I’m certain that the Allied Artists’ production, The Giant Behemoth has a slew of fans, and rightfully so, as it harkens back to the best of stop motion animation.
But to me, the story isn’t about the film, but rather, the filmmaker.
I met Gene Lourie in 1981, as he lived on the same street in Hollywood as a few of my friends – Gardner.
When we met, we discussed his work with Abel Gance and Jean Renoir. I was enthralled to be able to spend time with he and his wife.
It was only a few weeks later, when I set up a dinner at my hotel, that I realized the full width and breath of his career.
I had been thinking of him as an art and set director:
The Lower Depths – Renoir
Grande Illusion – Renoir
La Bete Humaine – Renoir
Sahara – Korda
The Southerner – Renoir
Diary of a Chambermaid – Renoir
The River – Renoir
Limelight – Chaplin
But somehow, I had totally overlooked (and felt foolish having done so), his directorial efforts, some of which
I had marveled at as a kid.
The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms
The Giant Behemoth
Of course, he worked as an art director into the 1980s, but my interest was in his earlier career.
One thing that I recall, was him explaining how during the La Marseilles sequence in Napoleon, that Abel had singers strategically placed throughout the audience to break into song at the correct moment.
Which is a long-winded way of bringing us back to one of the latest Warner Archive releases, the afore mentioned The Giant Behemoth.
A great 80 minute ride into another tale of a beast brought about by our neglect of global warming…
or was it nuclear testing?
A beautiful Blu-ray, that will be heralded by fans.
For those seeking the UK version. I’d not bother. It’s shorter.
Image – 4.5
Audio – 5
Pass / Fail – Pass
Upgrade from DVD – absolutely!
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