn by Ben Chapman, while a smaller version was donned by Ricou Browning for the stunning underwater scenes.

Classic Monsters of the Movies Magazine issue #3

Classic Monsters of the Movies issue #3 features Creature from the Black Lagoon

Part of the success of Creature from the Black Lagoon has to be its score, a hybrid arrangement contributed by Henry Mancini, Hans J Salter and Herman Stein, although all three went uncredited. Careful listening reveals a distinct inspiration for John Williams’ groundbreaking theme for Jaws (1975).

Creature from the Black Lagoon (Universal 1954)

Strike a pose: An iconic shot of the Creature in this publicity still for Creature from the Black Lagoon (Universal 1954)

With Creature from the Black Lagoon, a whole new army of classic horror fans were brought into the fold of enthusiasts, and the character is among the most loved of all monsters even today. With the Creature, we most definitely have a true horror movie allrounder.

Creature from the Black Lagoon (Universal 1954)

Creature feature: Theatrical release poster for Creature from the Black Lagoon (Universal 1954)

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    April 22, 2016

    Is definitely the best of the Universal Monster films what makes me love it is the underwater scenes it’s beautifully done and I’m so glad that it has not been ruined with a remake.

    Lawrence Milazzo
    November 28, 2016

    I have always enjoyed this movie, and it’s first sequel…..but not so much The Creature Walks Among Us……which I found dull and lacking in the excitement of its 2 predecessors….but that just my opinion.

    Johnnyray walters
    April 29, 2017

    I always enjoyed watching the creature from the black lagoon,

    Frederick Douglas
    May 11, 2019

    This was filmed here in Jacksonville Florida.

    Dan Skopp
    January 6, 2020

    Get information about this classic film. I have seen the 3-D version!! Great chemistry between Ben and Julie!!

    Keith Bethel
    August 23, 2021

    My favorite Universal Monster, watch the movies over and over

    November 1, 2021

    I have not watched the creature from the black lagoon but I will soon x o

    Tom Springer
    October 12, 2022

    I recently read “The Lady From The Black Lagoon”, a biography of Milicent Patrick, the artist who conceived the design of the “Gill Man” in “Creature From The Black Lagoon”. I had known for some time that Bud Westmore was not the creator of this famous monster, but merely Patrick’s boss. What I learned from the book was the extent to which he undermined her, and literally stole the credit for it and then fired her from the makeup department at Universal. I’d like to suggest the inclusion of her story and involvement in this masterpiece of horror. Your readers (myself included) would enjoy finding out who the real genius was!

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