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 Creature from the Black Lagoon
(1954) on IMDb

Creature from the Black Lagoon

Not since the beginning of time has the world beheld terror like this!

Creature from the Black Lagoon
Theatrical release poster
by Reynold Brown

Creature from the Black Lagoon is a 1954 American black-and-white 3D monster horror film from Universal-International, produced by William Alland, directed by Jack Arnold, that stars Richard CarlsonJulia AdamsRichard DenningAntonio MorenoNestor Paiva and Whit Bissell. The Creature was played by Ben Chapman on land and by Ricou Browning underwater. The film premiered in Detroit on February 12 and was released on a regional basis, opening on various dates.

Creature from the Black Lagoon was filmed in 3D and originally projected by the polarized light method. The audience wore viewers with gray polarizing filters, similar to the viewers most commonly used today. Because the brief 1950s 3D film fad had peaked in mid-1953 and was fading fast in early 1954, many audiences actually saw the film “flat”, in 2D. Typically, the film was shown in 3D in large downtown theaters and flat in smaller neighborhood theaters. In 1975 Creature from the Black Lagoon was re-released to theaters in the inferior red-and-blue-glasses anaglyph 3D format, which was also used for a 1980 home video release on Beta and VHS videocassettes.

For marketing reasons, a comedic appearance with Abbott and Costello on an episode of The Colgate Comedy Hour aired prior to the film’s release. The appearance is commonly known as Abbott and Costello Meet the Creature from the Black LagoonBen Chapman reprised his role as the Gill-Man for the program.

Creature from the Black Lagoon generated two sequels: Revenge of the Creature (1955), which was also filmed and released in 3D in hopes of reviving the format, and The Creature Walks Among Us (1956), filmed in 2D. The Creature, also known as the Gill-Man, is usually counted among the classic Universal Monsters.

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