The Creature Walks Among Us (1956) Script

Mrs. barton? Why, yes.

You're the guide, Mr. Grant.

No, he's Grant.

Hi. I'm Tom Morgan.

Oh, you're Dr. Morgan? And Dr. borg.

How do you do, Mrs. barton? Doctor.

Morgan, genetics. Borg, roentgenology.

Johnson, biochemistry.

Johnson's in the lab.

You see, my husband never gave faces to any of you, just name and occupation.

Well, that's the way most medical men describe most medical men.

But he didn't say much about you.

I guess your field isn't medicine. Only through marriage.

Oh, Dr. barton. Dr. Morgan.

Dr. barton. Dr. borg.


You met Mrs. barton.

I had some difficulty persuading her to come along.

She felt she might be in the way. Not at all, doctor.

Would you like to go to your cabin, Mrs. barton?

Thank you.

Is the lab ready, Dr. Morgan? Everything's all ready for me.

My equipment's all set up.

But I think you better check to see that everything you want is there.

Dr. barton, sir? Good morning, captain.

Whenever you're ready to cast off, sir.

Thank you. Stand by.

Now let's take a look at the lab, Dr. Morgan.

Hello, Dr. barton. Johnson.

Dr. Johnson.

Very good!

Very good, indeed, Dr. Morgan.

I had no idea you could arrange surgical instruments this well.

Well, genetics may be my specialty, but I'm also a doctor.

I didn't mean to offend.

It's just unusual these days to find such fidelity to doing things exactly right.

Well, thank you.

But it's unfortunate that Mr. Grant couldn't tell us the exact location of what we're looking for.

I told you it was in the everglades.

I'll get you close enough. The rest'll be up to you.

Dr. Morgan, have you explained to Grant the technique we intend to use?

Not yet.

The big trick will be to maneuver him to still water, where this liquid rotonone compound, when spread under pressure, can anesthetize him in a matter of seconds, providing, of course, we can give him a concentrated dose.

Well, don't look so doubtful, Grant. It's worked before.

You know, gentlemen, I've seen the drug used by the natives to catch fish up the Amazon.

But I'll have to see this first to believe it'll knock out 300 pounds of the deadliest...

Dr. barton speaking.

Captain Stanley: Everything's ready and secured, sir.

All right, captain. Get underway.

That was a school of barracuda.

Their length, as you know, varies from five to five-and-a-half feet.

Is this gadget your idea, doc? Not exactly.

Similar machines are being manufactured by a few of the big electronic firms.

Works like the sonar device that the commercial fishing outfits use to spot schools of fish.

Most of the Scandinavian countries, new england, California fishing operations, they all use them.

The electronic waves move to the object in the water and bounce back.

The time-lapse between sending and receiving gives us the distance.

Takes all the kick out of fishing if you know what's there in the water.

On this particular trip, we'd better know what's in the water.

And we will because these devices also reveal the exact specie of fish.

You see those new, slightly arced lines?

Giant rock lobster. Unmistakable.

Of course, we can't be sure just what sort of image we'll get on the scope when we find what we're looking for.

However, we can make an educated guess.

Grant, put on the lights, please. Sure.

Excuse me. Of course.

The thicker the mass, the lighter the image on the screen.

Based on information from ocean harbor in Florida, the length of the creature on the screen should be about half a centimeter more than that of the average male adult.

What was that?


Shark. Got two of them.

They were after a school of porpoise.

Well, that's pretty good shooting.

But not good hunting. There's no risk involved.

I've hunted all over the world. Any time you wanna match me...

Marcia, dear, this is one hunting trip where, unfortunately, you'll have to be more of a spectator than a participant.

Dr. barton? Yes.

We'll be dropping anchor in a few minutes, sir.

Oh, fine.

Your husband must be an awfully good surgeon.

I mean, awfully rich.

Because he's financing this? Oh, no.

Even a beach bum like me knows it's deductible from his income tax.

I mean, awfully rich to be able to afford everything he owns.

Grant: Anybody home?

