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The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953)
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2022 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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While scanning through this wonderful post today I realized that I'd love to see a movie about an ambitious Antarctic project in which a dozen fully equipped sites had been established at locations above frozen dinosaurs buried deep in the ice below.

Each site is carefully removing the dinosaurs from the ice below, and they're all equipped with a remarkable new process which can actually revive the frozen carcasses!

This multi-site project is ready to move their revived dinosaurs to an underground habitat they've created, a man-made prehistoric environment which is located in gigantic ice-covered area below the Antarctic!






In other words, modern science is literally creating "The Land Unknown"! Shocked
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2022 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Special Effects: The History and Technique by Richard Rickittt.

After the release of Mighty Joe Young, Ray Harryhausen was offered a job as chief animator on the low-budget The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953). 'Beast had a ridiculous budget considering its subject matter. Doing things the O'Bie way was out of the question. He used big, painted sheets of glass in several planes that created a wonderful atmosphere but took a team of expensive artists to paint and restricted the camera to a single view. Also, the glass could crack in the heat of the lights

For Beast, Harryhausen devised a way of continuing live-action actors with animated creatures and miniature backgrounds. It was the basis of the system that he would use for the rest of his working life.

The system that Harryhausen devised, which became known as 'Dynamation' for publicity purposes, was in many ways the opposite favored by O'Brien.

Rather than placing rear-projected actors into a miniature environment, Harryhausen used rear-projection to place his animated characters into real environments containing real people.

During live-action photography, performers reacted to the invisible creatures, sometimes looking at a cardboard head on a long stick as a guide. Harryhausen then studied the developed footage to figure out the movements that the animated creature should make in relation to the actors and their environment.

Sidebar: I can certainly applaud Ray for coming up with this new method of shooting his stop-motion animation scenes. Without it, he (and producer & collaborator Charles Schneer) may have never been able to produce their marvelous animation movies, or at least, fewer of them.

Sidebar: Those glass matte paintings though were stunning to see. I realize that it wasn't economical to continue having such paintings on Ray's films. Also, the technical issues of the glass breaking under the intense heat of the studio lights, along with the limitation of camera movement, certainly are strikes against the use of such matte paintings.

Sidebar: But man-o-man, those mattes were gorgeous masterpieces of artwork to behold.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2022 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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I found this wonderful video that features clips from The Beast from 20,000 and several other giant monsters from the 1950s.

Enjoy!
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_________________Giant Monster Movies 50's


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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2023 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just came across some trivia about Ray that you might find as interesting as I did, especially if you're a fan of history as I am.

Ray married Diana Livingstone Bruce in 1963, his only marriage. Their only child, is daughter Vanessa Harryhausen, who is deeply involved in the Diana & Ray Harryhausen Foundation.

Vanessa, through her mom, is the great, great, great granddaughter of the famous explorer Dr. David Livingstone (1813~1873).

Dr. Livingstone was a Scottish missionary and medical doctor who was posted to Africa. He zealously fought against the slave trade while there. He crossed the Kalahari Desert in his explorations; named Victoria Falls after the queen; explored eastern and central Africa. He was obsessed with discovering the source for the Nile River, something he was unable to achieve. Mary, his wife of 17-years died of malaria.

No word was heard from Livingstone for quite some time during one of his later expeditions. In England, he was a renowned explorer and the country was alarmed at his vanishing into deepest Africa without a trace. An expedition was sent to find him, but they were not successful.

The publisher of America's newspaper, the New York Herald, decided to send reporter Henry Stanley to find Livingstone, alive or dead.

Stanley searched for three months under brutal conditions, becoming severely ill due to tropical illnesses.

On November 10, 1871 the famous meeting took place when Stanley finally did locate Dr. Livingstone. "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" was the famous quote reported as the men came face to face. This may, or may not, have happened.

The film, "Stanley and Livingstone" starring Spencer Tracy as Stanley and Cedric Hardwicke as Livingstone recounting this historical moment was released in 1939. Like most movie historical films, this one is entertaining but can be taken with more than a grain of salt. The performances are all first rate with Tracy delivering a marvelous speech to England's Geographical Society who seriously doubt his veracity.

