Major Joe Nolan heads a rescue mission in the South Pacific to recover a downed atomic rocket. The crew crashlands on a mysterious island, and spends much time rock-climbing. They meet up ...
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Major Joe Nolan heads a rescue mission in the South Pacific to recover a downed atomic rocket. The crew crashlands on a mysterious island, and spends much time rock-climbing. They meet up with a native girl, a big lizard, and some dinosaurs. Written by
Marty McKee <email@example.com>
Pulpy Appeal, Although I Could've Used More Hillary Brooke
"Lost Continent" (1951) is a film that I used to love as a kid, but hadn't seen in over 40 years. I still remembered parts of it vividly, however, especially the gripping image of a man falling to his doom through a covering of cloud, and wondered if it would hold up all these years later. The answer: well, partly. In this one, the prototype of an atomic rocket crashlands on a mountain plateau in the South Pacific, and Air Force pilot Cesar Romero is called on to ferry scientists Whit Bissell, John Hoyt and Hugh Beaumont (six years pre-"Beaver") to the site, along with a few others. After a protracted but nonetheless suspenseful climb up the steep mountainside, which the band accomplishes with only ropes (and no pitons or carabiners!)--a climb that takes up more than 1/3 of the picture--our heroes make it to the top and discover a suddenly green-tinted world, populated with prehistoric critters. Although the switch from B&W to that greenish hue IS pretty nifty, it must be said that these dinosaurs are brought to life by the filmmakers using what might be the lamest stop-motion photography ever committed to film; 1925's "The Lost World" did a better job at this! Still, cheaply put together as it is, "Lost Continent" is mighty fun to watch, mainly because the leads are so appealing and convincing. The presences of yummy '50s gals Hillary Brooke and Acquanetta in bit roles doesn't hurt, either. Although the dinosaurs-on-an-island bit had been better handled three years earlier in "Unknown Island," and the notion of going after a crashlanded rocket over dangerous terrain would be dealt with infinitely better in 1968's "Ice Station Zebra" (and even in the 1963 Bob Hope comedy "Call Me Bwana"), this film still has a pulpy appeal that manages to strike a chord in me 40 years later. Watch it with the kiddies one night. Oh...nice-looking print on the DVD that I just watched, too!
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