The Great Manta (1935)

Genres - Action, Adventure, Horror  |   Run Time - 65 min.  |   Countries - UK  |  
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This obscure seafaring adventure was based mainly on documentary footage filmed in Micronesia in the late 1920s. Low-budget producer Excelsior shot a wrap-around story about the search for a young San Franciscan, José (Jack Del Rio) shipwrecked on a South Seas island. The boy's girlfriend (Blanche Mehaffey) and a tuna fisherman (Barry Norton) manage to locate the castaway, who, having fallen for a native princess (Maya Owale), refuses to return to civilization. Together, the three westerners hunt for the "devil monster," a giant manta ray. After José loses an arm rescuing Mehaffey from the sea fiend, he readily agrees to return to the waiting arms of his beloved mother (Mary Carr). Director S. Edwin Graham also filmed a Spanish version of this film -- with Movita Castenada as the native princess and Carmen Bailey replacing Blanche Mehaffey -- which premiered in Mexico in December of 1935. The English language version was apparently not shown in America until 1946, but it was exhibited as The Sea Fiend in Great Britain in 1937. Expanded with new footage, The Devil Monster was finally released to American theaters in 1946.

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Keywords

animal, attack, monster, sailor, sea, sea-monster