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The Giant Claw

Poster for the film The Giant Claw
Directed by Fred F. Sears
Produced by Sam Katzman
Written by Paul Gangelin
Samuel Newman
Starring Jeff Morrow
Mara Corday
Music by Mischa Bakaleinikoff
Cinematography Benjamin H. Kline
Editing by Anthony Dimarco
Saul A. Goodkind
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date(s) North America June 1957
Running time 75 min
Language English

The Giant Claw is a 1957 sci-fi film about a giant bird ("... as big as a battleship!") that terrorizes the world. Produced by Clover Productions under the working title 'Mark of the Claw' and released through Columbia Pictures, it starred Jeff Morrow and Mara Corday, and was directed by Fred F. Sears. The film has been a staple of the bootleg video market with only two official VHS releases (one in the USA through Goodtimes Home Video and the other through Screamtime in the United Kingdom) to date. Columbia Pictures finally released the film officially to DVD in October 2007 as part of the two disc four film set Icons of Horror Collection - Sam Katzman.



Mitch MacAfee (Jeff Morrow), while engaged in a radar test flight, spots an unidentified flying object. Jets are scrambled to pursue and identify the object but one goes missing. Officials are initially angry at MacAfee but are forced to take his story seriously after several other planes disappear. A gigantic bird, purported to come from an antimatter galaxy (and then later from the year seventeen million B.C.), is responsible for all the incidents. Mitch, along with his mathematician girlfriend Sally Caldwell (Mara Corday), Dr. Karol Noymann (Edgar Barrier), and generals Considine (Morris Ankrum) and Van Buskirk (Robert Shayne), works feverishly to develop a way to defeat the seemingly invincible enemy. The climactic showdown takes place in New York City, with the bird attacking both the Empire State and United Nations buildings.


The Giant Claw has gone down in history as one of the worst movies ever made,[1][2][3] mainly because of its terrible special effects. The bird in particular is considered one of history's worst movie monsters, being an unconvincing marionette puppet with a very odd face. The film is riddled with stock footage, making continuity a serious issue.

Morrow later confessed in an interview that no one in the film knew what the titular monster looked like until the film's premiere. Morrow himself first saw the film in his hometown, and hearing the audience laugh every time the monster appeared on screen, he left the theater early, embarrassed that anyone there might recognize him.[4]


A character in the film mistakes the bird for La Cargagne which is, in fact, an actual monster from French Canadian folklore that resembles a giant woman with a wolf's head and bat-like black wings and which, like the Banshee, is a harbinger of death.


  1. ^ Bad Movie Planet Retrieved 2008-09-08
  2. ^ The Monster Shack Retrieved 2008-09-08
  3. ^ B-Movie Graveyard Retrieved 2008-09-08
  4. ^ "The Giant Claw" on

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

The Giant Claw is a 1957 film in which global panic ensues when it is revealed that a mysterious UFO is actually a giant bird that flies at supersonic speed and has no regard for life or architecture. It is considered one of the worst films ever made.

Directed by Fred F. Sears. Written by Paul Gangelin and Samuel Newman.
Flying beast out of prehistoric skies!


Mitch MacAfee

  • [to Sally] You keep your shirt on and I'll go get my pants on.
  • Now, I don't don't care if that bird came from outer space or Upper Saddle River, New Jersey; it's still made of flesh and blood - of some sort - and vulnerable to bullets and bombs.

Maj. Bergen

  • By the time I get through with you, Mr. Electronics Engineer, you'll be lucky if they let you test batteries for flashlights.


Gen. Van Buskirk: Three men reported they saw something. Two of them are now dead.
Mitch MacAfee: That makes me Chief Cook and Bottle Washer in a one-man Bird Watcher's Society!

Sally Caldwell: Well, flying Battleships, pink elephants, same difference.
Mitch MacAfee: I said it looked like a Battleship, not that it was a Battleship.

Sally Caldwell: Will it work, Mitch?
Mitch MacAfee: I don't know. I honestly haven't the faintest, foggiest idea. It's one of those cockeyed concepts that you pull down out of Cloud Eight somewhere in sheer desperation.


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