Creature from the Black Lagoon was a 1954 monster horror 3-D film in black-and-white, directed by Jack Arnold and starring Richard Carlson, Julia Adams, Richard Denning, Antonio Moreno and Whit Bissell. The Creature was played by Ben Chapman on land and by Ricou Browning underwater. It premiered in Detroit on February 12 and was released on a regional basis, opening on various dates.
Creature from the Black Lagoon was filmed in 3-D and originally projected by the polarized light method. The audience wore viewers with gray polarizing filters, similar to the viewers most commonly used today. Because the brief 1950s 3-D movie fad had peaked in mid-1953 and was fading fast in early 1954, many audiences actually saw the film "flat", in 2-D; typically, it was shown in 3-D in large downtown theaters and flat in smaller neighborhood theaters. In 1975, Creature from the Black Lagoon was re-released to theaters in the inferior red-and-blue-glasses anaglyph 3-D format, which was also used for a 1980 home video release on Beta and VHS videocassettes.
The film is considered a classic of the 1950s and generated two sequels: Revenge of the Creature (1955), which was also filmed and released in 3-D in hopes of reviving the format, and The Creature Walks Among Us (1956), filmed in 2-D. The creature, also known as the Gill-man, is usually counted among the classic Universal Monsters.