Creature From the Black Lagoon Disucssion

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Postby Henry88 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:52 pm

mr.negativity wrote:This is on TCM right now.


DVRing it right now 8-)
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Postby lhb412 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:44 pm

Now Tarantula is on. TCM seems to have injected the Universal genre pics into their regular schedule (speaking of which, King of the Monsters airs again, I think, in March).
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Postby king_ghidorah » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:11 pm

I think they're having a Jack Arnold night or something which is AWESOME becase Jack Arnold was the closest thing America had to Honda's Toho films.


Thanks for resurrecting this thread though. I'd like to discuss the Gillman in a little more in-depth with some of you in the near future.

Just don't know how many Gillman fans we have around this neck of the swamp. Obviously, he's one of my favorite monsters.
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Postby Shin_Edda_Robo!!!!! » Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:48 am

Missed out on Creature but been watching everything since! Man, after all these years I still love The Incredible Shrinking Man so much. Easily my favorite US Sci Fi Film of the 50s. Even more than THEM.
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Postby Gwangi » Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:10 am

I always thought that during the middle of this movie, it was the Richard Denning character that was a little more sound than the Richard Carlson one.

It was Denning who wanted to take that spear down with them in the lagoon, to the surprise of the others, but hey why not? No one knew what was down there and dangers did lurk. And when they did capture the Gill Man, it was he who logically wanted to go back to the institute right way, but had to reluctantly change his mind so that Carlson can continue to study his now rather unimportant rock samples (and of course, all that lead the Gill Man’s escape and hurt and kill more people, so I say the real culprit was Richard Carlson!).
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Postby lhb412 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:58 pm

Now that Shout Factory is all snug with Universal perhaps they could get some of the Arnold sci-fi flicks out on Blu-Ray?
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Postby king_ghidorah » Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:44 pm

lhb412 wrote:Now that Shout Factory is all snug with Universal perhaps they could get some of the Arnold sci-fi flicks out on Blu-Ray?


Hmmmmmmmm
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Postby Alpha OTS » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:27 pm

One of the Universal Creature movies is on Svengoolie right now on Me Tv which started a half hour ago, 10pm EST.
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Re: Creature From the Black Lagoon Disucssion

Postby mr.negativity » Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:00 am

Sunday Reads: The Gill Man And The Woman Who Made Him
Meet Millicent Patrick, the most famous monster maker you've never heard of.
SCOTT WAMPLER wrote:Of the many iconic Universal Monster designs, The Creature From The Black Lagoon's titular beast has always been my favorite. It's the most otherworldly and freaky-looking of the Uni Monster heavyweights, and it's also the most-impressive, from a technical standpoint. As an added bonus, there's a great - albeit somewhat depressing - story surrounding the Creature's design, one that too many people remain unaware of.

Unlike Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932), and The Wolf Man (1941), all of which featured creature design from the legendary Jack Pierce, The Creature From The Black Lagoon was designed by a woman named Millicent Patrick. Patrick was something of a jack-of-all-trades, working around Hollywood as an animator (in 1941, she became the first female animator ever hired by Disney), an actress, and - starting in 1953 - as a creature designer for Universal (It Came From Outer Space, Abbott And Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde). In 1954, the studio began work on Creature From The Black Lagoon, and by all accounts Patrick was largely responsible for designing the iconic suit Ben Chapman and Ricou Browning would go on to wear in that film.

Problem was, Patrick wasn't the only makeup effects artist working on the film. Bud Westmore was also involved, and...well, Bud Westmore was a big effing deal. Like Jack Pierce, Westmore was a legendary makeup artist, a guy who eventually racked up 450+ film credits over the course of his career (including work on The Munsters and Man of A Thousand Faces). He was also a scion of the famed Westmore family, whose contributions to the art of Hollywood makeup design really can't be overstated (the Westmores literally founded Hollywood's first-ever makeup department, all the way back in 1917).