Seror Grant, welcome.

Morteno, my friend.

Thank you for the food, the money.

Grant: Oh, that's all right.

Glad to do it.

Now, listen, morteno, these gentlemen are my friends.

I want you to tell Dr. barton here the story of how you were hurt.

These men are going to help me catch him.


When did the creature attack you?

How? Where?

I am in everglades to shoot alligators to get skins.

I sell senor Grant, who buys for men who make belts and shoes in city.

One day, after long hunt, I shoot something near me.

And it raise up and grab my gun!

It looked like devil, fighting me.

I take my knife. I fight back.

I cut him good.

There was plenty blood.

Then devil go away, and I not remember more till people from village find me.

When I wake up, I am cripple,

face torn.

My village try to hunt it down, but it 1s smart.

Not like man. Smart like devil!

Well, that's the story, gentlemen.

Now, the last place he was seen was off the coast.

I'll take you there.

Morteno, where is the knife that you used to fight this devil?

May I have a look?

Dr. barton: What about it, Johnson?

The red corpuscle count checks with the ocean harbor figures.


Halfway between the count in mammals and marine-life vertebrae.

Nature moving out of one phase into another.

Are the corpuscles beveled? No.

Then the blood type is of a marine-life animal, right, Johnson?

Except there's no nucleus to each corpuscle.


Gentlemen, the creature can be changed.

We can make the giant step and bring a new species into existence.

No. Dr. barton: Why?

Because it hasn't been done?

Listen, we can create an entirely new form of life.

We can change the blood texture, build up the red corpuscle count.

Then the gene structure has to be affected.

I didn't know you wanted that kind of an experiment.

I thought we were only going to subject him to study under more controlled conditions.

But there'll never be another chance like this.

I've seen the imperfections of the human body.

A surgeon sees them and knows.

Modern man is limited, earthbound to this planet, which he devours and eventually which will fail to support him.

Yet, he's bound to it because he's physically incapable of taking the next giant step into outer space.

Well, we can make him physically capable.

I disagree.

We can learn from nature, help nature.

We can make this earth a happier place by helping nature select what's best in us.

And when man's ready, mentally, physically, he'll get to outer space.

But, doctor, there's no shortcut.

You can't bypass nature.

Perhaps you're afraid to!

If you are, I could take you all back and assemble a new group.

No, I'm staying.

I want to know for myself.


I do, too.



Dr. Morgan: Can I talk to you on this throat mic?

No, but we can talk to Dr. borg.

Of course, he can talk to both of us.

Remember, you locate your position, and be sure of your approximate distance from any object.

I'll call down my identification. You verify.

Hey! You gonna wait for me?

Oh, this dive is to test the equipment, dear.

You'll have to wait for some other time.

We might go deep. Fifty feet?

This might be 150 feet.

The worst that can happen is that I won't like it, and my ears will hurt.

The worst that could happen is that you might get deep-diving sickness.

They call it "raptures of the deep."

Like getting drunk on water pressure instead of champagne, and you try to give your diving equipment to a passing fish?

Well, I never get drunk.

I always know when I've had enough.

Oh, what's the harm? We'll take care of her.

I told you, no.

Well, I'm tired of just sitting around.

That's fine. I've got it. Thank you.

Anybody gonna join me?


Here. You better use one of these, too.

I don't need a gadget to tell me how deep to go.

I know myself.

Well, if you're wrong, it won't be the first time, but it'll be the last.

All right, borg. Let's pick them up on the scope.

Dr. barton: There they are.

Do you check me? Dr. Morgan: I check you.

What's that?

Check to the right by 20 feet.

A tarpon weighing approximately 100 pounds.

Dr. Morgan: It was a tarpon.

Approximate distance correct.

Well, we're going deeper.

Check me.

Directly below you, a grouper fish or a large manta.

Dr. Morgan: Check. A fish directly below us and moving out.

He's still there. No. No, he isn't.

I can see him moving up and going off to the right.

Dr. borg: The fish is out of the picture, but there's another image.

