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The Deadly Mantis

Film poster by Reynold Brown
Directed by Nathan H. Juran
Produced by William Alland
Written by William Alland, Martin Berkeley
Starring Craig Stevens
William Hopper
Alix Talton
Pat Conway
Music by Irving Gerts, William Lava
Cinematography Ellis W. Carter
Editing by Chester Schaeffer
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) North America May 1957
North America 1964 (rerelease)
Europe September 2, 1957
Europe December 6, 1957
Running time 79 min
Language English

The Deadly Mantis is a 1957 science fiction film produced by William Alland for Universal-International Pictures. It was directed by Nathan Juran from a screenplay by Martin Berkeley, and starred Craig Stevens, William Hopper, Alix Talton, and Pat Conway. It was filmed in black and white and runs for 79 minutes.

In February 1997, The Deadly Mantis was featured as an episode of movie-mocking television show Mystery Science Theater 3000.



A sudden geologic shift in the Arctic frees a 200-foot-long prehistoric praying mantis from a glacier in which it had become frozen alive. A United States military outpost on the DEW Line, commanded by Col. Parkman (Stevens), becomes the center for investigation after the creature destroys a transport plane. The only clue to the culprit (which has not yet been seen by anyone who's lived) is a fragment of the mantis' claw, which is sent to Washington D.C. where a young paleontologist, Dr. Ned Jackson (Hopper) identifies its origin and sets off, with his photographer-aide Marge Blaine (Talton), to assist the investigation.

Before any of them can accomplish much, the mantis attacks and damages the outpost, despite attempts to repel it with military rifles and flame-throwers. The mantis then flies off and Parkman, Jackson and Blaine, who have survived, return to Washington. Radar tracking and witness reports confirm the insect is heading along the Eastern seabord southeast towards the Capitol, where it lands on the Washington Monument. After being chased off by fighters it heads up to New York, where an aircraft finally inflicts a major blow. The injured mantis takes refuge in the Holland Tunnel, where the military is finally able to kill it with nerve gas.


Further reading

  • Genevieve Rajewski (2006). Introducing the Deadly Mantis. The Rosen Publishing Group. ISBN 1404208488.  

External links



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