Cast: David Reed Richard Carlson Kay Lawrence Julia Adams Mark Williams Richard Denning Carl Maia Antonio Moreno Lucas Nestor Paiva Edwin Thompson Whit Bissell Zee Bernie Gozier Chico Henry Escalante Gill Man (underwater) Ricou Browning Gill Man (out of water) Ben Chapman Tomas Perry Lopez Dr. Matos Sydney Mason Louis Rodd Redwing (Uncredited) Ned Le Fevre
Directed by Jack Arnold; Screenplay by Harry Essex and Arthur A. Ross; Story by Maurice Zimm; Produced by William Alland; Music by Robert Emmett Dolan, Henry Mancini, Milton Rosen, Hans J. Salter and Herman Stein; Cinematography by William E. Snyder; Underwater Cinematography by Charles S. Welbourne; Edited by Ted J. Kent; Art Direction by Hilyard M. Brown and Bernard Herzbrun; Set Decoration by Russell A. Gausman and Ray Jeffers; Costume Design by Rosemary Odell; Hair stylist: Joan St. Oegger; Makeup by Bud Westmore; Assistant Directors: Fred Frank and Underwater: James Curtis Havens; Sound by Leslie I. Carey and Joe Lapis; Musical Director: Joseph Gershenson; Creature design by Milicent Patrick; Special photography by Charles S. Welbourne; Stuntpeople: Al Wyatt, Ginger Stanley, Polly Burson, Stanley Crew and Jack Betz. Sound mix: Western Electric Sound System; Working title: Black Lagoon. Production began in October, 1953; Released in March, 1954. Running time: 79 minutes. Universal International Pictures.
The story: After Carl Maia discovers an unidentified web-fingered skeleton hand along the Amazon River, a scientific expedition goes to recover the rest of the fossil. At the camp site they find the mutilated bodies of Maia's helpers but they are unaware that the attack was by a living counterpart of the fossilized discovery---a half-man, half-fish who dwells there. Watched constantly by the horrible Gill-Man, Dr. David Reed, Dr. Mark Williams, Kay Lawrence, Maia and Dr. Edwin Thompson enter an eerie lagoon on a riverboat skippered by Lucas. David and Mark, in aqua lungs, explore the bottom while Kay goes for a swim. The Gill Man, captivated by the girl, follows her and becomes ensnarled in the boat's underwater net. Although he breaks free, his presence is known and David goes below to try and photograph the creature. Williams, determined to take the Gill Man dead or alive, follows and wounds the monster with a spear-gun. Enraged, the Gill Man retaliates by killing a crew member. Using rotonone, a native poison that produces temporary paralysis, they capture the beast and place him in the tank. But the powerful creature escapes, seriously wounding Dr. Thompson. Reed decides they should leave before someone else is killed, but Williams objects. He is overruled, but their departure is blocked by a huge log across the narrow inlet. They try the winch to lift it but the Gill-Man unhooks it. Reed dives to attach it again while Williams keeps the Gill-Man at bay. Wounding the creature again, Williams follows, grapples with the Gill Man, and is drowned. Then the beast grabs Kay and takes her to his catacomb hiding place. Reed follows and is cornered by the Gill Man, but Lucas and Maia show up in time to save him with a volley of shots. Mortally wounded, the Gill Man sinks to the inky black waters of the lagoon depths to die.
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