Film (1961). King Bros/MGM. Directed by Eugene Lourié. Written by John Loring, Daniel Hyatt, based on a story by Lourié and Hyatt. Cast includes William Sylvester, Bill Travers and Vincent Winter. 78 minutes. Colour.
A prehistoric reptile is captured off a small island in the Irish Sea, taken to London and put on show. But the 65ft (20m) creature turns out to be a mere infant, as everyone discovers when its 150ft (45m) Dinosaur mother comes to collect it, demolishing bits of London in the process. We are allowed to sympathize with the Monsters and cheer their escape. Good use is made of locations, and there are interesting special effects by Tom Howard. The monsters are achieved by the cheap man-in-a-suit technique, but are effective nonetheless. Lourié had once worked as an art director for Jean Renoir, and his latter-day reputation as director of sea-going Monster Movies was a sad come-down (see The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms; Behemoth, the Sea Monster), but Gorgo is atmospheric and crisply made. The novelization, with wholly irrelevant soft-core pornographic additions, is Gorgo (1960) by Bruce Cassiday writing as Carson Bingham. [JB/PN]
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