“The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” was directed by Eugène “Gene” Lourié, a veteran production designer-turned-director. Lourié also worked on another sci-fi creature production for Allied Artists (the former Monogram Pictures), “The Giant Behemoth” (1959). Veteran stop-motion effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen worked on the Dynamation “Rhedosaurus” creature effects for the Lourié-Warners production of “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms.” According to the American Film Institute, this marked one of Harryhausen’s earliest feature film credits for a major studio sci-fi creature feature production. Veteran producer Jack Dietz produced the 1953 Harryhausen- Lourié-Warners “Dynamation” creature feature classic masterpiece.
The screenplay for the 1953 Harryhausen- Lourié-Warners production was written by Fred Freiberger and Lou Morheim. Freiberger and Morheim’s screenplay was inspired by veteran sci-fi author Ray Bradbury and his story for the Saturday Evening Post titled “The Monster From Beneath the Sea;” according to John M. Miller’s article on “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” for Turner Classic Movies’ website.
This will mark Sven’s second big coast-to-coast broadcast of “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” (1953) on Me-TV. He previously showcased the 1953 Harryhausen- Lourié-Warners Dynamation creature classic masterpiece back in June 2019.
Who was in the 1953 Harryhausen- Lourié-Warners Dynamation creature production of “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms?”
The players who appeared in “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” were Paula Raymond (as Lee Hunter; Raymond appeared in various film and TV productions throughout her screen career, including several episodes of Warners’ “Hawaiian Eye” TV detective series from 1959–62), Paul Christian (as Prof. Tom Nesbitt, Christian’s name was used as a pseudonym for his real name of Paul Hubschmid; Christian/Hubschmid later appeared in the title role of composer Franz Liszt in the 1954 André Haguet–Peter Berneis French-German co-production of “Hungarian Rhapsody”), young Merv Griffin (in an uncredited role as a radio announcer; the singer-actor-bandleader and 1962-86 talk show host was also known for his two popular TV game show creations; “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” counting both network and syndicated runs of Griffin’s two aforementioned game shows), young Lee Van Cleef (as Cpl. Stone; Van Cleef’s earliest film appearance was in Fred Zinnemann’s 1952 classic western masterpiece, “High Noon” opposite Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly in the role of Jack Colby; Van Cleef was known for his latter roles in Sergio Leone’s Italian-produced “spaghetti westerns” with Clint Eastwood; 1966’s “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” as Sentenza/”Angel Eyes” and 1967’s “For A Few Dollars More” as Col. Douglas Mortimer), Cecil Kellaway (as Prof. Thurgood Elson), William Woodson (in uncredited dual roles as the opening narrator and additional radio announcer), Kenneth Tobey (as Col. Jack Evans), Steve Brodie (as Sgt. Loomis), Donald Woods (as Capt. Phil Jackson), Michael Fox (as an emergency doctor), Alvin Greenman (as the first radar man; Greenman previously appeared in the role of Alfred in George Seaton’s 1947 Twentieth Century Fox Christmastime/Holiday classic masterpiece, “Miracle on 34th Street” with Maureen O’Hara, Edmund Gwenn, Natalie Wood and John Payne), Frank Ferguson (as Dr. Morton), Paula “Mary” Hill (as Miss Ryan), Ray Hyke (as Sgt. Willistead), Jack Pennick (as Jacob Bowman) Ross Elliott (as George Ritchie) and King Donovan (as Dr. Ingersoll).
Ray Bradbury’s “surprise” script meeting with Dietz and Harryhausen
According to Ray Bradbury’s accounts in Richard Schickel’s retrospective documentary on Ray Harryhausen’s Dynamation productions, “The Harryhausen Chronicles” (1998); the science-fiction author recalled that he had a meeting with Harryhausen and Jack Dietz. Dietz asked Bradbury if he could re-write Fred Freiberger and Lou Morheim’s screeplay for “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms.” Bradbury finally realized that Freiberger and Morheim’s screenplay was similar to his Saturday Evening Post creature story. Dietz was stunned and later bought the screen rights to Bradbury’s original story in order to film of “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms.”