The density has changed considerably.

Dr. Morgan: What is it?

I can't...

Dr. Morgan: There's nothing visible from here. We're going deeper.

The image is moving with you.

The object is moving down.

The image is off the screen. Something's blocking it from view.

Two hundred and ten feet.

Probably a rock shelf.

What happened, Morgan? She went too deep.

I'm all right.

How is she? No harm done.

No thanks to you, Grant.

Well, you've had quite a bit of excitement, you three.

The image, Morgan, the big object, did you see it?

Grant: It's him, all right it's your creature, Dr. barton. You found him!

Well, you came through for me, Grant.

Now, gentleman, I guess the rest is up to us.

The creature isn't going to be easy to capture. Not anymore.

It knows how to fight us.

So there's nothing to do for the moment, except wait.

And hope we can keep track of him.

We'll all have to be armed from now on.

Yes, we'd better.

I'm sorry I made so much trouble.

You're a very brave woman. You shouldn't take such chances.

You know, taking chances isn't just a man's privilege.

But trying to kill oneself isn't either.

You take risks.

I take calculated risks for a purpose.

But what are you trying to prove?

I should have known. You're a scientist. You need proof.

You never take anyone's word for anything.

I deserve that.

Forgive me.

If there's anything I can do...


No, there's nothing anyone can do.

Ten years ago, when I was 17, when Dr. barton married me, I...

I'm really feeling sorry for myself now, aren't I?

Look, I managed to learn a few things.

At least I know what the world under the sea looks like.

It can be very beautiful.

Pardon me, ma'am, but I have to prepare for dinner.


Well, I have some work to do.

Excuse me, Mrs. barton.

You were with Dr. Morgan for quite a long time.

Please don't start again, bill.

Don't start accusing me of... You're my wife, marcia.

Conduct yourself that way.

I always have, bill. I don't know any other way.

Don't ever try to leave me.

Don't ever try to make a fool of me.

Dr. Johnson, what's your reading now?

Dr. Johnson: The image is about 30 feet ahead of us.

Veering 20 degrees left. Veering 20 degrees left.

We're getting into shallow water. I don't like it.

We can still go a long ways upstream.

We'll get him this time.

He's boxing himself into a corner.

Could be the other way around.

Not a chance.

He knows his way around places like this.

Dr. Johnson: He's dropping back of us.

Dr. Johnson, what's your reading now?

Dr. Johnson: About 30 feet astern.

But he seems to be holding his position at that distance.

He's following us.

He's stalking us now.

Captain, increase the speed.


Dr. Johnson: The image is dropping back.

Now it seems to be moving forward.

He's following us at the same distance again.

He's following us at the same distance again.

That doesn't seem possible.

The lion, the wolf, the shark, they stalk and wait for their kill.

They sense when a victim is coming into a trap.

Now why wouldn't he? He's more than cunning. He reasons.

Well, I'm not going into a trap.

You'll take him alive.

If he lets us.

But if he gets too close, I'm not going to argue.

I'll kill him.

When do you think he'll attack?

I don't know.

But he led us into this river.

Probably when we can't move forward any further.

This is far as we can go.

Drop anchor.

Now, we'll wait for him.

What do you think, Dr. Morgan?

Well, it's apparent he doesn't intend to attack on our terms.


Well, we have to go after him on his.

We'll take the viewer with us, borg.

Johnson, lower the range finder into the water.

Grant, are your Spears checked?

There's enough sleep juice in one of these things to knock out an elephant.

Well, the rotonone checks out.

We'd better review procedure.

If he comes within toxic distance, Dr. barton will signal me, and I'll discharge the rotonone.

If he comes aboard, Grant will try to get him with a spear.

And Grant, remember, the object is to capture him, not to kill him.

So much as you might be tempted, try not to hit a vital area.

And as far as using the guns, if we have to, we'll be defeating our own purpose.

So I guess that's it.

Dr. borg: He's moving ahead of us.

What was that?

Turn a bit to the left.


No, farther.


