As with any Ray Harryhaussen film, the creature is the star of the show. The dino in this film displays more character with a slight head or body movement than most of the human cast does. It's menacing but also adorable and whenever it's not on screen, we miss it. The lighthouse set piece is excellent and the rollercoaster finale (with young Lee Van Cleef!) is thrilling. Released the year before Godzilla!
For a B 1950s monster movie, the characters aren't bad; it was kind of interesting that the lead is played by a Swiss guy and they made no attempt to hide his accent. It was also interesting that they focused on how sad the woman was when the scientist died. But let's not forget this is a monster movie; the animation is great and it has everything you'd want: a rampage and a great climax.
Any film featuring a climax that involves Lee Van Cleef a) riding a roller coaster and b) shooting a giant, plague-bearing dinosaur with a radioactive bullet deserves to be better remembered, sez I. Almost sixty years on, Harryhausen's craft holds up, making this a fun little film for a quiet October evening.