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In the early-mid 1960s, this movie (along with Titanic and The Day the
Earth Stood Still) would appear about once a year on the syndicated
"Saturday Night at the Movies". As a kid I anxiously awaited the return
of this one in particular.
This was definitely great fun and entertainment. Nobody would get (or deserve) any Oscars for this work, but they all deserve a round of applause and lasting appreciation.
The concept of finding a completely isolated region of the world filled with fascinating and sometimes frightening plants and animals is nearly as intriguing in our GPS-mapped existence as it was when Sir Arthur penned out the story. The fact that it was unrealistic even when this movie was made was overcome by the exuberant actors and extraordinary sets of The Lost World.
Though the characters are pretty well central-casting creations, they are portrayed with enough professionalism as to make them compelling. Even the virtually voiceless native girl played by the absolutely drop-dead gorgeous Vitina Marcus plays a big part in keeping the story together.
Great cinema? No. Great fun for a couple of hours? Definitely.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I went back and read my review of the original 1925 silent film "The
Lost World" and was somewhat surprised that virtually all of the
character names were used here in this picture. I guess I shouldn't
have been since both were based on the Arthur Conan Doyle story
featuring Professor Challenger and his discovery of an Amazon land
filled with prehistoric beasts. Considering the march of time and
technology, I felt the execution of the stop motion photography in the
earlier picture was superior to the use of tricked out lizards in this
one. Apparently budget considerations prevented a project of larger
scale, a shame because Ray Harryhausen's stop motion monsters in "One
Million Year B.C." were quite impressive in a movie made six years
The biggest surprise here for this viewer was the casting of Claude Rains in the role of Professor Challenger. Virtually unrecognizable behind the red beard and spectacles, I kept making a mental comparison of him here to his role of Captain Renault in "Casablanca". Somehow it didn't seem like the same actor, especially when he was making those flamboyant flourishes at the Zoological Society or railing against Miss Holmes (Jill St. John) from going on the expedition.
Speaking of which, did it seem all that necessary for the elegant wardrobe Jennifer Holmes took along for the trip? The same could be said for Lord Roxton (Michael Rennie), looking quite dashing in his jacket and tie, but with no regard for the steamy heat and humidity that must have been prevalent in the South American jungle. It's disconnects like that that take away some of the credibility in pictures like this, not to mention the flawless use of eye shadow and make-up on characters like the Native Girl (Vitina Marcus), who looked absolutely knock out, nothing at all like a throw back to pre-Jurassic cave types.
Well perhaps the movie going public of 1960 didn't care much for realism as long as they got their fill of faux dinosaurs battling to the death and high adventure featuring exploding volcanoes and plenty of molten lava. Today's sophisticated viewers brought up on a diet of Jurassic World CGI will undoubtedly cast a jaundiced eye at pictures like this one, but for it's time they served a purpose to thrill and entertain. I'm still wondering about that fluorescent green spider though.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I watched this movie after nearly thirty years and I saw the 1925 version just after. I did not remember this one and I was astonished to see that the first version of Conan Doyle's novel was far far better. I know this sounds strange, but the remake seems to end where the original resumed towards a terrific climax: the prehistoric monster loose in a big city, in the pure KING KONG manner, or so many other monster movies, such as those we saw during the fifties. I don't know why Irwin Allen did not continue his story in NY, London or Paris...This would have been great; instead of that we only see a baby monster where maybe in the future give many difficulties to the human kind. A sort of open ending. And watching such an end and then resuming with the original, with an ending where the monster is brought to London to finally attack the city, watching the Irwin Allen's feature may be really painful, such as an one arm man who, after an amputation, still feels his missing arm.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie was shown on the Movies! network. It came out in 1960 when I
was only 14 years old. I don't remember this one specifically, I may
have seen it back then, but it certainly is typical of the 1960s Sci-Fi
Simple enough story, a team of scientists travel to a deep Amazon location to investigate reports of dinosaurs still living there. When a few had gone off then returned to camp they found what "looked like a cyclone had hit" the campsite and the rest were missing. Soon they found them, captured by an unknown native tribe, seemingly intent on eating them.
In the cave of the volcanic mountain they found a long-lost professor, now blind, and a well-meaning native lady who would help them find a way out. Which they did, with difficulty, barely escaping the chasing natives. Along with a few nice diamonds and a large egg, a dinosaur egg.
It is a very "campy" movie, fun entertainment for an afternoon with nothing else to do. Stars included Michael Rennie, Jill St. John (only 19 or 20, just eye candy), Claude Rains, and Fernando Lamas.
They did encounter a live dinosaur, the "special effect" for this was to film extreme close-ups of a lizard. It works pretty well.
Based upon Arthur Conan Doyle's famous novel, this film really avoids
the book. Filmed three and a half decade after the first 1925 version,
the director Irwin Allen avoids the the book, not slightly but too much
and I think that caused a failure of this film.
