It Came from Beneath the Sea [Blu-ray]
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Import Blu-Ray/Region All pressing. Please note while the feature film is viewable on all Blu-Ray players the special features are in Standard Definition/PAL format and will not be viewable on US BR players. Submarine commander Pete Mathews (Kenneth Tobey) and scientists Lesley Joyce (Faith Domergue) and John Carter (Donald Curtis) battle an angry sea monster driven from the depths of the ocean by an H-bomb explosion. In search of non-contaminated food, this tentacled tyrant counts among its victims a fishing trawler and its passengers, a family sunning at the beach, several San Francisco skyscrapers and even the Golden Gate Bridge!
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If you are Dr. Leslie Joyce you find the specimen interesting but you've got other duties back at the institute. Besides, Dr. Carter is tops in his field; he can handle the analysis without you. You doff your radiation suit and catch sight of Commander Mathews - a good-looking man. Your interest in him is quickly extinguished, when this man has the audacity to order you to stay! You grudgingly agree and join Carter in the weeks long testing to discover what "it" is . . . .
If you are "it", you have been driven from your home in the dark ocean depths. You were happy there, but then some time ago a strange thing happened: your world shook with a long slow rumble and ever since nothing has been the same; time to move on. You jet up and up to where the light filters down from above. You reach up into that light and suddenly you feel no resistance, your arm feels oddly heavy. You grope around, move on, try again, and then, every once in a while, you find and grab onto peculiar things just above, and yes, sometimes you even find some pretty tasty things - just within reach . . . .
Note: At the beginning, there is footage of the launch of the first nuclear submarine, the Nautilus.
Picture (DVD): 3, grainy. Colorization: 4 to 5. Most scenes have a multitude of colors. For example: the lab's numerous glass vials and jars are tinted with many subtle hues, the sunset colors on the clouds and their reflection on the beach are gorgeous, and the attention to detail used in coloring the military ribbons is amazing.
MARINE LABORATORY EPISODE. Navy brass visits a marine biology laboratory, where the goal is to persuade scientists to identify the origin of the tissue sample that was caught in the steering mechanism. Then, the film dwells extensively on light banter in a marine biology laboratory. The goal of the Navy submarine captain is to recruit the marine biologists to help the Navy predict where the octopus will strike next. But the captain is able to multi-task. His second task is to get cozy with the female marine biologist, who happens to be a university professor. "Woman's liberation" plays a surprisingly prominent role in this film, the female marine biologist has a Ph.D. Other films from this era rarely or never did this, and instead the female character had a master's degree, at most. Navy brass learns that she is the second most prominent marine biologist in the world, and that the most prominent marine biologist is a man. Navy brass then demands that the male marine biologist take over the needed analysis. But then, Navy brass is informed that the male marine biologist had died. (I was glad to see part of the film, as it does a good job at promoting the careers of female PhD-level scientists, and it also does a good job at putting egg on the face of the male chauvinist Navy brass.)
ROMANTIC OVERTURES. The captain is not really subtle about his romantic intentions, which is understandable, in view of the fact that his career path requires him to spend years and years in a cramped submarine, without opportunity to learn conventional courtship behavior. At 20 minutes into the film, the submarine captain is making a move on the marine biologist. This interlude takes place in a marine biology laboratory, and the viewer will see various fish tanks and lab equipment in the background. The captain stands very close to the marine biologist, and makes continual not-so-subtle remarks about romance. But the marine biologist does not complain and instead responds with coy remarks that border on being flirtatious. It should be noted that Hollywood is quite capable of filming scenes where a woman expresses disgust and revulsion, when faced with unwanted romantic overtures. For example, please see a scene in NO DOWN PAYMENT (1957), where actor Tony Randall dances with actress Patricia Owens at a back yard dinner party. Both are married to other people who happen to be at the same dinner party. Patricia Owens cooperates as a dance partner, but it is evident from the pained expression on her face that she feels disgusted. However, in IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA, actress Faith Domergue does not show one trace of disgust.