So, when it came time to roll out Creature From The Black Lagoon, Patrick went on a promotional tour with the film, screening the film around the country and giving interviews where she wasn't shy about discussing her role in the creation of the Creature's design. Back in Hollywood, Universal was thrilled at the reaction CFTBL was getting from audiences: it was clear they had a big hit on their hands. Bud Westmore was not so thrilled. There's a great article about Patrick over on Tor, and they describe Westmore's reaction thusly:

Even before Ms. Patrick began her tour, make-up department head George Hamilton “Bud” Westmore had sent memos to the Universal front office taking exception to the studio’s intention to bill her as “The Beauty Who Created the Beast,” by claiming that the Creature was entirely the product of his own efforts. In February, while the tour was in full swing, Westmore went to great lengths to secure clippings of her numerous newspaper interviews, some citing her as the Creature’s sole creator, without mention of Westmore or of the other members of the make-up department staff. Westmore made it clear in his complaints to Universal executives that he had no intentions of engaging Ms. Patrick’s services as a sketch artist again. In correspondence between executives Clark Ramsey and Charles Simonelli dated the first of March 1954, Ramsey noted that Westmore was behaving childishly over the matter, and that Patrick had done everything possible to credit Westmore during her interviews. He further expressed regret at Westmore’s intention to penalize her.


Westmore followed through on that intention: once Patrick wrapped work on another Universal project she'd been working on, she was effectively booted from the studio's makeup department. Creature From The Black Lagoon should've been a career-launching hit for her, but thanks to Westmore's antics, Patrick's career as a makeup effects artist stalled out almost as soon as it'd begun. She continued to find work as an actress, but that work was in mostly forgettable films and even more forgettable TV shows (and usually in uncredited roles). Westmore, meanwhile, spent the next several decades telling everyone who'd listen that he'd been the one behind the Gill-Man design. Eventually Westmore died, and the biggest building on the Universal lot was named in his honor (Hooray for Hollywood!).

Luckily, the story of "The Beauty Who Created The Beast" has become more and more well-known over the past few decades, and every time someone tells it Patrick gets a little more of the credit she deserved back in 1954. That's a bittersweet ending to the tale-- it's too bad she didn't get even more recognition before her death in 1998-- but it's something. Drink to Patrick the next time you watch Creature From The Black Lagoon*, and be sure to tell all your friends who really designed that awesome costume. It's what Bud Westmore would've done.

* = Which should be often: Creature From The Black Lagoon is one of the best Uni Monsters films. I was lucky enough to catch a digitally restored, 3D rerelease of the film via the Alamo Drafthouse a few years ago, and I was blown away by it. Not only how by how great it looked (especially the underwater photography), but by how thoroughly it holds up sixty years later.

This article originally appeared on the site in 2014.
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Re: Creature From the Black Lagoon Disucssion

Postby Jinzo Ningen » Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:13 am

Yeah. By all accounts, Westmore was an attention-hogging dick who rarely gave the small army of people in his department credit of any kind. A real tool. As was stated, Milly Patrick should absolutely have gone on to become one of Hollywood's premier make-up designers but instead was consigned to obscurity, thanks to an insecure chauvinistic boss. A damn shame.

F/X honcho Stan Winston was reportedly this way also, to some degree, in his later years. But I don't believe he ever full-out "Westmore"ed any of the talented folks in his employ.
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Re: Creature From the Black Lagoon Disucssion

Postby Henry88 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:25 pm

the 3D is still fun to watch on a big 3d screen, never get tired of seeing the Gillman throwing people into trees.
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Re: Creature From the Black Lagoon Disucssion

Postby eabaker » Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:06 pm

Henry88 wrote:the 3D is still fun to watch on a big 3d screen, never get tired of seeing the Gillman throwing people into trees.


The underwater stuff is especially beautiful in a theater, in 3D.
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Re: Creature From the Black Lagoon Disucssion

Postby Henry88 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 3:37 pm

it sucked that we did not get to see him break a crocodile in two.
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Re: Creature From the Black Lagoon Disucssion

Postby mr.negativity » Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:22 pm

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