The Amazing Colossal Man

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The Amazing Colossal Man
The Amazing Colossal Man.jpg
Directed by Bert I. Gordon
Produced by Bert I. Gordon
Samuel Z. Arkoff
James H. Nicholson
Written by Mark Hanna
Bert I. Gordon
George Worthing Yates (uncredited)
Based on novel The Nth Man
Starring Glenn Langan
Cathy Downs
William Hudson
Music by Albert Glasser
Cinematography Joseph F. Biroc
Studio American International Pictures
Release dates October 25, 1957
Running time 80 mins
Country United States
Language English
Box office $848,000 (US)[1][2]

The Amazing Colossal Man is a 1957 black-and-white science fiction film, directed by Bert I. Gordon and starring Glenn Langan. The film revolves around a 60 foot mutant man produced as the result of an atomic accident.

Distributed by American International Pictures (AIP) at the top of a program double-bill with The Cat Girl, the film was followed by a sequel, War of the Colossal Beast, which appeared in 1958. The film and its sequel appeared on Mystery Science Theater 3000.

During the 1960s the title was syndicated to television by American International Television.

Plot[edit]

Lt. Col. Glenn Manning, an officer in the U.S. Army has suffer serious burns to over 90% of his body and hair loss; following an inadvertent exposure to plutonium radiation from a bomb blast. He miraculously survives the explosion and his burns completely heal, but the radiation causes him to abnormally grow into a 60-foot-tall giant. At this size, his heart is unable to supply sufficient blood to his brain and he gradually goes insane.

After causing panic and wreaking havoc in Las Vegas, Army doctors attempt to halt and reverse his growth with a formula. But after getting injected by a giant syringe, he grabs the needle and furiously spears a soldier with it, killing him instantly. He then carries off with his girlfriend, Carol Forrest (Cathy Downs), and escapes from confinement before being cornered by the Army at the Boulder Dam. After releasing Carol, he is shot by the Army and falls to his death into the Colorado River.

Cast[edit]

Actor Role
Glenn Langan Lt. Col. Glenn Manning
Cathy Downs Carol Forrest
William Hudson Dr. Paul Linstrom
Larry Thor Maj. Eric Coulter, MD
James Seay Col. Hallock
Frank Jenks Truck Driver
Russ Bender Richard Kingman
Hank Patterson Henry
Jimmy Cross Sergeant at reception desk
June Jocelyn Nurse Wilson
Stanley Lachman Lt. Cline
Harry Raybould MP at Main Gate
Jean Moorhead Woman in Bathtub
Scott Peters Sgt. Lee Carter
Myron Cook Capt. Thomas
Michael Harris Police Lt. Keller
Bill Cassady Lt. Peterson
Dick Nelson Sgt. Hansen
Edmund Cobb Dr. McDermott
Paul Hahn Attendant
Diana Darrin Hospital Receptionist
Lyn Osborn Sgt. Taylor
Jack Kosslyn Lieutenant in briefing room
William Hughes Bombsite Control Officer
Keith Hetherington Newscaster
John Daheim Soldier (uncredited)
Judd Holdren Robert Allen (uncredited)
Harold Miller Official (uncredited)

Production[edit]

Jim Nicholson of American International Pictures had the rights to a 1920s novel, The Nth Man about a man who was ten miles high. Nicholson thought it could be adapted to cash in on the success of The Incredible Shrinking Man (released six months earlier in 1957) and originally announced Roger Corman as director. Charles B. Griffith was hired to adapt the novel and he turned it into a comedy. Then Corman dropped out and Bert I. Gordon was hired. Gordon worked on the script with Griffith but the collaboration only lasted a day before Griffith quit. Griffith's regular writing partner Mark Hanna stepped in instead.[1]

Before Gordon became involved the film was conceived with Dick Miller in mind for the lead. It was Gordon's first movie for AIP.[3]

Reception[edit]

The film was a hit at the box office and resulted in a sequel War of the Colossal Beast.

References in popular culture[edit]

The film was parodied on an episode of Robot Chicken when a large bald giant, wearing a sarong as a diaper, is struck in the crotch with a wrecking ball as he terrorizes a city, as part of the "Ode To The Nut Shot" sketch.

The movie and its sequel were featured and riffed on the cult classic mocking show Mystery Science Theater 3000; actor, and later show host, Mike Nelson portrayed the title character twice in the mid-movie host sections of the show's season 3, episodes 9 and 19. On episode 9 the character seems more aggressive to Joel and the bots when the Satellite of Love hit him and nearly proceed to attack the trio after Tom Servo unintentionally insulted Glen before leaving when suffering from brief heart attack, as portrayed in the movie.

Home media[edit]

  • RCA Columbia Home Video released the film on VHS on June 21, 1994.
  • The Mst3k version was released on VHS by Rhino Home Video on April 30, 1996.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Mark McGee, Faster and Furiouser: The Revised and Fattened Fable of American International Pictures, McFarland, 1996 p105-108
  2. ^ BOYS MEET GHOULS, MAKE MONEY By IRVING RUBINEHOLLYWOOD.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 16 Mar 1958: X7.
  3. ^ Gary A. Smith, The American International Pictures Video Guide, McFarland 2009 p 11

Other reading[edit]

  • Wingrove, David. Science Fiction Film Source Book (Longman Group Limited, 1985)

See also[edit]

External links[edit]