At the 20-minute point, the viewer will be exposed to a subtle scene that provides a subliminal message. The subtle scene involves standard laboratory equipment, namely, a 100 milliliter graduate cylinder. The graduated cylinder has approximately the same dimensions as a man's private part. In this scene, Kenneth Tobey's private part resides about one foot directly in back of the graduate cylinder that is being held in position by Faith Domergue. I am not sure how this scene survived the censors, but there you have it. I have watched this movie at least ten times since I bought the DVD in the year 2009, but today (May 10, 2016) is the first time that I noticed this off-color innuendo. Amazing!!!
HUMOR ABOUT SMOKING. In a scene in the marine biology lab, there is a prominent sign reading NO SMOKING. But the submarine captain, in speaking with the marine biologists, proves to be a chain smoker. Kids will love observing this discrepancy on their own, because the contradiction is not discussed by any of the actors.
OCTOPUS MAKES ITS ENTRANCE, STETHOSCOPE SCENE. Then we are introduced to the giant octopus. The giant octopus ensnares a ship and takes it down. What follows is an excellent course in psychology, where a surviving sailor is so shocked that he cannot describe the octopus, but merely points to the examining physician's stethoscope. The doctor makes some subtle pronouncements, indicating that he believes the sailor to be nuts The other sailors, waiting their examination, agree amongst each other to pretend that they saw nothing (to avoid being diagnosed as nuts). As if the film was not dramatic enough, the octopus attacks San Francisco, tears down the Golden Gate Bridge, and extends its tentacles along the Embarcadero, near an area of San Francisco now named after journalist Herb Caen.
SCENE WITH THE STETHOSCOPE, DEJA VU. I first saw IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA. My group from school, chaperoned by Bobby Moore's mother, was taking us to see OLD YELLER. But the seats were sold out. And so, instead Bobby Moore's mother took us to see IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA. I am so glad that OLD YELLER was sold out because, about 40 years later I watched it, and found it to be depressing. Anyway, when I watched IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA on a DVD in the year 2009, the only part that I remembered was the scene with the stethoscope where the sailor is in psychological shock.
AMBIGUOUS DEPICTION OF ROMANCE. The film director is to be commended for infusing the romantic episode with ambiguity. The calculated ambiguity is this: is the woman involved with the marine biologist or or with the captain? Hints of a love triangle continue, from time to time, throughout the entire movie. In fact, the conclusion of the movie seems to be that the captain lost out. There is not enough romance to dampen a kid's enthusiasm for the plot. And there is hardly any kissing. Therefore, your kids won't be covering their eyes while exclaiming, "EWWWWWWWWW!"
SMALL AMOUNT OF SCIENCE NONSENSE. The special effects are more than adequate and the dialogue generally refrains from bogging down in scientific nonsense. Many people will be able to name sci-fi films where the dialogue bogs down in to pseudo-science. No need to mention any of them here. I have only one complaint about the "science." The film discloses that the giant octopus is RADIOACTIVE. However, the script-writer was confused. The way radiation works, is that it induces a mutation in the chromosome, where the result is over-active growth hormone, where the result is a giant monster. If the mutation is in a germ cell, the mutation will be inherited, and the children will be giant monsters. However, most people won't be bothered by this apparent inaccuracy, about the octopus itself being RADIOACTIVE. (The radioactivity is from an atomic bomb, and it makes no sense to suggest that the octopus itself would acquire the same property). I do want to recommend another excellent movie that concerns radiation-induced giant ants. This is the movie, THEM. In THEM, the science talk is reasonably accurate and is kept to a minimum.
The colorization is excellent. In the colorized version, the color looks about like that in an old color movie, such as GONE WITH THE WIND. The flesh tones, interior of the submarine, sky, Golden Gate Bridge, are all convincingly colored. The colorizing company is identified at the end of the film. I am glad that they did not take liberties, and try to color things to look gaudy or more splendid.