Stop-motion cinematography equipment was previously used in an earlier creature classic masterpiece that Harryhausen worked on
Jack Dietz purchased stop-motion camera equipment and a rear-projection system for Ray Harryhausen to work on the 1953 Warners Dynamation stop-motion creature sequences; according to additional details from John M. Miller’s TCM online article.
It was reported that the stop-motion photographic equipment was previously used for the John Ford–Willis H. O’Brien–Ernest B. Schoedsack–Merian C. Cooper stop-motion creature classic masterpiece for RKO Radio Pictures, “Mighty Joe Young” (1949). Harryhausen worked with O’Brien as a lead special effects technician on “Mighty Joe Young,” according to IMDB.
Warners’ tie-in promotions of “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” in Cincinnati and Denver
According to a 1953 Film Bulletin article on the Ray Harryhausen-Eugène Lourié-Warner Bros. production of “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms;” veteran studio production executive Mort Blumenstock decided to promote the feature with tie-in contest campaigns in Cincinnati and Denver. A “Name the Beast” tie-in contest was presented in conjunction with Cincinnati, Ohio TV station (and future Me-TV affiliate) WLWT for the screening of the 1953 Harryhausen- Lourié-Warners feature at the now-defunct RKO-Albee Theater.
For the promotion of “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” at the now-defunct Orpheum Theater in Denver, Colorado; enlarged newspaper article displays on “sea monsters” were presented to interest theatergoers to see Harryhausen- Lourié-Warners production on the big screen along with a freezer giveaway contest.
Be sure to watch Svengoolie’s big broadcast of Ray Harryhausen and Eugène Lourié’s “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” (1953), this Sat. on Me-TV!
Original 1953 Warner Bros. theatrical trailer for “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” (w/ brief cameo on-camera theatrical trailer commentary appearances of Vera Miles, Paul Picerni and young Merv Griffin; according to IMDB).
With Ray Harryhausen’s famous Dynamation “Rhedosaurus” creature, along with Paula Raymond, Paul Christian/ Hubschmid, young Merv Griffin, young Lee Van Cleef, Cecil Kellaway, William Woodson, Kenneth Tobey, Steve Brodie, Donald Woods, Michael Fox, Alvin Greenman, King Donovan, Frank Ferguson, Paula “Mary” Hill, Ross Elliott, Jack Pennick, Ross Elliot; along with Sven’s additional fun facts, Doug Graves’ parody song and Kerwyn’s “mail call” segment; you will not want to miss out on Svengoolie’s big broadcast of “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” (1953); this Sat. on Me-TV! A perfect end-of-the year classic cinematic masterpiece treat for all fellow super SvenPals everywhere with the magic of Sven and Harryhausen! You will not be disappointed! Highly recommended!
In order of the Dec. calendar of Holiday observances: Happy (belated) Winter Solstice, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Festivus, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy New Year, Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays to the entire crowd of fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals everywhere from the writer/author of “Silver Screen Reflections!” Here’s to many more Sven Sat. big Berwyn broadcasts of classic monster/horror/sci-fi feature film masterpieces and Berwyn adventures throughout 2020 and beyond! –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 (via Twitter) from coast-to-coast during Sven’s big Me-TV broadcast of “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” (1953)!
A seasonal surprise for all fellow super SvenPals to see in the Christmas-Holiday edition of “Kerwyn’s Corner” video segment! At the 1:42 mark, my Christmas/Holiday “Kris-Moose” Santa & moose card for Sven, Kerwyn and the entire crowd of fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals from coast-to-coast was featured in Kerwyn’s online video segment on the official Sven/Me-TV website! And around the 0:35 mark, a Christmas card from actor/frequent Sven guest and author of Dark Horse Comics’ “Count Crowley” horror host comic book series; David Dastmalchian! A big thank you to Sventa/Sven, Kerwyn and the Sven production team for featuring my card in the Christmas Holiday/2019 edition of “Kerwyn’s Corner!” Glad you all enjoyed the “Kris-Moose” card! Season’s Greetings/Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays/Happy New Year to Sven, Kerwyn, Doug, the entire Sven/Me-TV production team and the entire crowd of fellow super SvenPals everywhere! Keep up the wonderful & excellent work! Here’s to many more Berwyn big broadcast adventures and classic horror/monster/sci-fi feature masterpieces for the remainder of the year (with “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” for this Sat.) in 2020 and beyond! Three cheers & two thumbs up! –C.H.
