Half Human (1957)

70 mins | Science fiction | 1957

Producer:

Tomoyuki Tanaka

Cinematographer:

Lucien Andriot

Production Designer:

Nicolai Remisoff

Production Company:

Toho Co.
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HISTORY

The opening title reads: " Half Human: The Story of the Abominable Snowman ." John Carradine's opening credit reads: "Starring John Carradine as Dr. John Rayburn, Anthropologist." The following statement precedes the closing credits: "The segments of this picture depicting Japanese people and locales were written and filmed in Japan. Special credit is due to the artists and technicians there who contributed much to the authenticity of this picture."
       Most of the film was shot in Japan, after which the American company Distributors Corp. of America (DCA) added English-language framing scenes and narration. A similar technique was used in the 1956 film Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (see above), which was also produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka, directed by Inoshiro Honda, written by Takeo Murata and distributed by Toho. According to modern sources, Half Human was first released in Japan in 1955 under the title Jujin Yukiotoko and was 95 minutes long.
       The American version of the film is comprised of much of the original Japanese footage, interspersed with scenes of Carradine, as Rayburn, explaining the Abominable Snowman to his colleagues. The soundtrack was removed from the Japanese footage (although in some shots the actors are clearly talking to one another in Japanese) and a voice-over narration by Carradine describing the action was added throughout. Modern sources add Kenji Sahara to the ... More Less

The opening title reads: " Half Human: The Story of the Abominable Snowman ." John Carradine's opening credit reads: "Starring John Carradine as Dr. John Rayburn, Anthropologist." The following statement precedes the closing credits: "The segments of this picture depicting Japanese people and locales were written and filmed in Japan. Special credit is due to the artists and technicians there who contributed much to the authenticity of this picture."
       Most of the film was shot in Japan, after which the American company Distributors Corp. of America (DCA) added English-language framing scenes and narration. A similar technique was used in the 1956 film Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (see above), which was also produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka, directed by Inoshiro Honda, written by Takeo Murata and distributed by Toho. According to modern sources, Half Human was first released in Japan in 1955 under the title Jujin Yukiotoko and was 95 minutes long.
       The American version of the film is comprised of much of the original Japanese footage, interspersed with scenes of Carradine, as Rayburn, explaining the Abominable Snowman to his colleagues. The soundtrack was removed from the Japanese footage (although in some shots the actors are clearly talking to one another in Japanese) and a voice-over narration by Carradine describing the action was added throughout. Modern sources add Kenji Sahara to the cast. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Hollywood Citizen-News
10 Dec 1958.
---
LA Mirror-News
12 Dec 1958.
---
Los Angeles Times
12 Dec 1958.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
22 Jun 57
p. 427.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir, Japanese footage
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig story
Screen adpt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog, Japanese footage
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Master of props
COSTUMES
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff, Japanese footage
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting supv
Scr supv
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Half Human: The Story of the Abominable Snowman
Jujin Yukiotoko
Release Date:
1957
Copyright Claimant:
Distributors Corp. of America
Copyright Date:
22 May 1957
Copyright Number:
LP8871
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
70
Countries:
Japan, United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Anthropologist Dr. John Rayburn, having returned to his American college after years of study in Japan, describes his startling findings there to his colleagues, Professor Philip Osborne and Professor Alan Templeton: Years earlier, a group of Japanese students set off for a carefree ski vacation in the northern part of the country. Two of the boys ski ahead to check out their cabin. When they have not returned to the lodge that night, the other friends try to phone them but get no answer. A storm breaks, causing an avalanche, after which the phone rings and the boys’ screams can be heard over the line. The friends call the mountain police and rush to the cabin, where they find that the two boys have been crushed to death. The assailant has left behind hair and huge footprints, and back in his office, John presents some of the hair and a mold of a footprint to his colleagues to study. They agree with John that the assailant must have been nine feet tall, weighing about 1,800 pounds, and that although its hair closely resembles human hair, it apparently covered the entire body. John informs them that brilliant Japanese scientist Professor Tanaka took charge of an expedition to track down the creature, which he hypothesized was an Abominable Snowman, or the Missing Link between apes and humans. John recalls the professor’s trip: With some of the original students, Tanaka heads the search into uncharted mountain territory. His careful mapping soon brings the party into a jungle-like area in the heart of the mountains, where they set up camp. One night, the Snowman appears at the tent of the one female student ... +