This film has a brilliant acting crew, I mean Claude Rains (always brilliant, unforgettable and distinctive in his performances, but, I think he didn't care to much for his character, I guess he was payed and that's it, he didn't do much with his character), Michael Rennie, Jill St. John, David Hedison and Fernando Lamas... but no luck from them either. The movie "set", where they were filming was so fake, that I wouldn't take a leak there. Special effects? Where? They masked lizards and edited them on big screen to look more intimidating, that's it, I think that lizards didn't feel to good...
But, the main thing is that these stories about lost worlds, and other remote places in which evolution didn't occurred, filled with all kinds of degenerate creatures are extremely old, even today. Today? Those stories are long dead on big screen. Well, except maybe for King Kong (2005), but that was remake. No matter how you try, these kind of stories, if you want to put them back on big screen, than you must adapt it to the modern audience. But, again... who would watch that?
Almost all of the 50 or more reviews here have cited and re-cited the
repulsively live lizards and overall B-movie ambiance of this
controversial remake of the Conan Doyle novel and 1925 silent classic.
Does anyone read anyone else's reviews before submitting?????
Anyway, I'll try to say something new (or at least unsaid) about this slightly tarnished Golden Oldie. I think one person did note the excellent score. One of the best things in the film is the Main Title sequence with the tempestuous music of Paul Sawtell and Bert Sheftner playing against FANTASIA-like shots of swirling molten lava. (These are certainly more vividly fantastic than the disgusting looking goo that passes for lava at the climax of the film).
One might say the film goes downhill from there, but the DVD's stereo version of the original 4-track CinemaScope soundtrack makes the entire score (and film) sound even better. The impressive aerial shots of the Amazonian jungles during the flight to the plateau are an especially effective fusion of wide-screen cinematography and music.
I personally was drawn back into this LOST WORLD after revisiting the great Circus-Circus episode in DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, one of the best sequences in the middle-period Bond cycle.
Her role as Bond girl, Tiffany Case, is certainly a high point of Jill St. John's film career. Her smart pants suits and stylish look in DIAMONDS are possibly modeled on singer Elly Stone in the long-running Off Broadway show, Jacque Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris. At any rate, she looks great and the DIAMONDS wardrobe is certainly an improvement on the hot pink Capri pants she impeccably sports throughout the jungle madness and slobbering lizard attacks in LW. (The versatile Ms. St. John also wrote a cookbook, which is still apparently in print).
Claude Rains and Richard Hayden, the voice of the caterpillar in Disney's ALICE IN WONDERLAND, do the best they can with the material. Rains even looks something like the original Challenger in the classic silent version.
Ray Stricklyn as David Holmes was nominated for a 1961 Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in THE PLUNDERERS, and also for Most Promising Newcomer in 1959. But for better or worse LOST WORLD (and THE RETURN OF Dracula) remain the films for which he is most remembered. Scarlet Street, the cult genre magazine (for which I used to write about film music) published an interview with the then out-of-the-closet (and since deceased) Stricklyn in issue #35.
The 2-disc LOST WORLD DVD set includes an excellent restoration of the original silent version. The dream-like, sometimes surreal imagery is made even more so by the restored multi-colored tinting.
For viewers who fondly remember the era of the original 1960 release a complete version of the Dell movie tie-in comic will be an especially welcome and nostalgic addition among the bonus features.
This 1960 retelling of the novel has many good points and far more bad points. The characters are more or less the same just updated in social class and occupation to suit the modern setting. All the explorers led by Challenger visit a plateau that Challenger claims to be inhabited by prehistoric monsters. They end up having their helicopter smashed by a brontosaurus (in reality a monitor lizard with a large frill and Godzilla style spikes on it's back ) so they have to find a way out of the mountain. Along the way the encounter natives more dinosaurs which include the creature that destroyed their helicopter , a baby alligator and another monitor lizard all of which have fins glued on. The acting isn't great but it certainly isn't bad just fairly average , the dinosaurs are goofy but they do look quite cool and sometimes fierce like during the fight between two of them , they are lizards but it is kind of fun to watch. I wouldn't recommend it but i wouldn't prohibit it either , it's a Marmite movie you love it or hate it. The only thing i'm not happy with is certain scenes of animal cruelty involving the lizards.
What can you say when you watch a big-budget B-click that used to air
on TV in the late 60s and 70s, and somehow, for whatever reason,
doesn't hold up all that well? The best a man can do is to smile at the
nostalgia blast, sit back with some popcorn, and enjoy the film for
what it is. This sound and color "update" of the silent B&W version of
Doyle's tale, ratches up the production values, but, being a Hollywood
production, makes a few missteps with the science as well as altering
Doyle's original tale some.
It ain't "Citizen Kane". It ranks more with the Japanese kaiju genre, although the SFX team on this flick seem to have gone the extra step of trying to make up Gila monsters and iguanas to resemble dinosaurs of eons past. That, as opposed to Nippon's tradition of sticking stuntmen into latex suits. Pick yer poison was to which one you think looks more believable.