He's making a full turn!

Grant, get the torches out. We've got to have some light here.

I think they're dry. Let me have them. I'll fill them with gasoline.

Borg, you see anything? No, not yet.


Dr. borg: Be on the lookout.

Twenty feet ahead. He's coming at us.

What are you shooting at, you fool? I want him alive!

Look to the right. He's at the right.

Look out, Morgan! He's coming at you!

Behind you, Morgan!

Dr. barton: Another one, Grant!

Are you all right? I'm all right.

I just hit my head against something.

Look out! Look out!

Drug knocked him out, all right.

If it hadn't, the fire would've.

These are third-degree burns. We'd better get the boat over here.

Bring the boat.

He isn't converting enough air into oxygen.

If only we could reopen the gills and immerse them in water.

No, the gills are too badly burnt.

He's dying of suffocation.

But so slowly. He's getting a small air supply from some area.

We were right. There is a perfect lung formation.

It shows much darker than average.

They could be partially collapsed.

What's that light patch at the opening to the lungs?

Not a typical human formation.

Some African lungfish use gills in rainy season, and when the lakes dry up, their lungs open on reflex.

A flap pulls back to let air in.

He's getting very little oxygen.

We've got to get those lungs inflated and working again.

We'll do a tracheotomy immediately.

Dr. Johnson: Respiration falling.

Increase the oxygen.

Now the tracheotomy tube.

We are changing a sea creature into a land creature.

We only use what nature offered.

The lungs were there. We didn't make them.

You'll see, Dr. Morgan.

Just don't move too fast, trying to change him.

Are you afraid of unknown things?

I'm only afraid of misusing what I do know.

Move him.

And administer a sedative.

What was the last reading? I'm taking one more.

Dr. borg: Here's the reading.

The charting hasn't varied much.

This gap here and here, they show a disconnected thought process.

He had a critically low supply of oxygen to the brain for more than an hour.

It could've caused permanent injury.

Ready for a reading.


The metabolism rate shows several sharp changes.

It was the method of breathing!

By opening the lungs.

We should have known. The step from fish to amphibian to mammal, it had to be the method of converting oxygen.

Take a look at the eyes.

It's a basic mutation.

A major change.


That is correct.

Please send the following wire to Mr. Edward brown, foreman, barton ranch, sausalito...

Sausalito, California.

"Going through canal tomorrow.

"Arrival estimated on or about August 20th.

"All fences and equipment must be ready.

"Hire extra men if necessary. Will need large truck.

"Signed, William barton."

Thank you.

Am I disturbing you? Oh, no, Mrs. barton.

Would it be possible for me to see the... Oh, I'm sorry.

I'd like to let you into the room, but your husband doesn't think it's advisable.

My husband doesn't think very much is advisable, except his work.

How's it coming? Hasn't he told you?

No. Not much of anything lately.

Excuse me.

We're taking the bandages off today.

Excuse me.

Is that all you do is talk?

No, I like to swim, too.

Doctor, look.

The other one.

Dr. borg, raise the head.

There it is, doctor.

The fire burned away the outer scale.

There's a structure of human skin underneath it.

Two separate coverings, the way he had lungs and gills.

His sensitivity to pain is increasing.

He needs some outer protection. Some clothing that will...

It's taking effect.

You'd better prepare another dose.

Well, Tom, I think this calls for a celebration.

Oh, what about the clothing?

Well, we'll let Grant and the ship hands take care of that.

He's under sedation.

Where is Grant? Grant!


Where were you?

What do you mean, where was 1?

You didn't need me. You and the other doctors were with him.

I went on deck for a second.

Well, never mind. I've got some work for you to do.

Get down to the locker and get some sail cloth.

Let's see if you're up on your needlework.

Needlework? Clothing for the creature.

Dr. Morgan: That was the point of the whole story Dr. Johnson: I missed it completely.

Dr. Morgan: You did?

Oh, no more, thanks. You're trying to get me drunk.

No, I've had my quota, thanks. Are you sure?

