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Secret of the Loch, The

Entry updated 4 April 2017. Tagged: Film.

Film (1934). Wyndham Productions/Ealing Studios. Produced by Bray Wyndham. Directed by Milton Rosmer. Written by Billie Bristow and Charles Bennett. Cast includes Gibson Gowland, Seymour Hicks, Nancy O'Neil and Frederick Peisley. 78 minutes. Black and white.

Eccentric Professor Heggie (Hicks) is determined to prove the existence of the fabled Loch Ness Monster, and with his helper Angus (Gowland) is working on a submersible to explore the loch. Reporter Jimmy Andrews (Peisley) arrives in the Scottish highlands to get a story on the creature, and becomes romantically involved with the Professor's niece (O'Neil). Soon Jimmy is helping the Professor instead of reporting strange events around the loch, including deaths blamed by locals on the Monster. A diver is devoured by the creature late in the film; Jimmy almost meets the same fate, but is pulled up in time. The Professor see the creature from his submersible; it swims away at the film's conclusion.

This obscure, low-budget film appears to be the first to feature the Loch Ness Monster, which in 1934 began to gain international notoriety from the influx of tourists after a new road was built above the loch. Unfortunately the monster is only a lizard, with extra frills glued on and the result photographically enlarged. Co-screenwriter Bennett reportedly based Professor Heggie on Arthur Conan Doyle's Professor Challenger. [GSt]


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