The Secret of the Loch
Directed byMilton Rosmer
Written byCharles Bennett
Billie Bristow
Produced byBray Wyndham
StarringSeymour Hicks
CinematographyJames Wilson
Edited byDavid Lean
Music byPeter Mendoza
Production
company
Wyndham Productions
Distributed byAssociated British
Release date
May 1934 (UK)
Running time
78 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish

The Secret of the Loch is a 1934 British film about the Loch Ness Monster. It is the first film made about the monster.[1][2][3] It was edited by David Lean.

Charles Bennett said the film was based on his original idea. He later admitted it was "terrible... but amusing".[4]

Plot

Professor Heggie is determined to prove to a sceptical scientific community the existence of a dinosaur in Loch Ness. Young London reporter Jimmy Anderson believes him and offers to help. He also falls in love with Angela, the professor's granddaughter. Jimmy finally plucks up the courage to enter the Loch himself, and comes face to face with the monster.

Cast

Actor Role
Seymour Hicks Professor Heggie
Nancy O'Neil Angela Heggie
Gibson Gowland Angus
Frederick Peisley Jimmy Anderson
Eric Hales Jack Campbell, the Diver
Rosamund John Maggie Fraser, the Barmaid
Ben Field Piermaster
Robert Wilton Reporter
Hubert Harben Professor Blenkinsop Fothergill
Fewlass Llewellyn Scientist at Meeting
Stafford Hilliard Macdonald
D. J. Williams Judge
Clive Morton Reporter/Photographer in Pub
Cyril McLaglen Mate

Production

The film was inspired by the success of King Kong. It was made by Bray Wyndham, an independent producer using Ealing’s studios and technicians while Basil Dean had a dispute with RKO. Prominent billing was given to Seymour Hicks. Director Milton Rosmer was borrowed from Gaumont, although George King was originally announced for the job.[5]

Charles Bennett and Billie Bristow visited Loch Ness in December 1933 to research the film.[6] Bennett later said "I went up to the Scottish highlands and searched out Loch Ness. I never met the monster, but I found a wonderful Scotch whiskey."[7]

The film was known as Sinister Deeps.[8]

The film was shot over four weeks.[9] In the film, the "monster" is actually a live iguana.

Critical reception

TV Guide called the film "a trite programmer which doesn't make one believe in the humans' actions, much less the sea serpent's";[10] while Allmovie called it a "fairly amusing British monster movie...obscure but entertaining oddity";[11] and Britmovie noted an "enjoyable comic romp."[12]

References

  1. ^ Secret of the Loch . Classic Horror
  2. ^ "The Secret of the Loch". BFI. Archived from the original on 12 July 2012.
  3. ^ "LETTER from LONDON". The Advertiser (Adelaide). South Australia. 21 April 1934. p. 9. Retrieved 24 April 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. ^ Tom Waver, Double Feature Creature Attack: A Monster Merger of Two More Volumes of Classic Interviews McFarland, 2003 p 18-19
  5. ^ "British Studios Record Pace. 60 Pictures on the Way.", Everyones. (Vol.14 No.746 (13 June 1934)), nla.obj-582880456, retrieved 6 January 2024 – via Trove
  6. ^ LOCH NESS MONSTER: Two 'Planes and Yacht in Search PREPARING TO MAKE A FILM The Scotsman 19 Dec 1933: 9.
  7. ^ "Charles Bennett". Backstory : interviews with screenwriters of Hollywood's golden age. 1934. p. 24.
  8. ^ PREPARATIONS FOR "MONSTER" FILM: Underwater Scenes in New Production The Scotsman 16 Jan 1934: 11.
  9. ^ "Death Proved Loch Ness Monster Was Real". The Mail (Adelaide). Vol. 31, no. 1, 580. South Australia. 5 September 1942. p. 7. Retrieved 24 April 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  10. ^ "The Secret Of The Loch". TV Guide.
  11. ^ "The Secret of the Loch (1934) - Trailers, Reviews, Synopsis, Showtimes and Cast - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  12. ^ "The Secret of the Loch". britmovie.co.uk.