Original 1953 Warner Bros. theatrical trailer for “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” (w/ brief cameo trailer commentary appearances of Vera Miles, Paul Picerni and singer/future talk show host/game show creator Merv Griffin; according to IMDB).
The legendary Berwyn/Chicago-based sci-fi creature film host will present his big broadcast premiere of “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” (1953); this Sat., June 22 at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central on Me-TV.
The 1953 Warner Bros. sci-fi creature classic was directed by production designer-turned-director Eugène “Gene” Lourié. Lourié also worked on Allied Artists’ sci-fi creature feature, “The Giant Behemoth” (1959). The stop-motion creature effects were created by “Dynamation” visual effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen. This was one of the first major studio stop-motion sci-fi creature productions where Harryhausen received screen credit, according to the American Film Institute. The feature was produced by veteran producer Jack Dietz.
The screenplay for “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” was written by Fred Freiberger and Lou Morheim. Freiberger and Morheim’s screenplay was inspired by a story written science fiction writer Ray Bradbury for the Saturday Evening Post; according to John M. Miller’s article on “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” for Turner Classic Movies.
Who was in “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” (1953)?
The players who appeared in “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” were Paula Raymond (as Lee Hunter), Paul Christian (as Prof. Tom Nesbitt, Christian’s name was used as a pseudonym for Paul Hubschmid), young Lee Van Cleef (as Cpl. Stone), William Woodson (in uncredited dual roles as the opening narrator and radio announcer), Cecil Kellaway (as Prof. Thurgood Elson), Kenneth Tobey (as Col. Jack Evans), Donald Woods (as Capt. Phil Jackson), Steve Brodie (as Sgt. Loomis), Michael Fox (as an emergency doctor), Alvin Greenman (as the first radar man), Frank Ferguson (as Dr. Morton), King Donovan (as Dr. Ingersoll), Paula “Mary” Hill (as Miss Ryan), Ray Hyke (as Sgt. Willistead), Jack Pennick (as Jacob Bowman) and Ross Elliott (as George Ritchie).
Paula Raymond appeared in numerous film and TV programs throughout her acting career, including several episodes of Warners’ TV detective series; “Hawaiian Eye” (1959–62). Paul Christian/Hubschmid later appeared in the role of composer Franz Liszt in the André Haguet–Peter Berneis French-German co-production of “Hungarian Rhapsody” (1954).
Lee Van Cleef’s earliest film appearance was in Fred Zinnemann’s “High Noon” (1952, with Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly) in the role of villain Jack Colby. He would be known for his roles in Sergio Leone’s Italian-produced “spaghetti westerns” with Clint Eastwood; “For A Few Dollars More” (filmed in 1965, released in 1967; as Col. Douglas Mortimer) and “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (1966, as Angel Eyes, a.k.a. “Sentenza”).
Original working title for “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms”
According to additional details from the American Film Institute, the original working title for the Harryhausen- Lourié-Warner Bros. creature production was “The Monster from Beneath the Sea.”
Harryhausen’s “Rhedosaurus” Dynamation creature
Ray Harryhausen’s Dinosaur-style “Rhedosaurus” creature creation for Warners’ “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” was inspired from one of his earliest homemade short films according to Richard Schickel’s documentary, “The Harryhausen Chronicles” (1998). Harryhausen’s “Dynamation” process for the “Rhedosaurus” stop-motion creature involved a careful split-screen technique to blend his stop-motion figure design with live-action footage (frame-by-frame with rear-projection) along with the usage of matte and glass pane-based cinematography elements; according to additional information from John M. Miller’s TCM article. A makeshift “Dynamation” studio for Harryhausen was set up in a vacant store in Culver City, California.
Original theatrical release prints of “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms”
According to additional details from Miller’s TCM article, Warners’ first 500 theatrical release prints of “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” were processed with a sepiatone tint. According to IMDB, the underwater sequences in some of the original release prints of the Harryhausen-Lourié-Warner Bros. creature production were processed with a green tint.
Be sure to watch/record Svengoolie’s big broadcast premiere of “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” (1953), this Sat. on Me-TV!
With Ray Harryhausen’s famous “Rhedosaurus” Dynamation creature, along with Paula Raymond, Paul Christian/ Hubschmid, Lee Van Cleef, William Woodson, Cecil Kellaway, Kenneth Tobey, Donald Woods, Steve Brodie, Michael Fox, Frank Ferguson, Alvin Greenman, King Donovan, Paula “Mary” Hill, Jack Pennick and Ross Elliot; you will not want to miss out on Svengoolie’s big broadcast premiere of “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms” (1953), this Sat. on Me-TV! A classic creature masterpiece for all fellow super SvenPals everywhere with Sven’s additional fun facts, Doug Graves’ parody tune and Kerwyn’s “mail call” segment! You will not be disappointed! Highly recommended!
