Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

Creature from the Black Lagoon is a 1954 monster horror 3-D film in black-and-white, was one of the first movies to have extensive underwater scenes and is usually counted among the classic Universal Monsters. The Creature was played by Ben Chapman when on land and by Ricou Browning underwater. It premiered in Detroit on February 12, 1954 and was released on various dates on a regional basis.

Creature from the Black Lagoon was filmed in 3-D 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 3-D movie fad had peaked in mid-1953 and was fading fast in early 1954, many audiences actually saw the film “flat”, in 2-D; typically, it was shown in 3-D 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-glassesanaglyph 3-D format, which was also used for a 1980 home video release.

The film is considered a classic of the 1950s and generated two sequels, Revenge of the Creature (1955), which was also filmed and released in 3-D in hopes of reviving the format, and The Creature Walks Among Us (1956), in 2-D. The Creature, also known as the Gill-man.

After Dr. Carl Maia finds unique skeletal remains, a group of scientists led by David Reed head down the Amazon to see if other remains can be found. They have little luck at first until they are told that further down river is the Black Lagoon where other fossils might be found. They get more than they bargained for however when they discover a living prehistoric creature – a half-man, half amphibious reptile that doesn’t take kindly to their attempts to capture him. The creature does take a liking to Kay Lawrence and kidnaps her but the scientists are soon at war with the creature when it won’t let them leave the lagoon.