While searching for fossils in the Amazonian jungle, a scientific expedition encounters a prehistoric half-man, half-amphibian that falls in love with Kay (Julia Adams), the lone female in the party. The scientists drug and capture the creature, but it later escapes, kills half the expedition, and kidnaps Kay. Head scientist David Reed (Richard Carlson) must then track the creature to its underwater lair, the Black Lagoon. Imbued with great atmosphere by director Jack Arnold, the film is genuinely frightening, but also elicits a certain amount of pathos for the creature, reminiscent of that that goes out to the unfortunate KING KONG. The creation of Bud Westmore and Jack Kevan, the creature was played on land by Ben Chapman, with swimming champ Ricou Browning taking over in the underwater sequences. Browning had to hold his breath for four minutes at a time because the tight-fitting suit did not permit the use of an aqua lung. The film was originally shot in 3-D but has been rarely seen in that format, though in the early 1980s, a few independent television stations attempted 3-D showings with the aid of special glasses. The results, however, were disappointing. Two sequels followed: REVENGE OF THE CREATURE and THE CREATURE WALKS AMONG US.