“Creature From the Black Lagoon” (1954) was directed by veteran studio director Jack Arnold. In addition to directing the 1955 Universal “Creature” sequel, “Revenge of the Creature” (1955); Arnold’s additional studio productions include “It Came from Outer Space” (1953, Universal’s first 3-D feature); “Tarantula” (1955), “The Incredible Shrinking Man” (1957) and “Monster on the Campus” (1958). “Creature From the Black Lagoon” (1954) was produced by veteran actor-turned-producer William Alland (13 years earlier, Alland played the role of Jerry Thompson in Orson Welles’ critically-acclaimed RKO-Mercury Players screen drama masterpiece, “Citizen Kane” in 1941).
After “Creature From the Black Lagoon” (1954) and “Revenge of the Creature” (1955); Universal’s final “Creature” trilogy film was “The Creature Walks Among Us” (1956). Jack Arnold did not direct the third Universal “Creature” monster feature. John Sherwood directed the studio’s 1956 “Creature” finale installment.
This will mark Sven’s eighth big coast-to-coast broadcast of “Creature from the Black Lagoon” (1954) on Me-TV. He previously showcased Arnold’s 1954 Universal monster-creature classic masterpiece back in April 2011*, May 2012* (according to fellow super SvenPal David Fuentes’ official “Terror From Beyond the Dave” YouTube site and Edward Reed’s “Svengoolie Fan Club” forum site), July 2014, Nov. 2015, July 2017, Dec. 2018 and Feb.2019 (Sven’s Feb. 2019 big broadcast of “Creature From the Black Lagoon” was dedicated to the memory of Julie Adams; Adams died on Feb. 3, 2019).
Who was in Jack Arnold’s “Creature From the Black Lagoon” (1954)?
The players who appeared in Arnold’s 1954 Universal production of “Creature From the Black Lagoon” were Julie Adams (as Kay Lawrence, Adams was credited under the name of “Julia Adams;” she later appeared in Arthur Lubin’s 1955 Universal “Francis the Talking Mule” comedy with Chill Wills and Donald O’Connor, “Francis Joins the WACS”), Ricou Browning (who appeared in an uncredited role in the “Creature” costume for underwater sequences, he appeared as the “Creature” for underwater scenes throughout the entire Universal “Creature” trilogy), Ben Chapman (who appeared in an uncredited role in the “Creature” costume for land sequences), Richard Carlson (as David Reed, Carlson previously appeared in Arnold’s 1953 Universal sci-fi feature; “It Came From Outer Space”), Richard Denning (as Mark Williams), Antonio Moreno (as Carl Maia), Nestor Paiva (as Lucas, Paiva later appeared in Virgil Vogel’s 1956 Universal sci-fi monster production of “The Mole People” with Hugh Beaumont and Alan Napier), Bernie Gozier (as Zee), Henry A. Escalante (as Chico, Escalante received screen credit under the name of “Henry Escalante”) and Whit Bissell (as Dr. Thompson).
Clifford Stine and Charles “Scotty” Welbourne’s underwater 3-D camera system for “Creature From the Black Lagoon”
According to Bob Furmanek’s 3-D Film Archive and information from the 2000 Universal DVD retrospective featurette, “Back to the Black Lagoon: A Creature Chronicle;” veteran studio cinematographers Clifford Stine and Charles “Scotty” Welbourne developed a lightweight waterproof camera rig compartment utilizing two Arriflex 35mm cameras for the polarized 3-D process. Though studio officials were reluctant about Stine and Welbourne’s plan, their underwater 3-D dual-camera rig was used for the underwater sequences for “Creature From the Black Lagoon” on location in Wakulla Springs, Florida.
Julie Adams and the “Creature” featured in Life Magazine
According to the 1954 issue of Film Bulletin, Julie Adams and the “Creature” (portrayed by Ben Chapman) were both featured in the April 19, 1954 edition of Life Magazine. Under the title of “Julia (Julie) in Jeopardy,” Life Magazine’s editors compared Julie’s appearance in the 1954 Universal-Jack Arnold production of “Creature From the Black Lagoon” to Pearl White’s past appearances in the vintage silent cinema serial adventure series; “The Perils of Pauline” (1914). The three-page Life Magazine segment on Julie Adams also contained photos of her other Universal film appearances.
