The curious collection of a slightly mad scientist
The photograph at the bottom of this blog shows Holmes and Watson encountering the “monster” as the film reaches its climax. However, the “beast” in our photograph is not the “beast” in the film for it sank without trace in Loch Ness and lies somewhere at the bottom of the loch to this day (well I suspect after forty years it is now a very ragged wireframe). Two accounts here sum up the loss of the prop.From TCM:The production was a troubled one, full of technical snafus like having to reshoot the entire Loch Ness sequence (the real location was too difficult to properly light among other problems). Leading lady Genevieve Page recalled in Charlotte Chandler’s biography, Nobody’s Perfect: Billy Wilder, “When we lost our Loch Ness monster, he wasn’t too concerned, even though he was also the producer. He was more concerned about how the man who made it felt when all his work sank to the bottom of the Loch Ness. He went over and comforted him.” She was referring to special effects man Wally Veevers’s elaborate “monster,” which worked beautifully until they gave it a test run in the Loch Ness. After its failure, Wilder decided to shoot it in miniature in the studio.”From IMBD:
Originally, the scenes featuring the Loch Ness Monster were intended to be filmed in the actual Loch. A life-size prop was built which had several Nessie-like humps used to disguise floatation devices. The humps were removed, however, at Billy Wilder’s request. Unfortunately, during a test run in Loch Ness, the Monster-prop sank and was never recovered. A second prop (just the head and neck) was built, but was only filmed inside a studio tank.read more: LOCH NESS MONSTER: An Interesting Photograph.