It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955)

It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955), directed by Robert Gordon.

The models are smaller in this early Harryhausen project; it shows, but the stop motion animation still works well enough. Most of the creature effects are in the last 20 minutes and the final conflict is a bit anticlimactic. Unlike other monster films we don't have a lot of sympathy for the creature this time. Cephalopods, like big bugs, are beyond the limit.

We have more than the usual romantic development between the submarine captain and brainy marine biologist. As a kid I thought Kenneth Tobey and Faith Domergue were major stars because they appeared in several 50s SF films. These were important roles!

The San Francisco locations were shot surreptitiously because the city fathers would not give permission, fearing that people would lose confidence in the Golden Gate Bridge should it be attacked by a giant radioactive six-tentacled octopus.

They have a real octopus in a lab scene; I never noticed before how graceful and cinematic they are when underwater.

Available on Blu-ray with b&w and colorized versions switchable with the Angle button. It has the usual appreciative commentary track with Harryhausen and admirers.