GORGO

(1961)
With Bill Travers, William Sylvester, Vincent Winter
Directed by Eugène Lourié
Reviewed by JB

Damn, this clock is busted?  Anybody know the time?"      GORGO is a giant monster movie that wins major points for both being intelligent and fast-paced, with little room for such niceties as character development or sermonizing.  A group of explorers discover a giant underwater monster off the coast of Ireland.  When they capture it and bring it back to England as a circus attraction, they are startled to learn that the monster is actually a baby, and its mother is quite upset!

    The film stars Bill Travers (later of BORN FREE) and William Sylvester (later of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY) as the two sailors who capture young Gorgo, as well as young Vincent Winter as an Irish orphan who seems to be the only person around who thinks bringing Gorgo to England is a bad idea.  All three are quite good in their parts, but the film is mostly about death and destruction, first administered by little Gorgo before he is captured and taken to England to be caged and put on display, and then by Mama Gorgo, who trashes London for the majority of the second half of the film.  The monster work, model work and other special effects are up to par with the effects from the Japanese movies such as GOJIRA and RODAN that were clear inspirations, and, unlike some of the Japanese monster movies yet to come, there is a lot of human suffering depicted in GORGO.  As Mama works her way through the city, we are subjected to shot after shot of debris falling on panicked citizens.

    A Giant Monster movie with a touching ending, GORGO is an admirable and enjoyable British entry into the genre.  3 - JB

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