Limitations of the original Universal “Creature” mask and costume design
The original “Creature” mask and costume designs for Jack Arnold’s 1954 Universal production of “Creature From the Black Lagoon,” which was designed by veteran studio make-up artists Millicent Patrick, Jack Kevan, Bud Westmore and Chris Mueller; according to IMDB.
During the confrontation sequence between Ben Chapman (as the Creature on land) and Bernie Gozier (as Zee), Chapman was nearly injured when Gozier struck the blade on Chapman’s “Creature” helmet/mask. According to Jeff Stafford’s article on the 1954 classic Universal “Creature” monster masterpiece for Turner Classic Movies’ website, Gozier’s blade was dull and Chapman’s helmet was not punctured.
It was also reported that Ricou Browning barely had any visibility seeing through the “Creature” mask during the underwater sequences during filming of Jack Arnold’s 1954 production (according to additional details from Stafford’s TCM article). A stunt diver had to supply Browning with an oxygen hose after holding his breath for more than five minutes throughout takes. For Browning’s underwater sequences in the latter two Universal “Creature” monster installments, the costume was modified for adequate airflow for his scenes; according to additional details from IMDB.
The source orchestral music score and iconic source orchestral “stinger” for Jack Arnold’s 1954 classic Universal monster masterpiece
According to IMDB’s trivia section and additional information from Universal’s “Back to the Black Lagoon: A Creature Chronicle” featurette, veteran studio composer Herman Stein composed the source orchestral score and the source orchestra stinger for Jack Arnold’s production of “Creature From the Black Lagoon.” Additional elements were composed by veteran Universal composer Hans J. Salter and future film and TV show music composer Henry Mancini, along with elements from Universal Studios’ stock source orchestral music library.
Be sure to watch/record Svengoolie’s big broadcast of “Creature From the Black Lagoon” (1954), this Sat. on Me-TV!
With Julie Adams, Ricou Browning, Ben Chapman, Richard Carlson, Richard Denning, Antonio Moreno, Nestor Paiva, Bernie Gozier, Henry A. Escalante and Whit Bissell; along with Clifford Stine and Charles “Scotty” Welbourne’s underwater cinematography, the famed “Creature” make-up/mask/costume design of Millicent Patrick, Jack Kevan, Bud Westmore and Chris Mueller; along with the orchestral score of Herman Stein, Hans J. Salter and young Henry Mancini; you will not want to miss out on Svengoolie’s big broadcast of “Creature From the Black Lagoon” (1954), this Sat. on Me-TV!
Be sure to watch Sven’s big broadcast of Jack Arnold’s Universal classic “Creature” monster masterpiece with Sven’s extended fun facts, Doug Graves’ parody song and Kerwyn’s “mail call” segment! You will not be disappointed! Highly recommended to all fellow super SvenPals and Universal monster aficionados everywhere!
*Before Me-TV came into the Washington/Frederick area (Me-TV came into the Washington/Frederick broadcast region in early 2013; originally on WJLA-TV and then moved to Fox O&O WTTG-5 in March 2017). -C.H.
Happy early Thanksgiving/Turkey Day to the entire crowd of fellow super SvenPals from the writer/author of “Silver Screen Reflections!” -C.H.
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 from coast-to-coast via Twitter this Sat. during Sven’s big Me-TV broadcast of “Creature From the Black Lagoon” (1954)!
Flashback “Silver Screen Reflections” articles on Svengoolie’s big broadcasts of “Creature From the Black Lagoon” (1954) from July 2017, Dec. 2018 and Feb. 2019 (the Feb. 2019 “Silver Screen Reflections” article on Sven’s big broadcast of “Creature From the Black Lagoon” was published in memory of Julie Adams).
Extra! Extra! Extra! Wed., Nov. 20 will mark the finale of DC Comics’ “Svengoolie Meets the DC Universe” insert series with installment #4 of the Sven-DC Universe crossover! Again, the fourth/finale Sven-DC Universe insert will be available this Wed., (Nov. 20) in most issues of your favorite DC Comics superhero publications at your favorite local comic book store, book retailer and/or supermarket from coast-to-coast!
Extra! Extra! Extra! Fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals of Berwyn/Chicago and beyond!
According to the official Twitter site of Steve Darnall (of “Nostalgia Digest” fame and host of WDCB-FM’s “Those Were the Days” Chicago-based classic old-time radio show broadcast) , Svengoolie’s alter-ego; Mr. Rich Koz will be making an appearance in May 2020 for the upcoming 50th anniversary big broadcast of “Those Were the Days!”
