[LIGHT 2016] The CREATURE from THE BLACK lagoon (1954)

After the criticism of the Werewolf, film, friendly but imperfect, we make a leap back in time to finish this series of UNIVERSAL MONSTERS (our retrospective: HERE). It was in 1954 that comes out in theaters The CREATURE from THE BLACK lagoon, one of the most famous films of this saga. Considered today as a monument among the series B of american cinema, the film, directed by Jack Arnolds also has the distinction of being screened in 3D at its output. A little history : it was not uncommon in 1950, to meet the competition of television, to offer movies in relief. A fashion that lasted for several years, but has quickly disappeared – before returning in the 80s, and then in 2009, with a movie that I do you would not the affront to appoint. The CREATURE from THE BLACK lagoon is now in a cult, it is not uncommon to find close to home projections embossed in the film, and there are more releases on DVD or Bluray in 3D – it is in these conditions that I was able to discover the film, also offered in this technology the Light Festival 2016.

The CREATURE from THE BLACK lagoon recalls in many points the great the Phantom of The Opera. Mixing skillfully the fantasy and the drama of feeling, the latter featured an impossible love between a woman sublime and a monstrous man. Here, love is more unspeakable, and this time it is a monster almost human. But the movie of Jack Arnolds remains closer to a King Kong than a Dracula or a Frankenstein, while adhering to many of their themes. The filmmaker does not focus on originality, and uses it all the commonplaces of the genre with a master’s degree and a amazing effectiveness. Very quickly, the viewer goes into this special atmosphere, helped by a scene of introduction, which introduces from the outset a threat heavy, a tension which was to last for an hour and a quarter. All the clichés are used to good effect, giving the film a certain charm and more efficient. Therefore, difficult not to immerse yourself fully in a simple story but touching. All the more that the rhythm is managed to perfection, and that the film is not devoid of meaning. This replay aquatic beauty and The Beast offers a few bursts of poetry, well helped by a realization that’s admirable.

It is enough to be convinced to admire the mastery of the sequences of aquatic, absolutely perfect technically, and participating consistently in a staging staking a lot on the voltage. The most beautiful scenes in the film are aquatic, and they manage to be varied enough to convey sometimes poetry, sometimes of anguish. Add to this the quaint charm of a very beautiful photography, William E. Snyder, a pace that is managed to perfection, and an excellent musical theme recurring, yet another passage of the kind, and we have a very nice movie to see and experience. No wonder, either, that a certain Steven Spielberg assumes the influence for his masterpiece, Teeth of the Sea. The service-one that is far from being negligible, the realization of Jack Arnolds is therefore one of the most beautiful that I have ever been given to see in this retrospective. How also not to mention the beautiful decorations, the use that is made of this exotic flora in the service of a special atmosphere. This jungle sometimes stifling, sometimes sublime, is one of the many strengths of a film that allows me to close it in the best way possible in this retrospective. One of the merits of Jack Arnolds was also to revive the public’s interest in the Universal Monsters, and add a new creature to this legendary saga. In 50 years, to see a new monster emerge, just as Universal did little more than multiply to infinity the spin-off of Dracula or Frankenstein is a miracle, and the filmmaker takes up the challenge with the art and the way.

Jack Arnolds carries a film of great intelligence and an audacity all making honors the early masterpieces of the series, while creating his own myth”

What a great ending to this retrospective Universal Monsters ! Under its air of series B, Jack Arnolds carries a film of great intelligence and an audacity all making honors the early masterpieces of the series, while creating his own myth. Technically impressive, especially with the use of 3D in sequences of aquatic to fall, The Creature from the Black lagoon has not stolen its status as a cult film, and it is amazing to see how this work can be matrix. A major film of the american cinema, no doubt.


Your opinion ?

The Light Festival, will take place from 8 to 16 October 2016, dan stous the cinemas of the grand Lyon.

– programming

– our coverage

– our retrospective UNIVERSAL MONSTERS



1923 – Our lady of Paris (★★★★☆)

“an excellent way for Universal to establish itself as a studio major”

1925 – The phantom of the opera (★★★★☆)

“a nugget of visual and omen yet beautiful things for the rest of the series”

1928 – The man who laughs (★★★☆☆)

“not a bad movie, but it could have been much more”
1931 – Dracula (★★★★★)

“Tod Browning performs a major work, whether on the movie or pure on the representation of Dracula on the big screen”
1931 – Frankenstein (★★★★★)

“an instant classic made to perfection”
1932 – The mummy (★★★★☆)

“a first film is flawed, awkward, but who let themselves be viewed with pleasure and even paying the luxury of moving his audience”

1933 – The invisible man (★★★★☆)

“the director tackles the themes of power and greed without concession and multiplies the sequences challenging morally”

1935 – The bride of Frankenstein (★★★★★)

“The work of James Whale stands out as the jewel ultimate of a series absolutely fascinating”

1941 – The Wolf man (★★★☆☆)

“THE LOUP-GAROU is still a film to see, registering visually and thematically, the continuity of the Universal Monsters, and who will enthrall you with the time an hour”

1954 – The creature from the black lagoon (★★★★★)

Jack Arnolds carries a film of great intelligence and an audacity all making honors the early masterpieces of the series, while creating his own myth”

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