The Lost World (1925 & 1960)
Movie Lover: Richard Smith
PLANO, TX US
-- October, 8, 2014
In 1925, pioneer special-effects artist, Willis O’Brien, using stop-motion animation, brought dinosaurs to a full-length feature for the first time. The movie was based on a novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle of Sherlock Holmes fame.
Thirty-five years later, producer Irwin Allen chose O’Brien for the special effects in a talkie remake of The Lost World. O’Brien had planned to create a riot of prehistoric stop-motion monsters; however, due to time and financial constraints, the movie used small reptiles wearing prosthetics to impersonate the monsters of prehistoric times.
Professor Challenger (Wallace Berry) is seeking to finance a return trip to a South American plateau where creatures long thought extinct still roam as the 1925 movie begins. He also hopes to rescue his colleague Maple White who was stranded on the plateau. White’s lovely daughter Paula (Bessie Love) wishes to join the expedition as does Lord John Roxton (Lewis Stone), a middle-aged big-game hunter who is enamored with Paula. Also wishing passage is Professor Summerly (Arthur Hoyt) who thinks Challenger is a “fraud” but deserves the opportunity to prove his “extraordinary claims.” The problem is funding the undertaking. Reporter Ed Malone (Lloyd Hughes) convinces his paper to fund the trip on the condition that he accompanies the expedition.
The dinosaurs are very crude by the standards of the Jurassic Park movies. They are even crude compared to those found in O’Brien’s next magus opus, King Kong, made eight years later. But this movie was, after all, the pioneer of the genre.
In the 1960 version, Challenger (Claude Rains) is again trying to prove his claims of a lost world on a South American plateau. Summerly (Richard Haydn) is willing to join an expedition to disprove Challenger’s ridiculous assertions. Newspaper executive Stuart Holmes (John Graham) decides to finance the trip providing his reporter Ed Malone (David Hedison) accompanies the expedition. Lord John Roxton (Michael Rennie), a man skilled in jungle survival but something of a playboy, volunteers to go along. Jennifer Holmes (Jill St. John), Stuart Holmes’ strong-willed daughter and Roxton’s girlfriend manages to wrangle a place in the adventurous undertaking with her younger brother David (Ray Stricklyn). Piloting the helicopter to the plateau is Manuel Gomez (Fernando Lamas), a man with a secret desire for revenge. Rounding out the team is Costa (Jay Novello), Gomez’s assistant, a man with countless character flaws.
As in the 1925 version, the crew is stranded on the plateau where they encounter many prehistoric monsters. They attempt to find a passage off the high plateau, helped by a beautiful native girl (Vitina Marcus); however, both nature and the natives imperil them at every turn.
Although the 1960 movie was not what O’Brien had envisioned, the monsters still look menacing.
Lots of fun
Movie Lover: Lynn Flournoy
Luthersville, GA US
-- July, 31, 2008
I enjoyed this movie. How did they get those fake scales on those iguanas to stay on LOL.