According to Darnall’s official Nostalgia Digest site, additional celebrities will also be on hand in addition to Sven/Mr. Rich Koz for the 50th anniversary of “Those Were the Days;” including “Mystery Science Theater 3000” MST3K alums Trace Beaulieu (currently of “The Mads!” fame) and Kevin Murphy (currently of “RiffTrax” fame); original host/founder of “Those Were the Days” Chuck Schaden, “Those Were the Days” announcer Ken Alexander, stage/film/TV players Patty McCormack, Scott Lowell, writer Tim Kazurinsky and live music performances by the Dooley Brothers and the West End Jazz Band! The 50th anniversary “Those Were the Days” celebration event will occur on Sat., May 2, 2020 at the Irish American Heritage Center (4626 N. Knox Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60630) from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. (local time)! ***Extra! Extra! Extra! Update*** (Nov. 21): “Early Bird” tickets are available for purchase (through the Eventbrite online ticketing platform) and through wdcb.org! Tickets are selling fast, purchase yours today! To the entire crowd of fellow super SvenPals of Berwyn/Chicago, Illinois and beyond who are attending the upcoming May 2020 50th big broadcast celebration of “Those Were the Days,” have fun seeing Sven/Mr. Rich Koz, Trace Beaulieu, Kevin Murphy, Steve Darnall, Chuck Schaden, Patty McCormack, Ken Alexander, Scott Lowell, Tim Kazurinsky the West End Jazz Band and the Dooleys in person! –C.H.
Cameo mention of a fellow super Svengoolie SvenPal!
***Extra! Extra! Extra! Update*** (Nov. 20): According to an official update from fellow super Svengoolie SvenPal Jamie Lee, the upcoming “Jammin’ with Jamie” big broadcast jam session on the airlanes of Northwestern University Radio/WNUR-FM 89.3 in the greater Evanston-Berwyn-Chicago, Illinois listening area and WNUR.org from coast-to-coast/around the world and throughout the galaxy will be postponed due to WNUR’s “Sports-A-Thon” sports programming fundraiser. Have no fear, fellow super jammers and fellow super SvenPals from coast-to-coast! Jamie’s “Jammin’ with Jamie” big broadcast jam session cavalcade will return to the big broadcast airlanes of WNUR-FM 89.3/WNUR.org on Sat., Nov. 30 at 6 a.m. Central/7 a.m. Eastern! Mark your calendars and synchronize your watches, fellow super jammers and fellow super SvenPals of Jamie’s “Jammin’ with Jamie” big broadcast jam session cavalcade! Happy early Thanksgiving/Turkey Day to Jamie and the entire crowd of fellow super jammers everywhere! The entire crowd of fellow super SvenPals and fellow super jammers are looking forward to the big broadcast return of “Jammin’ with Jamie” on the airlanes of WNUR.org on Nov. 30! Again, keep up the excellent and wonderful work! We’re all proud of you! Three cheers, congrats, two thumbs up, kudos, peace & “Hi-Keeba” to Jamie & the entire crowd of fellow jammers and fellow super SvenPals everywhere, Jamie! -C.H.
Also be sure to give generously /spread the word to help one of Jamie’s friends from the PM&L players troupe through her friend’s official “GoFundMe” site (to help offset expensive health costs)! –C.H.
In relation to Jack Arnold’s Creature From the Black Lagoon” (1954):
Film preservationist Bob Furmanek’s extensive 3-D Film Archive article on the original 1954 Universal Studios 3-D exhibition/3-D theatrical release of “Creature From the Black Lagoon” and Furmanek’s 3-D restoration of the 1954 classic Universal monster masterpiece.
“Creature From the Black Lagoon” (1954) is also available on Blu-Ray (with the “flat” and 3D versions for 3D Blu-Ray players/3D HDTV sets) and DVD from Universal. The film is also available as part of Universal’s “Creature from the Black Lagoon: The Complete Legacy Collection” Blu-Ray and DVD film trilogy set and in Universal’s “Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection“(“Universal Monsters: The Essential Collection“) Blu-Ray anthology film compilation set. “Creature from the Black Lagoon” is also available in Universal’s “Classic Monsters Spotlight Collection” DVD compilation set. The 1954 Universal classic monster masterpiece is also available for streaming through participating streaming/video-on-demand providers.
Note: The author of “Silver Screen Reflections” does not endorse any advertisers on WordPress’ site platform.