“Creature from the Black Lagoon” a love story.
A fossil is found in the Amazon. The fossil of a hand that looks human but with webbing between the fingers. An expedition goes to see if they can find more of the creature. In the expedition are Mark Williams (Richard Denning), David Reed (Richard Carlson), Kay Lawrence (Julie Adams), Carl Maia (Antonio Moreno) and Dr. Thompson (Whit Bissell). The two people they left to keep eye on the camp are dead.
The scientists go further up the Amazon to a place called the black lagoon. The creature’s home. They invade the home. The creature defends his home. Now they know something is there and the leader of the expedition, Mark wants to capture it or kill it. He doesn’t care which. (He tries but Denning is not all that believable as a “dick”.) The creature, upon seeing Kay, in his own way, falls in love with her. He is fascinated by her. He will do whatever he needs to do to keep her. The expedition will do whatever it needs to do to stay alive.
Is the creature a missing link of some kind between reptiles and men? And if so, where do simians fit in? The concept of “Creature” is, although never resolved, an interesting one. I suppose the technical name for it would be “piscine amphibious humanoid”. In other words people with the characteristics of fish or amphibians. These creatures often appear in folklore.
There are certain monsters throughout the history of cinema that are iconic. Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, Wolf man, and the Creature to name a few. Of all of them “The Creature”, outside of the two Universal sequels, has never been remade. The movie was a hit at the time of its release in 1954 and has stayed a hit. I think we’re all in love with the creature in one way or another.
As far as monsters go the creature is a good one and he pretty much heralded in the “guy in a rubber suit” era. Between a really good monster, great acting and interesting storyline director, Jack Arnold once again has seemed to hit the box office trifecta. It’s a must have for any monster lover.
Ricou Browning, a professional diver and swimmer, was required to hold his breath for up to 4 minutes at a time for his underwater role as the "Gill-man". The director's logic was that the air would have to travel through the monster's gills and thus not reveal air bubbles from his mouth or nose. Thus, the costume was designed without an air tank. In the subsequent films, this detail was ignored and air can be seen emanating from the top of the creature's head.
The Creature's appearance was based on an old seventeenth-century woodcut of a bizarre creature called the Sea Monk. The sea monk was a sea creature found off the eastern coast of the Danish island of Zealand in 1546. It was described as a "fish" that outwardly resembled a human monk in his habit. Speculation of what the creature actually was varies. Suggestions were an angelshark, a squid, a ray, a seal, or even a walrus.