Extra! Extra! Extra! Fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals of Berwyn/Chicago and beyond!
Sven will be returning to the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) event for an upcoming appearance Feb. 2020! According to Sven’s official Twitter site and the official C2E2 Twitter site, Svengoolie will be making an appearance at the 2020 Chicago Comic and Entertainment Exposition (C2E2) on Sat., Feb. 29 at 12:30 p.m. (local time) in room S504 (at the South Building at McCormick Place; 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60601)! Note: According to the official C2E2 Twitter site, purchase your entry badges before Sun., Dec. 29 for advanced mailing to skip “will call.” Additional ticket/badge information is available on the official C2E2 site. Stay tuned for more information from Sven’s official social media sites, the social media site of C2E2 and the weekly “Silver Screen Reflections” for Sven/C2E2 updates. –C.H.
Wait, there’s more! Sven/Mr. Rich Koz’s upcoming May 2020 appearance for the 50th anniversary of Chicago’s classic radio program, “Those Were the Days!” Early bird tickets are still available for the upcoming May 2, 2020 WDCB “Those Were the Days” 50th anniversary big Chicago vintage radio broadcast celebration with appearances by Sven’s alter-ego, Mr. Rich Koz; current “Those Were the Days” host and “Nostalgia Digest” publisher Steve Darnall, original “Those Were The Days” host Chuck Schaden, Trace Beaulieu of MST3K and “The Mads!” fame, Kevin Murphy of MST3K and “RiffTrax” fame, actress Patty McCormack of “The Bad Seed” fame; “Those Were the Days” announcer Ken Alexander, actor/writer Scott Lowell of Binge Networks’ “Adoptable” fame, Tim Kazurinsky of “Saturday Night Live” fame (1981-85) and live music by the Dooley Brothers and the West End Jazz Band! Discount early bird tickets can be still purchased through WDCB’s official website and/or the official Eventbrite platform! Purchase your “early bird” tickets today before time runs out (again, the “Early Bird” online ticket offer is good from now until New Year’s Eve/Dec. 31, 2019)! Note: Ticket prices range from $45-$50. The 50th anniversary celebration event of “Those Were the Days” 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)!
And to the entire crowd of fellow super SvenPals of Berwyn/Chicago, Illinois and beyond who are attending Sven’s upcoming appearance at the C2E2 2020 event and 50th celebration big broadcast of “Those Were the Days” on May 2, 2020; have fun seeing Sven/Mr. Rich Koz in-person at C2E2 and 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 during the event! –C.H.
Extra! Extra! Extra! Cameo mentions of fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals!
Extra! Extra! Extra! Fellow super Svengoolie SvenPal David Fuentes published his recent “Terror From Beyond the Dave” blog article on the second installment of highlights from the Oct. 2019 “Nightmare on Chicago Street” festival in Elgin, Illinois featuring highlights of Svengoolie/Mr. Rich Koz and a cameo appearance by Chicago’s “king of geeks” Elliott Serrano during Sven’s judging of the 2019 “Nightmare on Chicago Street” costume contest including the City of Elgin’s proclamation for Sven/Mr. Rich Koz’s 40th anniversary in television broadcasting in the Berwyn/Elgin/Chicago airlanes with a “key to the city” and a commemorative Sven/Mr. Rich Koz 40th anniversary wrestling belt for Sven/Mr. Rich Koz!
Congratulations to David, Sven/Mr. Rich Koz, Elliott, the entire “Nightmare On Chicago Street” crowd of costume contestants/winners & the entire crowd of fellow super SvenPals who attended the 2019 “Nightmare on Chicago Street” Elgin festival from the entire crowd of fellow super SvenPals from coast-to-coast! Looking forward to more “Terror From Beyond the Dave” adventures throughout 2020 and beyond, David! All of us are proud of you and we’re all jumping for joy! Keep up the wonderful & excellent work! Season’s Greetings/Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays/Happy New Year, kudos, peace, three cheers, two thumbs up, & “Hi-Keeba” from the entire crowd of fellow super SvenPals everywhere! –C.H.