Ironic that Ray, through his marriage to Diana, would be related to a real life adventurer & explorer. Some of Ray's movies would focus upon just such a protagonist. "Mighty Joe Young" even takes place partly in Africa.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2023 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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What a cool post, Pow! Cool

I did even know that Ray was married — nor that he had a daughter — much less that she was the great X 3 granddaughter of sir Cedric Hardwicke!

(I mean, Dr. Livingston . . . I presume.) Very Happy

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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2024 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Let's Create a Sequel!
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~ A Question for the Members: We don't know whether the Rhedosaurus was male or female. With that in mind, let's assume for a moment that it was female. So, what if the ovary of the Rhedosaurus contained several eggs at the time she died?

~ Here's what I came up with.: When the two scientist in this story — Prof. Tom Nesbitt (Paul Christian) and Lee Hunter (Paula Raymond) — learn that the Rhedosaurus was female, they would demand that the body be cut open and the eggs removed.

I Googled the question, "How many eggs did T-Rex lay at one time?" and I got this.
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Fossils of other Tyrannosaur relatives suggest that they laid elongated eggs, roughly 20 or more at a time.
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Hailed as a great scientific discovery, the foot-ball sized eggs from the Rhedosaurus are rescued and placed in an incubator located in a special newly-built facility in the Bronx Zoo, one of the largest zoos in the world. When the eggs hatch, the six young Rhedosaurus are put on display in a replica of a prehistoric environment.






As the young dinosaurs mature, a special habitat is built for them which includes a large in-door jungle environment. It's composed of a dense jungle foliage with streams of water running though it.

After its complete, droves of excited spectators pass along a raised walkway which surrounds the large, carefully landscaped "prehistoric" environment. The spectators watch the young Rhedosaurus — who are about three times the size of horses — prowl around their jungle habitat in search of the food which is provided by the attendants of this display.




I've got some ideas for this story which involve the six adolescent Rhedosaurus escaping from their compound and battling their way out of the Bronx Zoo and into the streets of New York city. But I'd rather wait and let you guys offer your own suggestions. Cool

I'm sure you've got a few. Right? Confused

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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2024 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Director Eugene Lourie said in an interview that while Fred Freiberger & Lou Morheim did hone & polish the script, it was Lourie and a third writer who drafted 80% of the screenplay for Beast. The Hollywood witch hunts were going on at that time. Lourie's writer-friend had been blacklisted by reason of association and innuendo. Out of professional courtesy, Gene would never reveal his friends name.

Lourie took his seven-year old daughter to see Beast. "Daddy, you are bad, very bad. You killed the Beast," was her reaction. Lourie thought "I knew that I would have to write a story where such a creature did not die---it just goes away." This was the seed for his later film Gorgo.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2024 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Bradbury and Harryhausen were lifelong friends. Here's what Wikipedia says on this subject in the articles for both the film and the short story by Ray Bradbury.
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The film's stop-motion animation special effects are by Ray Harryhausen. Its screenplay is based on Ray Bradbury's 1951 short story The Fog Horn, specifically the scene where a lighthouse is destroyed by the title character.

The original title of Bradbury's story was The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. It was published in The Saturday Evening Post. Meanwhile, a film with a similar theme of a prehistoric sea monster was being shot under the working title of Monster from Beneath the Sea.

Later the producers, who wished to capitalize on Bradbury's reputation and popularity, bought the rights to Bradbury's story and changed their film's title. Bradbury then changed the title of his story to The Fog Horn. The monster of the film was based on the illustration of The Saturday Evening Post.

Bradbury says that the idea for the story came from seeing the ruins of a demolished roller coaster on a Los Angeles-area beach. The ruins suggested a dinosaur skeleton. He credits this story with earning him the attention of John Huston, who engaged Bradbury to write the screenplay for the 1956 film version of Moby Dick.






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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2024 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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TCM aired this wonderful movie on July 9, 2024, and I watched it while adding posts to All Sci-Fi.

When the Beast came ashore in New York, I stop typing and sat mesmerized by the scenes of the Beast taking a bite outta the Big Apple!

In my opinion, this movie is a prime example of Harryhausen's incredible work. It's absolutely stunning.

















The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953)- Monster in New York


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