Professor Challenger leads team of scientists and adventurers to a remote plateau deep within the Amazonian jungle to investigate reports that dinosaurs still live there. Written by
Marg Baskin <email@example.com>
Director Irwin Allen wanted to use stop-motion dinosaurs for this film, but due to budget reasons he had to use lizards - mainly monitor lizards - as dinosaurs. Plastic horns and spikes were attached to them to make them look more like dinosaurs. See more »
When the camp is attacked, after the explorers have run away, Challenger identifies the creature as a Brontosaurus, yet the posture of the animal is all wrong and it has certain features from other herbivorous dinosaurs like Triceratops and Stergosaurus. See more »
Irwin Allen's 1960 version of The Lost World may be shot in CinemaScope, but stylistically it fits right in with his 60s sci-fi TV shows (indeed, stock footage from the film found its way into his Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea series, as did co-star David Hedison). Originally intended to feature state-of-the-art stop-motion animation from Willis O. Brien, the special effects genius behind the groundbreaking 1925 version as well as King Kong, the ever-economical producer opted instead for the tried and trusted and, most important of all, much cheaper technique of supergluing fins and horns on real lizards and having them double for dinosaurs despite looking like nothing so much as lizards with fins and horns superglued on them. However, even had he spent the extra time and money, this modernised version was never going to be the definitive one: 'dinosaur' action is fairly thin on the ground and the novel's finale that sees a pterodactyl on the loose in London is unceremoniously dropped. Instead there's a lot of wandering around the Fox ranch and backlot, cameo appearances from the odd poisonous giant plant left over from Journey to the Center of the Earth, a tribe of natives with a yen for human sacrifice, a fortune in diamonds and the obligatory erupting volcano finale, though it retains a certain nostalgic Saturday kids matinée appeal even if most of today's kids wouldn't sit still for it. Claude Rains gets to grandstand as Professor Challenger while Michael Rennie's aristocratic big game hunter seems almost like a blueprint for George Lazenby's take on James Bond, with Jill St. John tagging along for no good reason other than Arthur Conan Doyle's thoughtless failure to provide any female roles in the original novel.
Fox's new DVD boasts a fine 2.35:1 widescreen transfer, but the stereo tracks are reversed so that the left comes from the right speaker and vice versa!
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