I'm sure. All right.

Oh, come now, gentleman. A celebration isn't a celebration if you use such self-control.

But I'll admit it takes a lot of this stuff to even slow me down.

How about you? No, thanks.

You know, Tom, alcohol hits some people faster than others because of metabolism, rate of absorption, and, well, you know...

Change metabolism and maybe...

Maybe eliminate drunk drivers.

Well, it's not bad for me, marcia, is it?

We don't have much laughter anymore, do we, marcia?

Tom. We found the secret.

Change the metabolism, and man will change.


The demonstrable scientific fact is in that cabin.

Well, I'd, uh, rather not argue the point now, doctor.

Let's take it up some other time.

After all, a celebration isn't...

Don't be condescending, doctor.

If I can discuss I, don't you evade it.

All right.

As a geneticist, I know, the way any geneticist does, that nature hasn't created a new major type of animal on this earth for over 400 million years.

Dr. barton: The creature's a different major type. You saw it yourself.

It's the interaction of heredity and environment for millions of years that makes a new species.

We only changed the skin, doctor, not the animal.

But we can bring out the best or worst in any living thing.

Environment does that.

If it threatens him, if he's afraid of us, he'll revert to the wanton killer.

That's why I've gone along with you.

'Cause I wanna know for myself.

'Cause we all stand between the jungle and the stars, at a crossroads.

I think we better discover what brings out the best in humankind and what brings out the worst because it's the stars or the jungle.

Well, good night, gentlemen, Mrs. barton.

Doctor. Good night.

How is he? I don't know. Take a look.

Good night, Grant. Good night.

I guess I'll turn in, too.

Do you agree with Dr. Morgan?

It can still go either way.

And you, doctor?

I don't know yet.

Good night. Good night.

Good night.

Jungle or the stars.

The fools.

Can't they see I want to catch a star?

Such a good wife.

Such a dutiful wife.

You straighten up after parties, and drinks serve... Serve drinks.

You're such a fine wife. Bill, please.

Dr. barton: Please, what?

Please trust you?

Don't, marcia.

You're worthless, useless!


You know, the more reason you've got to be friendly, the less friendly you get.

You have a vivid imagination, Mr. Grant.

Just because I haven't spoken to my husband about you...

Oh, come on, marcia, let's be friends, huh?

Being a friend of yours isn't going to solve my problems.

Can't you understand that?

No. Tell me again.

Please! Will you stop? They'll hear us.

Okay, then, tell me quietly.

Marcia: Go away!

Let me go, will you?

Grant, please let me go!

Please stop, Grant!

Please, let me go!

Let go!

Johnson, call the bridge!

Tell them reverse engines and stand by!

Grant, you all right?

Why weren't you at the door? Look!

He's going to jump.

He'll die underwater. He'll use his lungs, and he'll drown.

I'll use the hose, Grant.

Give me plenty of oxygen.

Follow them on the scope, borg. Right.

The spaces here are the ones to watch.

This is the first reading we took.

The spaces between each peak are narrower.

Much narrower.

The block to his memory is lifting.

You see? He isn't reverting.

He isn't reverting. He's remembering.

To what degree?

All he remembers is that he was part of the water once, and he went back to it.

That's all.

He remembers being attacked by us.

He remembers fear.

And when he's afraid, he tries to kill anything near him, animal or human.

Stand clear.

You think of everything, don't you, doctor?

Yes. Let's goin.

Dr. barton: Please do as I say, marcia. Go back to your room.

Marcia: I don't want to stay... I'm not going to have you parading around here in front of a gang of men! You hear me?

Marcia: Do you mind if I take the car and drive into San Francisco and...

Will discuss it later!

Perhaps, if I can find the time, I'll take you for a drive myself.

But until then, you're to do as I say. Now go into the house!

Sorry to have kept you waiting.

This is a two-way mirror.

We can see him, but he can't see us.

He hears the water, but he doesn't remember it.

He doesn't even know that, if he returned to the water, he'd drown.

His gills may grow back.


