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It Came From Beneath the Sea

4.2 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The action is wet and wild in this sci-fi thriller that pits man - and woman - against a giant octopus. 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 anH-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! A daring attempt by the scientists to destroy the monster while saving themselves is a gripping finale to this aquatic adventure. The riveting special effects were created by Ray Harryhausen.

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Two years after unleashing The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms upon New York City, master special-effects creator Ray Harryhausen turned loose a giant (albeit six-armed) octopus on San Francisco, and the result is another enjoyable atom-age adventure that should please fans of vintage science fiction. Kenneth Tobey, who battled The Thing (From Another World) in 1951, stars as a Navy captain who pursues a monstrous octopoid (sextapoid?) after it attacks his atomic sub. After it wreaks havoc with shipping lanes, he tracks the creature to San Francisco for a final showdown. Scripting by George Worthing Yates (Them!) and Hal Smith and direction by Robert Gordon are perfunctory at best, which gives the always-reliable Tobey and co-star Faith Domergue little to do, but this is Harryhausen's show, and his monster, though budgetarily restrained, is still impressive. Younger audiences weaned on digital FX may find this creaky, but nostalgic viewers will enjoy its simple thrills. --Paul Gaita

Product Details

  • Actors: Faith Domergue, Ian Keith, Donald Curtis, Kenneth Tobey
  • Directors: Robert Gordon
  • Producers: Charles H. Schneer
  • Format: Anamorphic, Black & White, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: None
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: None
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures/Mill Creek
  • DVD Release Date: May 6, 2003
  • Run Time: 79 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008OM1X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,222 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "It Came From Beneath the Sea" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Legendary producer Charles H. Schneer, the man behind such films as Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956), 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957), The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), Jason and the Argonauts (1963), and Clash of the Titans (1981), and technical effects master Ray Harryhausen (back in the day they were called technical effects, not special effects), the man behind the eye popping effects of all the movies listed above, comes It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955), a rousing tale of scary sea beast from the greatest depths of the ocean floor rising to satisfy its' insatiable hunger on us tasty humans. The film stars Tobey Keith, who many may remember from the quintessential sci-fi thriller The Thing From Another World (1951) and Faith Domergue from This Island Earth (1955) as Cmdr. Pete Mathews and Professor Lesley Joyce, respectively.

The movie opens on the maiden voyage, or shake down cruise, of the United States newest, most advanced, and spiffiest atomic submarine, with Cmdr. Pete Mathews in charge. Things seem to be going well, that is, until a large object is appears on the ping ping machine, sonar I think they called it, making a beeline for the sub. What is it? What could it be? If you've seen the front of the DVD case, then you probably know it's a giant octopus, so I don't feel I am giving anything away here. Why does a giant octopus attack the submarine? It's actually explained pretty well further into the movie, so I will leave it to that. After some tactical maneuvering, the submarine gets free with the crew unable to determine what actually happened. Once in port for repairs, a huge piece of organic material is found caught in the flaps or something of the submarine, and some specialists are called in to investigate.
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2 Comments 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
I had never seen the film until this past week when I picked it up at a local Borders store for $15. To tell you the truth, I had some high hopes for the films, but like most monster films of the era, the monster's time was limited and short. So I wasn't expecting too much.
The film starts out pretty slow with Ken Tobey and his sub crew trying to figure out what they got themselves caught up in (the octopus).
The human parts of the film are like any other monster film where a man falls in love with a beautiful woman and they love each other in the end. The acting is pretty decent but seems to drag on for FAR too long! Plus the monster scenes were much shorter in this one compared to other Harryhausen films which was disappointing.
Overall, the film does deliver and is an enjoyment. But the overdone human drama and very few scenes of the octopus make this movie somewhat dull. A good film, but not one of Harryhausen's best as far as entertainment value.
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This is one of those fantastically wonderful, if somewhat cheesy, monster movies from the 1950's that we all love. With Kenneth Tobey (the hero from another 50's movie, The Thing) playing his usual, smug woman-chasing and monster-fighting character; a submarine; and a six-tentacled giant octopus in the mix, you know it is popcorn-worthy. The only real criticism I had was with the transfer. This B&W-only, DVD version, retained the anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio, but in so doing made the picture very grainy, almost to the point of being unwatchable. I have traded in this B&W version for the colorized version, yet to arrive, hoping that the processing and colorizing might smooth it all out some. In sum, the movie itself is great - the DVD transfer not so much.
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Format: DVD
4 Stars = Classic

Ah the 50's! You got to love that decade! We had communists dressed up as space invaders, who dressed up as us. Then the big nuclear bomb! Giant communists, dressed up as giant monsters, & I love giant communist, dressed up as giant monsters, set free from nuclear bombs!!

One of the best of the decade was, "It Came From Beneath The Sea," a story of a giant six tentacle Octopus (YES SIX!), come visiting the "Golden Gate" city of San Francisco! Yes, the beastly behemoth slides & crawls it's way all over downtown San Francisco, grabbing a few cars, trucks, buildings, & people along it's merry way of mayhem! Excellent stop motion effects by wizard Ray Harryhausen, make this monstrous mollusk's, slippery suctioned cup tentacles, glue their slimy slippery selves to your TV screen, in great fashion. One of the greatest scenes of 50's Sci-Fi is where our giant Calamari (ok, it's not Squid) lovingly wraps it's six legs around the Golden Gate bridge! Really a fantastic scene, one of a few here! The cinematography & soundtrack are top notch for it's ilk, & the acting standard, though competent 50's B movie Sci-Fi fare.

No, there is nothing groundbreaking here, but it sure breaks water, & if your a huge fan of these type of movies, as I am, then this is a true classic from a paranoid decade, that produced some of the greatest Science Fiction film ever, from outer space, above ground, or, "It Came Beneath The Sea!"

"It Came From Beneath The Sea" 1955

[...]
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A spectacular tentacle if ever I saw one! As far as I'm concerned, they could have gotten away with just an occasional showing of that tentacle. Great stuff. I especially liked when the tentacle reached into openings, wiggling around, hoping for something tasty to glom onto.
Of course, the plot is pretty standard: something unknown grabs a sub and leaves a bit of itself behind for scientists to puzzle over, wondering what IT is. Also in play is an intermittent narration, a voice of doom, telling us when to be worried, when to marvel, trying to give credence to what is unfolding. I'm not certain why they employed this faux documentary gimmick, it really doesn't help, which might explain why it disappears for long stretches. I also don't understand why the navy insisted on including a fancy woman marine biologist. She only serves as a distraction, and not in a good way. When she isn't combative or batting her eyes at a smitten submarine commander (Kenneth Tobey), she's slowing down the momentum that the killer octopus is trying to supply. A romance that goes nowhere is the last thing this or any movie needs (and yet Hollywood keeps doing it).
My favorite scene is when biologist John, not of Mars, Carter (Donald Curtis) whips out a balloon to demonstrate the futility of a certain attack stratagem. Did this guy carry balloons as a matter of course, just waiting for the opportunity to pull one from his pocket? Or, did he have a pastime we don't need to know about?
Fun stuff!
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