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Gerald S. O'Loughlin
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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>
The Plateau in the film has been described as a world that is "cut off from evolutionary development." If that were true then dinosaurs from different eras would not be in the same place, nor would there be any ape-men or humanoids. See more »
It's such a damn shame that the youngest generation of cinema buffs only knows about "Jurassic Park", because they have been making really good dinosaur movies since the silent era already! Particularly Arthur Conan Doyle's legendary novel has always been a very popular story that received decent film versions in practically every decade. In case you know nothing about the plot just yet: the obnoxious and self-centered professor Challenger assembles a troop of unlikely adventurers to go on an expedition deep in the Amazonian jungle, because there's supposed to be a plateau where the dinosaurs never got extinct. The expedition sure is no field trip, since the plateau also homes giant funky green spiders and an aggressive tribe of aboriginals that don't really like intruders. Unavoidably the group also falls apart due to personal intrigues and two adventurers' mutual love-interest for the same girl. "The Lost World" by Irwin Allen by no means is a good film, but it's vastly entertaining, partly because the special effects and set pieces are so incredibly crummy! The dinosaurs are just ordinary reptiles, like lizards and even a crocodile, with fake horns glued onto them and filmed with a fish-eye lens so that they appear to be gigantic. Well, they obviously remain simple reptiles and totally don't evoke feelings of fear or engagement. The decors are quite nice, though, and this film definitely has the irresistible early 60's charm that never fails to put a smile on your face. Claude Rains, here in the final stage of his well-filled career, is excellent as the boisterous professor Challenge and he obviously amused himself with yelling at people and hitting them on their heads with an umbrella. The rest of the cast is rather forgettable, expect from the stunningly beautiful Vitina Marcus who plays the sexy native girl. Even though I only remember it vaguely, the 1925 version of the same story is a much better film, but this version will definitely appeal more to larger audiences.
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