The Giant Claw (1957) – Movie Review
23th June 2021 Written by Peter Walkden
Mitch (Jeff Morrow) is a skilled pilot and an electronics engineer who likes to make his own rules. One day, while flying and conducting several routine checks, Mitch spots something in the sky that flies past his plane quickly. When he reports his findings to a government base, they claim there was no evidence on the radar. Mitch later sees the flying object again, claiming it must be a UFO. When he lands, he is shocked to find he is the only one who saw an odd sighting in the sky, and the co-workers at the base feel Mitch could be losing his mind.
Shortly after Mitch discovers the UFO, other sightings begin to come in from others, all once again undetectable by radar or modern technology. Soon with sightings appearing more and more, it is confirmed the mysterious UFO is a giant bird. Right now, this bird has no compassion for human life. It is up to Mitch and a mathematician/systems analyst named Sally (Mara Corday) to work together and figure out how the people of Planet Earth can defeat the bird without any more casualties.
As a plot, the film opens with deep-voiced narration, giving its audience all the plot details. The performances (like the plot) are pretty over the top and cheesy. Watching characters claim they spotted a UFO or a giant bird is quite funny. While the film reveals its villain quite regularly, which was always great to watch, the two leading characters, for the most part, go from one city to another and talk massive amounts of technology babble to try and defeat Earth’s biggest new threat. The two also carry a fresh romance which also felt incredibly forced and somewhat uncomfortable to watch.
But a film like The Giant Claw invites viewers to put on the eyes and the positive attitude of a viewer from 1957. Once done, viewers will find some appreciation for the level of creativity in this film. After all, this was before CGI elements, so filmmakers had to be creative to achieve the same scares and impact. Instead, cutting edge technology here includes double exposures and heavy use of fishing wire and models, including fake aeroplanes and the flying bird itself.
Overall, with a title like “The Giant Claw”, movie lovers should know what to expect. This is a cheesy yet pleasing cinema experience from the year 1957. It’s a film that’s not to be taken too seriously, but I found myself enjoying the film’s level of creativity and even the attempts at stunning visuals when it comes to a large bird destroying the Earth and the people who live on it. While the film doesn’t serve well with repeat viewing, primarily due to its pacing and overconfident characters who enjoy technology babble, it’s still a viewing I don’t regret experiencing.
The Giant Claw (1957) is Now Available on Blu-ray!