Extra! Extra! Extra! Fellow super Svengoolie SvenPal Jamie Lee will be appearing with the Fox River Trolley Museum players as the narrator for the museum’s finale week of the Fox River Trolley Museum-South Elgin Holiday/Christmas-themed family trolley ride rendition event of “The Polar Express” (adapted from Chris Van Allsburg‘s book and the 2004 Robert Zemeckis–Tom Hanks–Warner Bros. CGI film adaptation)! Jamie and the Fox River Museum players’ finale week of “The Polar Express” will occur Christmas eve/Tue., Dec. 24 (at at 3:15 p.m., 4:25 p.m., 5:35 p.m. and 6:45 p.m.; all times are local and all tickets are $50 per person), Sat., Dec. 28 (at 3:15 p.m., 4:25 p.m., 5:35 p.m. and 6:45 p.m.; all times are local and all tickets are $35 per person) and the Fox River finale edition of “The Polar Express” on Sun., Dec. 29 (t 3:15 p.m., 4:25 p.m., 5:35 p.m. and 6:45 p.m.; all times are local and all tickets are $35 per person)! The Fox River South Elgin trolley shows of “The Polar Express” will depart from and will return to the Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve (35W003 IL Route 31, South Elgin, Illinois 60177)! There will be caroling, sing-along sessions, music, professional musicians, treats of hot chocolate and cookies, an appearance by Santa Claus at the “North Pole” trolley stop and much, much more! Purchase your tickets today for the finale this week before time runs out!
Extra! Extra! Extra! Fellow super SvenPal Jamie Lee’sSat. morning radio program, “Jammin’ with Jamie” will be returning to the airlanes of Northwestern University/WNUR this Sat., Dec. 28! Ring in the remainder of the season with Jamie’s upcoming Sat. big broadcast jam session cavalcade/serenade of extra Holiday jams with a twist! Jamie’s live “Jammin’ with Jamie” big jam session broadcast cavalcade of extra Holiday tunes will air this upcoming Sat., Dec. 28 at 6 a.m. Central/7 a.m. Eastern on the airlanes of WNUR-FM 89.3 in the greater Berwyn/Chicago/Evanston, Illinois listening region; from coast-to-coast, around the world and throughout the galaxy on WNUR.org and on the TuneIn platform! If you have a favorite Holiday tune request to add to Jamie’s portfolio of Holiday jams for her upcoming big broadcast Holiday jam session cavalcade/serenade for Sat., Dec. 28; be sure to send your request nomination to Jamie’s official Twitter site or Jamie’s official website before her big broadcast jam session cavalcade of extra Holiday jams with a twist on Sat., Dec. 28!
The entire crowd of fellow super jammers & fellow super SvenPals everywhere are cheering and applauding for Jamie & the entire Fox River Trolley Museum players on their Dec. South Elgin trolley ride production/narrations of “The Polar Express” for their finale week! All of us proud of you! And the entire crowd of fellow super jammers and fellow super SvenPals everywhere are looking forward to your “Jammin’ with Jamie” big broadcast jam session serenade/cavalcade of etra Holiday jams this Sat. on the WNUR.org airlanes! Keep up the wonderful and excellent work! Season’s Greetings/Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas, three cheers, two thumbs up, kudos, peace, “Hi-Keeba” and “keep on jammin’,” Jamie and the entire crowd of fellow super jammers, fellow super SvenPals and to the entire Fox River Trolley Museum troupe everywhere! -C.H.
Also be sure to give generously/spread the word to help one of Jamie’s friends from the PM&L players through her friend’s official “GoFundMe” site (to help offset costly 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 Bros. Home Entertainment and their “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 multi-feature sci-fi anthology DVD 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 Warners via participating streaming and video-on-demand service providers.
Questions/comments about “Svengoolie” and/or his big broadcast of the Ray Harryhausen-Eugène Lourié-Warner Bros. production of “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” (1953)? Drop a line in the comments section!
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