His features, his skin, they're more like a human's every day.

He's even lost the need for violence.

Because we've treated him kindly.

The change is biological, not psychological.

Forget the technical terms, doctor. It's kindness, not pain.

You mean he returns kindness with kindness?

I believe it.

Do you think that's always true, doctor?

Do you think that if I give kindness, I can always get kindness in return?

How do you mean?

Oh, come, come, Dr. Morgan. You're a very perceptive man.

I'd rather not talk about it.

It isn't any of my business.

Then, clinically, as a scientist, you should be interested.

Imagine how often love is returned with hate, and loyalty is returned with infidelity.

Is that a proven fact?

Oh, facts, Dr. Morgan. I only deal in facts, in reality, only that.

We make our own reality sometimes.

The facts are that, when love is returned with hate, loyalty is returned with infidelity, how long does it take before something has to be done about it?

Like what?

What do you mean?

Since we're talking about people...

Are we, doctor?

I thought we were talking about animals, about the creature.

All right, about the creature.

If he thinks all men are his enemy, if he can't see things the way they are instead of the way he thinks they are, he lives in terrible fear.

He's only an animal.

The same holds true for man.

If man or animal becomes too terrified to think, he resorts to violence.

And in the animal world, it's called the law of the jungle.

But when it happens to human beings, 11s name is murder.

That's very nice. Thank you.

I didn't know you could play the guitar.

Well, I... I used to.

When you had more reason?

What is it?

Your husband, he's a very brilliant man.

I'm sure you know that. Yes.

But he's a deeply...

I believe the clinical definition is a "disturbed" man.

I tried to tell you.

I don't know what all my motives are for telling you this, but your husband needs help.

He isn't the kind that accepts help because he never admits he's wrong.

Besides, what can I do?

You're his wife.

It would take a great deal of courage.

Maybe just Patience.

No, Dr. Morgan, courage.

And I don't have that kind of courage anymore.

Swimming is wonderful.

Someone once said it was...

It was like being born again.

I can understand why the creature never wanted to leave the water.

We all have to leave the past sometime if life is going to mean anything.


Maybe it's too late to leave it for some people.

As a matter of fact, I think I'll take a swim right now.

Well, be careful, marcia.

What were you talking to Morgan about?

Excuse me.

What were you talking about?

Please, you're hurting me.

I have a right to ask these questions. I'm your husband.

I'm going swimming.

You've become a cheap little tramp.

Only to you, bill.

Only to you.

Two minds with a single thought.

Uh, swimming, I mean.

Go away.

I thought you liked company.

Not yours.

How can you tell?

We're just getting to know each other.

What was it, Morgan? I don't know.

I thought I heard a bobcat.

A mountain lion's more like it.

This is his first act of violence since we captured him.

Yes, first killing.

We'll have to get those dead animals out of his sight.

The creature is what he was.

I don't think he reverted.

I think he killed the lion defending himself.



Get up!

Pack your clothes and get out!

Okay, but I'll leave in the morning. Now!

Or I'll have you thrown out!

Hurry up!

What's bothering you, doc?

Your wife?

Get out!

Oh, it must be your wife, doc.

Shut up and get out.


But it could've been any guy she'd get friendly with.

She hates you that much.


Oh, no!


Well, our experiment's over, and it's failed.

The beast remains a beast.

I don't think so.

The creature moved a step forward.

He didn't attack until he was attacked.

He killed a real enemy. And barton?

Well, he killed an enemy of his own creation.

The whole world was his enemy.

We're not so far from the jungle after all.

We're not so far from the stars, either.

I guess the way we go depends upon what we're willing to understand about ourselves.

And willing to admit.

Goodbye, Dr. Johnson. Goodbye.

Dr. borg, thank you for everything.

Mrs. barton.

Are you ready to leave?

Yes. The officer's taking me to the train.

We'll arrange everything here.

Will I see you again?

Yes, of course.



Got it.

There's an all-points call out on him.

They sighted him five miles west of here, heading for the coast.