The Giant Claw (1957)

Just look at that foolish face!
Just look at that foolish face!

Directed by Fred F. (EARTH VS THE FLYING SAUCERS) Sears, written by Samuel Newman and Paul Gangelin, starring Jeff (THIS ISLAND EARTH) Morrow, Mara (THE BLACK SCORPION) Corday and Morris (GIANT FROM THE UNKNOWN) Ankrum, produced by Sam (ZOMBIES OF MORA TAU) Katzman. 

Let's just appreciate its cheap wonderfulness!
Let’s just appreciate the space beast’s cheap wonderfulness!
Check out those giant claws...
Check out those giant claws…

Jeff Morrow plays Mitch MacAfee, a civil aeronautical engineer who spots an unidentified flying object near the North Pole. Fighter aircraft are sent to chase the object, but one of the jets goes missing and officials believe it was all a hoax. But then more aircraft disappear and it is eventually discovered that the ‘UFO’ is actually a gigantic alien bird…

US one sheet poster
US one sheet poster

…and this is all we really need to know about the plot, right?
It’s about a giant space buzzard attacking Earth!

It's building a giant nest!
It’s building a giant nest!
It laid a giant egg!
It’s laid a giant egg!
Watch out, dude!
Watch out, dude!

Okay, it’s hard not to poke fun at a movie that boasts a monster that is, well, a shoddy marionette with bulging eyes and flared nostrils!

It’s just so stupid looking!

It’s also hard not to snigger when the movie’s characters repeatedly describe the critter as being the size of a battleship! They say it so often!

Don't ya just love its dopey features?!
Don’t ya just love its dopey features?!

And yet… I like the mad imagination of this film.

The filmmakers actually made a movie focusing on an enormous space bird that is from an antimatter galaxy that has an antimatter forcefield to protect it from bullets and rockets! That’s insane! It’s such a preposterous and absurd concept that you just have to wonder how the hell the plot got the green-light to be made.

But thank goodness it did!

The Giant Claw wrecks planes!
The Giant Claw wrecks planes!
The Giant Claw smashes-up New York!
The Giant Claw smashes-up New York!

The batty, tatty, bent-beaked behemoth gets a lot of screen time and, as a monster movie fan, I appreciate this!

This scene, where a photo of the beaky beast is shown on a screen made me laugh out loud!
This scene, where a photo of the beaky beast is shown on a screen, made me laugh out loud!

What adds to the film’s enjoyment is the fact that the concept is so utterly loopy but Jeff Morrow takes the whole thing very seriously. So let’s spare a moment to respect Jeff for his professionalism!

Jeff Morrow deserves our undying respect
Jeff Morrow deserves our undying respect
It has a beak... with teeth!
It has a beak… with teeth!

Here are some yummy posters for the movie. The artists pretty much never want to show what the bird monster’s goofy face looks like! Can’t blame them…

Australian daybill poster
Australian daybill poster
US half sheet poster
US half sheet – style A – poster
Australian one sheet poster
Australian one sheet poster
Italian Locandina poster
Italian Locandina poster
US half sheet - style B - poster
US half sheet – style B – poster
Italian poster
Italian poster
US insert poster
US insert poster
Italian poster
Italian poster
US six sheet poster
US six sheet poster

Here’s a pressbook…

'Winged monster grips entire nation!'
‘Winged monster grips entire nation!’

Lobby cards…

Lobby card
Lobby card
Lobby card
Lobby card
Lobby card
Lobby card
Lobby card. I think Jeff Morrow is aiming at the Mexican special FX dudes who built the gimpy puppet...
Lobby card. I think Jeff Morrow is aiming at the Mexican special FX dudes who built the gimpy puppet…

Some other materials…

VHS cover
VHS cover
An illustration by hobbyist Tracer67
An illustration by hobbyist Tracer67
This fan-made poster shows the creature's face in all its goofy, bent-beaked glory!
This fan-made poster shows the creature’s face in all its goofy, bent-beaked glory (and even includes lots of drooling saliva too)!
The end

2 thoughts on “The Giant Claw (1957)”

  1. Yeah even though it’s incredibly bad it’s the corniness that makes it a classic. Would I watch it again? Possibly with some friends on a poker night with much whiskey.

    Liked by 1 person

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