“I’m a scientist, commander — I don’t need to be reminded that your objectives are not necessarily my own.”
A submarine commander (Kenneth Tobey) enlists the help of a pair of scientists (Faith Domergue and Donald Curtis) in identifying and snaring an atomically charged octopus wreaking havoc in the ocean — but will his romantic interest in Domergue get in the way of his military duties?
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Love Triangle
- Mutant Monsters
- Ray Harryhausen Films
- Science Fiction
Special effects guru Ray Harryhausen’s next film after The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953) (also co-starring Kenneth Tobey) was this similarly-themed mutant-monster flick, featuring impressive animation of an octopus (actually a six-tentacled creature — a.k.a. a “hexapus”) taking down the Golden Gate Bridge. As narrative filler, we’re given an unintentionally chuckle-worthy love triangle between Domergue, Tobey, and Curtis, filled with plenty of thinly veiled sexual allure (Domergue strokes beakers in her lab while Tobey first converses with her) and amusing banter — such as Tobey mollifying the agitated Domergue by showing her he knows what she REALLY wants in a fancy restaurant:
Tobey (to Domergue): “We, my dear doctor, are going to dance.” (To Curtis): “With your permission, sir.”
Curtis: “Live it up, children.”
Domergue: “But… you haven’t even asked me!”
Tobey: “That’s the way we do it in the navy.”
Domergue: “But I haven’t even had my dinner!”
Tobey (to Curtis): “Would you order another t-bone, doctor?
Domergue: “I don’t like t-bones, and you’re being a fool!”
Curtis: “Don’t believe her, Pete. She says that to all the boys.”
Domergue: “You’re both being fools! Just because you’re men, you think that…”
Tobey (leaning in seductively): “Do you like lobster?
Domergue (tentatively): “Yes…”
Tobey: “Broiled, with garlic butter and parsley?”
Domergue (smiling and laughing): “Yes.”
This film is also notable for marking the beginning of Harryhausen’s decades-long collaboration with producer Charles Schneer, during which time they made 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957), Mysterious Island (1961), First Men in the Moon (1964), The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), Jason and the Argonauts (1963), and Clash of the Titans (1981).
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Fun special effects by Ray Harryhausen
Yes, for Harryhausen’s work, and as a representative “’50s monster movie”.