Saturday, August 17, 2013

Creature Feature

Ben Chapman and Julia Adams in Creature From The Black Lagoon (Universal, 1954)
If only Julia Adams had known what was beneath that scaly, gill-covered costume once it was underwater, she may not have been so digusted.

Ricou Browning on the set of Creature
While the immensely tall Ben Chapman gave imposing height to the Creature for land scenes, the amphibian Creature was portrayed by suave Ricou Browning, who had been performing in and ultimately producing water shows in his native Florida. Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) was his first foray into films, which would prove to be a lucrative move: not only did Browning perform the underwater stunts for the two Creature sequels (making him the only actor to appear in all three films in the series), but he also went on the produce the film Flipper (1963) and write for the subsequent television show; and, most notably, direct the underwater action scenes for the James Bond blockbuster, Thunderball (1965).

Ricou Browning (left) and animal trainer Ric O'Feldman on the set of Flipper (MGM, 1963)
Ricou Browning (left) and unidentified assistant prepare for an underwater scene in Thunderball (UA, 1965)
Of course, the Creature films, like nearly all of Universal-International's "B" unit output of the 1950's, was a healthy source of beefcake, even without knowledge what was lurking underneath the monster makeup.

Richard Carlson and Richard Denning in Creature From The Black Lagoon (Universal, 1954)
John Bromfield with stunt man Tom Hennesy in Revenge Of The Creature (Universal, 1955)
Rex Reason in The Creature Walks Among Us (Universal, 1956)
However, we here at SSUWAT humbly propose that none of these fine specimens were nearly as dashing and handsome as Mr. Browning -- who, incidentally, also still walks among us, and is the last surviving legendary Universal "monster." So, who knows, darlings -- kiss a frog today, and see what happens!


4 comments:

  1. I grant that Ricou is quite hunky but I say John Bromfield wins the prize. Saw him in one of his other "epics" the cheesetastic Three Bad Sisters in which he rocked a tiny white swimsuit.

    I know this is about the men but I have to say I adore Julie Adams, who also thankfully is still around but doesn't seem to work much anymore unfortunately.

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  2. You made me fall in love with Ricou !

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  3. Ricou Browning is 83 years old now. I bet he's still handsome.

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  4. Nobody found a way to turn Thunderball into ThunderballS? You Fagalas are disappointing.

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