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Tarantula (1955)

Approved | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 20 February 1956 (Sweden)
A spider escapes from an isolated Arizona desert laboratory experimenting in giantism and grows to tremendous size as it wreaks havoc on the local inhabitants.

Director:

Jack Arnold

Writers:

Robert M. Fresco (screenplay), Martin Berkeley (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Agar ... Dr. Matt Hastings
Mara Corday ... Stephanie 'Steve' Clayton
Leo G. Carroll ... Prof. Gerald Deemer
Nestor Paiva ... Sheriff Jack Andrews
Ross Elliott ... Joe Burch
Edwin Rand Edwin Rand ... Lt. John Nolan
Raymond Bailey ... Townsend
Hank Patterson ... Josh
Bert Holland ... Barney Russell
Steve Darrell ... Andy Andersen
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Storyline

In the Arizona desert, Professor Gerald Deemer is experimenting with growth hormones in the hopes of finding a way to increase the world's food supply. His partner in the project was recently found dead in the desert, suffering from a disease that normally takes years to advance but, in his case, seems to have afflicted him in only a few days. The local doctor, Matt Hastings, is puzzled by the strange case and, with Deemer's recently arrived (and very pretty) assistant, Stephanie Clayton, tries to figure out what is going on. When cattle remains are found in the countryside, evidence points to a giant tarantula as the culprit. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Monster Spider...crawling terror 100 feet high! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 February 1956 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

The Giant Tarantula See more »

Filming Locations:

Yuma Desert, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,100,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Look for a young Clint Eastwood as the (uncredited) leader of the jet squadron that attacks the tarantula in the film's climax. See more »

Goofs

Spiders cannot grow without shedding. In order to get so large Tarantulas would have had to shed her skin many times, leaving a trail of empty exoskeletons behind. It would have also taken her a lot of time since every shedding requires to regenerate a new exoskeleton. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Airport Attendant: What's the score, Doc?
Dr. Matt Hastings: Twins. Cutest things you ever saw.
Airport Attendant: Hey, they're keepin' ya busy these days.
Dr. Matt Hastings: The desert, it gives people wonderful ideas. Check the ship, will ya?
Airport Attendant: You betcha.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Back to the Black Lagoon: A Creature Chronicle (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Top-of-the-Line Universal-Int'l Sci-Fi Thriller!
18 June 2005 | by Harold_RobbinsSee all my reviews

This is a top-of-the-line Sci-Fi thriller from the studio that did 'em best in the 1950s - Universal-International. Produced by William Alland (who also produced "Creature From the Black Lagoon" and "It Came From Outer Space", and directed by Jack Arnold (who directed those films) it has an intelligent script and good acting all the way around. Arnold does a great job of building suspense as he cleverly keeps the titular monster mostly off-screen for the first 2/3 of the film until it's simply too big to hide. And then --- watch out, folks! As in many another sci-fi story, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and if there's a villain of the piece, it's the Nuclear Age - the spider of the title is merely doing it's natural thing: searching for food. Except that, thanks to Leo G. Carroll's well-meaning experiments (to increase the world's supply of food), this is one BIG spider with an equally BIG appetite! Universal's special effects department just about out-did themselves here - the matte work is almost flawless (check out Leo G. Carroll's house after the spider's visit), and the make-up department did excellent work as well. This is one of the best of it's kind, and great fun on a rainy Saturday afternoon.


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