The Giant Claw (1957)

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Image gallery for The Giant Claw
Credits for The Giant Claw

The Giant Claw
American poster for The Giant Claw
Alternate titles
Flagicon Japan.png Humanity's Crisis! Claws of the
Giant Monster Bird
(DVD 2011)
See alternate titles
Directed by Fred F. Sears
Producer(s) Sam Katzman
Written by Paul Gangelin, Samuel Newman
Music by Mischa Bakaleinikoff
Distributor Columbia Pictures
Rating Approved
Running time 75 minutes
Aspect ratio 1.85:1 (intended ratio),
1.37:1 (negative ratio)
Rate this film!
(11 votes)

The Giant Claw is a 1957 American giant monster film distributed by Columbia Pictures. The film was released to American theaters in June 1957.


A seemingly invincible giant alien bird called La Carcagne spreads destruction across the Earth's skies. Two romantically-involved scientists team up with the U.S. Air Force to stop her.


Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.

  • Directed by   Fred F. Sears
  • Written by   Samuel Newman, Paul Gangelin
  • Produced by   Sam Katzman
  • Music by   Mischa Bakaleinikoff
  • Cinematography by   Benjamin H. Kline
  • Edited by   Saul A. Goodkind, Tony DiMarco
  • Production design by   Paul Palmentola, Sidney Clifford
  • Assistant directing by   Leonard Katzman
  • Special effects by   Ralph Hammeras, George J. Teague, Lawrence W. Butler


Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.

  • Jeff Morrow   as   Mitch MacAfee
  • Mara Corday   as   Sally Caldwell
  • Morris Ankrum   as   Lt. Gen. Edward Considine
  • Louis Merrill   as   Pierre Broussard
  • Edgar Barrier   as   Dr. Karol Noymann
  • Robert Shayne   as   Gen. Van Buskirk
  • Frank Griffin   as   Pete - Pilot
  • Clark Howat   as   Maj. Bergen
  • Morgan Jones   as   Lieutenant, Radar Officer



Weapons, vehicles, and races


The Giant Claw was inspired by recent scientific theses relating to anti-matter, and possibly the Samuel Hopkins Adams short story "Grandfather and a Winter's Tale" which centers around the La Carcagne of legend.[1]


The Giant Claw was filmed under the working title The Mark of the Claw, referencing the claw print La Carcagne leaves at Pierre's farm.[2] Stop-motion animator Ray Harryhausen, who had previously worked with producer Sam Katzman on It Came from Beneath the Sea and Earth vs. The Flying Saucers, turned down the project.[2] Katzman turned to effects technicians in Mexico, who produced a pair of risible La Carcagne models. The actors were not shown the monster's design during filming; a mortified Jeff Morrow crept out of a neighborhood screening of the film after the audience erupted in laughter.[2]

Theatrical releases

Alternate titles

  • The Mark of the Claw (Working title)
  • Humanity's Crisis! Claws of the Giant Monster Bird (Japan, DVD; 人類危機一髪!巨大怪鳥の爪)

Video releases

Sony DVD (2007) [Icons of Horror Collection: Sam Katzman]

Mill Creek DVD (2014) [Sci-Fi Creature Classics]

i-catcher Media Blu-ray (2017)

  • Region: B/2
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: English, German (DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0)
  • Subtitles: German
  • Special features: Audio commentary by Ingo Strecker and Thomas Kerpen, audio commentary by Dr. Rolf Giesen, Uwe Sommerlad, and Ivo Scheloske, introduction by Dr. Rolf Giesen (5 minutes), American opening credits (1 minute), Spanish opening credits (1 minute), American trailer (2 minutes), Super 8 digest version (9 minutes), photo slideshow (3 minutes)


American The Giant Claw trailer
Ken Films Super 8 digest version of
The Giant Claw


This is a list of references for The Giant Claw. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. The Giant Claw (1957) - Articles - (archived)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Warren, Bill (2010). Keep Watching the Skies! American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties Volume 1: A-K. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. pp. 332, 334. ISBN 978-0-8995-0170-3.


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