It Came From Beneath the Sea, a Columbia Pictures movie produced in 1955
Four out of five stars
Of all of the cheap monster movies made in the fifties and sixties, this is one that is based on existing creatures of this type and size. There were credible reports for hundreds of years of giant squid occasionally surfacing and even attacking ships. Modern science has since used robots to film these “monsters” in their native habitat.
In this movie, a massive squid somehow finds its way to the surface and begins attacking ships. With the ability to move quickly and the more limited naval tracking capability of the time, the “monster” can suddenly appear in any location where it can tolerate the water temperature.
A team of scientists joins forces with naval officers to develop a way to destroy the creature. To the credit of the producers, one of the marine biologists is a bright, capable woman. Of course she also provides the love interest subplot with a high ranking naval officer.
The special effects look ridiculous to the modern viewer, yet at the time they were state of the art, although very cheaply made. With a predictable plot and the obligatory scenes of people running down the streets in terror, this is not a great movie. However, when compared to many of the others made at the time, this one is a jewel. There is no reference to major scientific nonsense needed to explain the existence of the creature or to defeat it. To people that care about the science in science fiction, this is a breath of fresh air.