Anthropologist Dr. John Rayburn, having returned to his American college after years of study in Japan, describes his startling findings there to his colleagues, Professor Philip Osborne and Professor Alan Templeton: Years earlier, a group of Japanese students set off for a carefree ski vacation in the northern part of the country. Two of the boys ski ahead to check out their cabin. When they have not returned to the lodge that night, the other friends try to phone them but get no answer. A storm breaks, causing an avalanche, after which the phone rings and the boys’ screams can be heard over the line. The friends call the mountain police and rush to the cabin, where they find that the two boys have been crushed to death. The assailant has left behind hair and huge footprints, and back in his office, John presents some of the hair and a mold of a footprint to his colleagues to study. They agree with John that the assailant must have been nine feet tall, weighing about 1,800 pounds, and that although its hair closely resembles human hair, it apparently covered the entire body. John informs them that brilliant Japanese scientist Professor Tanaka took charge of an expedition to track down the creature, which he hypothesized was an Abominable Snowman, or the Missing Link between apes and humans. John recalls the professor’s trip: With some of the original students, Tanaka heads the search into uncharted mountain territory. His careful mapping soon brings the party into a jungle-like area in the heart of the mountains, where they set up camp. One night, the Snowman appears at the tent of the one female student and, attracted to her, strokes her cheek. Her screams alert the others, and her brother grabs a gun and tracks the creature into the jungle. Unknown to the others, he falls into a ravine, and only his rifle is recovered. Alan interrupts John to ask why the creature, earlier so vicious, seemed emotionally tender toward the sister, but John simply continues his story: The boy is alive, but wounded, and is rescued by a young woman of a nearby, primitive tribe whose members worship the Snowman as a deity. Upon learning that she has brought the boy back to their village, the tribe members fear the Snowman will attack and so force her to offer food as a sacrifice. While she does so, the village men kidnap the boy and tie him suspended over a cliff, where buzzards circle hungrily. He seems doomed until the Snowman spots him and, watched by the girl, unties the boy and sets him free. Back in the office, John explains that he has no answers as to how much emotional capacity the snowman has, and calls in medical doctor Carl Jordan to examine the corpse John has brought back from Japan, that of the Snowman’s son. Carl deduces that the creature is half human, half animal, a few generations removed from Neanderthal Man. He guesses that the adult of the species would experience basic emotions, but be capable of only primitive reasoning. John tells the men that the adult Snowman became vicious after his son was shot, and relates what led up to the tragedy: A Japanese circus man hears about the Snowman and determines to catch him to use him as a sideshow. He and his men capture the son, and thus are able to trap and sedate the Snowman. They put him in a cage attached to a truck and drive away, but the boy jumps onto the truck and revives the father, who kills the driver and escapes from the cage. The other men, following behind in a car, shoot at the truck and kill the son, whom the Snowman cradles in his arms. He is filled with vengeful rage and, after killing the other men, attacks the mountain village, killing everyone except the girl. Meanwhile, the boy has returned to Tanaka’s camp and convinced the search party that the Snowman is benevolent, and they retrace his steps to the village. There, the Snowman sees them and starts an avalanche, and then later that night abducts the boy’s sister. The group soon discovers the village girl, who leads them to the Snowman’s cave. They proceed with trepidation into the cave, where they stumble upon the Snowman about to throw the sister into a bubbling pit. The village girl, however, runs at the Snowman and when he struggles with her, they both fall into the pit, saving the sister. John concludes by noting that the loss of the Snowman was a blow for science, which may now never know if the Missing Link existed, but must nonetheless continue to search for answers. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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