The Creature Walks Among Us
The Creature Walks Among Us is a 1956 American monster horror film and the third and final installment of the Creature from the Black Lagoon series from Universal Pictures, following the previous year's Revenge of the Creature. The film was directed by John Sherwood, the long-time Universal-International assistant director, in his directorial debut. Jack Arnold, who had directed the first two films in the series, had moved on to "A-list" films, and felt he had no more to contribute to the horror genre. He suggested that his assistant director, Sherwood, could move up to full director, which partly affected Universal's decision to allow him to direct the film. The Creature Walks Among Us starred Jeff Morrow, Rex Reason, and Leigh Snowden, and, like the original Creature from the Black Lagoon, had music composed by Henry Mancini, who at the time was under contract with Universal.
|The Creature Walks Among Us|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||John Sherwood|
|Produced by||William Alland|
|Written by||Arthur A. Ross|
|Based on||"The Creature of Man" (treatment)|
by Arthur A. Ross
|Music by||Henry Mancini|
|Edited by||Edward Curtiss|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
Following the Gill-man's escape from Ocean Harbor Oceanarium in Florida, a team of scientists led by the deranged and cold-hearted Dr. William Barton (Jeff Morrow) board the Vagabondia III to capture the creature in the Everglades. Barton is mentally unstable and apparently an abusive husband to his wife Marcia (Leigh Snowden), as he becomes very jealous and paranoid when Marcia is with other men. Their guide Jed Grant (Gregg Palmer) makes numerous passes on Marcia (which she constantly rebuffs), with Barton becoming paranoid about the two.
Marcia accompanies Jed and Dr. Tom Morgan (Rex Reason) on their initial dive to look for the Gill-man, despite her husband's fierce objections. During the dive, Marcia swims too deep and is overcome with the "raptures of the deep," temporarily losing her mind, removing all her scuba gear. This forces Jed and Tom to abandon their hunt for the Gill-man to swim back and save her.
When he is eventually captured, the Gill-man is badly burned in a fire leading to a surgical transformation performed by Barton, Tom and their colleagues Dr. Borg (Maurice Manson) and Dr. Johnson (James Rawley). While bandaging the Gill-man, the doctors notice that he is shedding his gills and even breathing using a kind of lung system. Now that the creature has more human-like skin, he is given clothing. The doctors attempt to get the Gill-man used to living among humans. Although his life is saved, he is apparently unhappy, staring despondently at the ocean.
Barton ruins the plans when, in a murderous rage, he kills Jed, jealous that he had made romantic advances towards his wife. Realizing what he has done, Barton then tries to put the blame on the Gill-man. The Gill-man, witnessing the killing, and apparently realizing that he is being blamed for the murder, goes on a rampage. After ripping down the confining electric fence, he kills Barton and then slowly walks back to the sea. He is last seen on a beach, advancing towards the ocean.
- Jeff Morrow as Dr. William Barton
- Rex Reason as Dr. Thomas Morgan
- Leigh Snowden as Marcia Barton
- Gregg Palmer as Jed Grant
- Ricou Browning as Gill-man – In water
- Don Megowan as Gill-man – On land
- Maurice Manson as Dr. Borg
- James Rawley as Dr. Johnson
- Paul Fierro as Morteno
- Lillian Molieri as Mrs. Morteno
- David McMahon as Captain Stanley
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Unlike the previous two Creature films, The Creature Walks Among Us was not filmed in 3-D. The underwater scenes were filmed at Wakulla Springs in North Florida, today a state park. Other locations in Florida were also utilized for location shooting. Principal photography ran from late August to mid-September 1955.
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Bosley Crowther of The New York Times reviewed The Creature Walks Among Us as a return to the "merman" series. "The producers have captured some misty but pictorial underwater footage and that the Messrs. Morrow and Reason, and Gregg Palmer, who plays a guide with a yen for the blonde and statuesque Miss Snowden, behave fairly well in decidedly unusual circumstances. The "creature," of course, is frightening enough to scare the scales off a tarpon. However, he apparently hasn't terrified his Hollywood discoverers."
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Universal released The Creature Walks Among Us on DVD in a boxed set along with Creature from the Black Lagoon and Revenge of the Creature, and added a bonus behind-the-scenes documentary on the famous trilogy.
- Weaver et al. 2014, p. 234.
- "Original print information: The Creature Walks Among Us." Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved: July 4, 2015.
- Crowther, Bosely. "Movie review: 'The Creature Walks Among Us' (1956)." The New York Times, April 27, 1956.