In the Frederick, Maryland/Washington, D.C. area: WTTG-5.3/Cable 196/FiOS 489/Antietam Cable 194 (also on QAM digital 68.6 for Antietam cable subscribers)
In the Baltimore, Maryland area: WBAL-TV 11.2/Cable 208/FiOS 460
In the Hanover/Gettysburg/York, Pennsylvania area: WGAL-TV 8.2/Cable 248/FiOS 460
Live-tweet with all fellow super #Svengoolie SvenPals everywhere this Sat. during Sven’s big broadcast premiere of “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” (1953) on the Me-TV airlanes (via Twitter)!
A (Son of) Sven “Flashback!”
Official Svengoolie online store sale (from now until June 23) for Sven’s 40th anniversary!
To quote Sven: “I have a store?” In commemoration of Svengoolie’s 40th anniversary in television, Me-TV has recently announced that all items in Sven’s official online store are on sale (official Sven apparel/T-shirts/hoodies/long-sleeved shirts, buttons, the “It Came from Berwyn” poster, Sven magnets, including the recent addition of classic Universal Studios monsters T-shirts)! Be sure to enter the coupon code “SVEN40” at checkout (offer good until Sun., June 23) to receive 15% off the original price! Makes a perfect present/gift! And to quote the official Sven online store motto, “no personal checks!”
Berwyn’s very own with Chicago’s very own!
Sven and his alter-ego, Rich Koz and Sven’s executive producer; Jim Roche’s recent appearance on the June 16 edition WGN Radio’s “Dave Plier Show” to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Sven on television and Me-TV’s recent Summer addition of the classic Columbia “Three Stooges” comedy shorts!
Cameo mentions of fellow super SvenPals!
(Begins around the 0:12 mark)! Extra! Extra! Extra! During Sven’s 40th anniversary big broadcast and his big broadcast premiere of the Nathan H. Juran (Hertz)-Allied Artists sci-fi classic, “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman” (1958); fellow super SvenPals jumped for joy as they recognized a Sven 40th anniversary “Doodly” artwork piece designed by fellow super Svengoolie SvenPal and Chicago-based graphic designer/photographer/artist Nanette Keir during Sven & Kerwyn’s June 15 “mail call” segment! Congratulations to Nanette from the entire crowd of fellow coast-to-coast super Svengoolie SvenPals on your Sven 40th anniversary “Doodly” artwork being showcased on Sven and Kerwyn’s “mail call!” Keep up the excellent work! Three cheers and two thumbs up! Kudos, peace and “Hi-Keeba” from the entire crowd of fellow super SvenPals everywhere! –C.H.
Fellow super Svengoolie SvenPal David Fuentes’ “Terror From Beyond the Dave” in-depth 40th anniversary retrospective on Svengoolie (and Sven’s alter-ego, Mr. Rich Koz), along with David’s eyewitness scrapbook of Sven (you may recognize several fellow super SvenPals in some of the Sven photos)! Congratulations, David from the entire coast-to-coast crowd of fellow super SvenPals everywhere! Keep up the excellent work! Two thumbs up and three cheers! Peace, kudos and “Hi-Keeba” from all of us! -C.H.
Extra! Extra! Extra! Fellow super Svengoolie SvenPal Jamie Lee has recently announced an Indiegogo-based campaign for an upcoming local Chicago/Berwyn/Lake Villa, Illinois theatrical stage rendition of Reduced Shakespeare Company (Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield)’s “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)!” A collaboration between the acting trio troupe of Jamie Lee, Dean Griffiths and Tara Petrozelli; the upcoming Chicago/Berwyn/Lake Villa production of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” will be directed by Jim Behr and will take place in July 2019 at the Terminus Theatre complex (121 Grand Ave., Lake Villa, IL, 60046)! Jamie and the Terminus players are looking for funding for their upcoming stage productions, support the local Chicago/Berwyn/Lake Villa performing arts scene and Jamie and the Terminus plaers’ productions via Indiegogo before the July deadline; several premiums/“perks” are available for certain funding levels! Any amount helps for the production(s)! Congratulations to Jamie, Dean, Tara and Jim on their upcoming Terminus edition of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” from the entire crowd of fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals from coast-to-coast! Three cheers and two thumbs up! Keep up the excellent work and we’re all ensuring that this will be a major success! Be sure to help fund the production via Indiegogo/spread the word! Kudos, peace and “Hi-Keeba!” –C.H.
And be sure to give generously /spread the word to help one of Jamie’s friends from the PM&L ensemble through her friend’s official “GoFundMe” site (to help offset expensive health costs)! Any amount helps! –C.H.
In connection to “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” (1953):
“The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” (1953) is available on Blu-Ray as part of Warner Home Video’s classic multi-film sci-fi creature feature Blu-Ray anthology set, “Special Effects Collection” (containing RKO Radio Pictures’ “Son of Kong,” “Mighty Joe Young” and Warner Bros.’ “Them!”). The film is also available on DVD through Warner Home Video’s “Warner Archive” line of classic and rare Warner Bros./Warner-owned features/TV series. “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” is also available in Warners’ classic sci-fi multi-film anthology DVD compilation set, “Silver Screen Icons: Sci-Fi Adventures” (with Warner Bros.’ “Them!,” “Satellite in the Sky” and Allied Artists’ “World Without End”). The film is also available for streaming from Warner Bros. through participating streaming and video-on-demand providers.
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