Modern dino-aficionados might take umbrage as the warm-blooded animal verse cold blooded reptile debate still rages (last I hear) on what the extinct sauropods and therapods actually were, but, if you find yourself shooting holes in the plot and scientific accuracy of this flick, then maybe you shouldn't be watching it (said the author with tongue firmly implanted in cheek). I recall my pot-head baby-sitter telling me that I didn't know what dinosaurs looked like when I complained that the on screen dinos were merely lizards with prosthetic makeup. But I digress :-) In short "The Lost World" is a dino-flick from an era of when dino-flicks were hard to make. This film has a little more heart than some other offerings of the period. Given a somewhat impressive cast for this sort of fair it's hard to knock the film entirely.
Essentially it's the proverbial "great white hunter" (or paleontologist as the case may be) who treks into the deepest darkest part of a third world jungle (South America in this instance) to find and prove the existence of what were thought to be extinct species.
If we were still living in the 1970s, and it was a weekend afternoon, then I'd say give this thing a look to pass time, because that's essentially all it was good for. Otherwise, look at it for some nostalgia.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Fans of Irwin Allen pretty much know what they're going to get. In the 70's, it was a galaxy of stars trapped in horrifying disasters both on the big screen and in multitudinous TV movies. In the 60's, it was a palette of stars tossed together for an adventure either in a submarine ("Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea"), a hot air balloon ("Five Weeks in a Balloon") or, as in this case, stranded on a plateau with prehistoric creatures. More often than not, a pet was along for the ride. This time out, combustible, cantankerous scientist Rains is looking for help with an expedition to the mouth of the Amazon River where he believes dinosaurs still exist. Thanks to the aid of a benefactor, he is able to make the journey, but is forced to take along several others. The roster includes fellow professor Haydn, British Lord Rennie, socialite St. John and her younger brother Stricklyn, reporter Hedison, pilot Lamas and guide Novello. St. John's pet poodle, who gets ribbons to match each of her owners' outfits, is also carted along in a wicker carrying case. The octet has barely landed on the plateau when a rampaging creature trashes their only means of escape and they are forced to find another way down. Adding to their woes is mysterious native girl Marcus and the prospect that one of them is an attempted assassin. (Saboteurs and/or spoilers are nearly always a staple of Allen's TV shows and films as well.) After facing down more dinosaurs and, briefly, a giant spider, the group must descend deep into the plateau where they encounter cannibals, rugged terrain and molten lava. It's a colorful, eye-filling, juvenile-esquire adventure which takes it's time getting started. The opening scenes with Rains and the reporters tend to drag on and slow the film's momentum. Once the travelers reach their destination, things pick up considerably, though the movie is filled with corny situations and preposterous details (not the least of which are St. John's choice of pants and footwear and Marcus' native get-up, all designed by long-time Allen collaborator and close pal Paul Zastupnevich.) Rains, sporting a shock of orange hair and a beard, delivers a rather hammy performance, perhaps trying to cover up the banality of the script. Haydn is restrained and inoffensive. Most of the others give serviceable performances with Lamas and St. John providing visual appeal, though Novello is over the top as the greedy and frightened guide. With the dinosaurs being portrayed by small reptiles with glued-on horns and other debris and with fierce roars dubbed in each time they yawned, the fear factor is kept fairly short, though there is one battle between two of them that is apparently real and a little unsettling. The cannibals are dealt with in a practically cartoon fashion. It's perfect as a undemanding piece of entertainment, but other films have done a better job of creating suspense and adventure.
A daring expedition constituted by Professor Challenger(Claude Rains),a
scientific(Richard Haydn),an adventurer named Rolston(Michael
Wilding),a journalist(David Hedison),an explorer(Fernando Lamas),the
magnate's daughter(Jill St John)among others journey to remote location
where are roaming prehistoric dinosaurs and savage cannibal tribes
still alive.They confront against the nature's most fearsome predators
that savagely stalking its prey.
It's an amusing old-fashioned and dated adventure from Arthur Conan Doyle(Sherlock Holmes's author)novel that follows the wake of ¨Journey of the center of the earth¨ by Henry Levin previously filmed,in fact the finale part into the cave is similarly realized ,including a cliff-hungers scenes where the protagonists are dangling over a dangerous cliffs pursued by a cruel natives .An ambitious production values and quite entertaining considering its age.The Jurassik creatures are made by transparency as a giant spider and a lizards increased by optics effects. The story was impressive when first released but it looks pretty silly for standards nowadays. Dinosaurs delivers the goods with chills,grisly screams when the beasts appear,thus the climax film happens when the giant lizards running amok and are fighting among them.The motion picture is regularly directed by Irwin Allen, the catastrophe cinema's creator(Adventure Poseidon,Towering inferno,Swarm).This story was formerly adapted in a silent movie(1925)and with dinosaurs made by the great Willis O'Brien(King Kong).Anothers remakes are filmed in 1993 by Timothy Bond with John Rhys Davies and of course the especial adaptation by Steven Spielberg :The lost world, Jurassik Park. The flick will like to the juvenile public and and adventures movie fans but best enjoyed in big screen
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