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|Index||19 reviews in total|
I cannot believe you guys! All this claptrap and no mention of Joan
infamous underwater swimming scene?!?
I saw this movie when it was first released and I was barely pubescent at that time. The audience was quietly taking in the Verneian antics of our shanghaied duo, until one of the main characters (I forget which) runs off for a swim with the Joan Staley character (Deena).
OK, so Deena takes off her prehistoric sunsuit and lo and behold she is wearing a Stone-Age bikini! OK, nothing to get excited about --- pretty chaste even for 1961. No elastic in prehistoric times, though, so the top fits rather loosely.
So the couple jump in the lagoon and start playfully swimming and diving underwater. The decent underwater cinematography lingers on each of the characters as they cavort about.
It quickly becomes evident that Deena's bikini top is not going to hold her fairly ample anatomy securely in hiding from the voyeurs in the audience.
I will never forget the eruption of hoots and whistles from the darkened theater as the camera continued to follow Ms. Staley from such a point of view as to make it all too evident that Deena would have no trouble feeding any of her progeny, especially considering the equipment on display.
Granted, this sort of thing hardly rates the consideration of a PG rating today, but in 1961, it was dynamite. I was at a point in my development where the fuss being made by the male members of the audience only served to make me embarrassed and uncomfortable. The scene seemed to go on forever.
I was elated to be able to get recently a VHS copy of the movie (recorded, believe it or not, from a TV presentation), and waited breathlessly for the scene burned into my mind as a young lad.
And there it was in all its glory. And every bit as provocative as it was in that little Galveston, Texas theater back in '61.
One of the best bits of vintage, unexpected cinematic cheesecake I have ever had the pleasure to encounter.
I grew up in a tiny little town that had nothing going on except a run down movie theater. I recall somebody taking me to see this movie when I was a little kid. I'm guessing that Valley hit our screen around 63 or 64, a good two years after its release. Anyhow, I loved every second of it and still have vivid memories of the movie to this day. (I caught it one or two other times on TV during the seventies) It had a very dramatic opening scene: two duelist were suddenly swept away just before they were about to kill each other. Then they find themselves on a strange world filled with huge dinosaurs doing battle with each other. As if that wasn't enough they soon are under attack by savage primates. I'm guessing it sorta goes downhill after that but this film was a major event in my very ordinary little life back in the early sixties. I will always be grateful for that no matter how this holds up in comparison to today's stuff. It was pure cinema magic back then.
This movie was on fairly regularly when I was a kid; my cousin and I
would frequently watch it together (she didn't share my enthusiasm for
the animal skin-clad women, but she loved a scene where one of the
cavemen gets eaten by a dragon).
It was years later that I saw One Million B.C. for the first time; I knew it was hailed as a classic, but while I found it enjoyable (I fell in love with Carole Landis), VOTD still held more of a mystique for me.
I have since looked for it in various video rental places with no success. It seems that these days even the networks aim for more sophisticated fare and overlook simpler joys like this. Just because the movies have graduated to Jurassic Park shouldn't mean that we can't suspend our disbelief for a brief period. VOTD should not be allowed to become extinct!
Okay, I admit it...this little film holds a special place in my heart. It
is the absolute first movie I can ever remember watching on television. I
remember watching it on a Saturday morning after cartoons, and looking at
the TV Guide to see that it was actually classified as a "melodrama". All
really remember from that initial viewing was the fight between the two
lizards and the attack by the giant spider.
I recently managed to obtain a copy of the movie and finally re-watched it after what was probably thirty years. First of all, I never knew it was based on a Jules Verne novel, who is one of my favorite authors of all time. Too bad it was based on one of the few Verne books I haven't read.
Cesare Danova is great as the French duelist who is picked up with an American who had affronted him in a disagreement over a woman. What follows turns into your standard caveman/regular-lizards-pretending-to- be-dinosaurs type film. The two end up becoming the leaders of opposing prehistoric tribes and things continue from there.
The movie is nothing really that great, but it's a fun little movie that's on a par with any 1950's programmer.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film is so entertaining from the moment it starts that finding out
through research that some of the footage was from "One Million B.C.",
it didn't diminish the impact of the film for me. I was going to call
my review "The Night of the Big Iguana", but I wanted to instill the
point of view that having seen "One Million B.C." and this at different
points in my life, I didn't even notice the difference. Only one thing
in the film made me roll my eyes, and that was the silly looking
underground people. But there was nothing else to laugh at, even after
the premise of a comet leaving the two men about to duel all alone (as
the others are whiffed away in some sort of Event Horizon) and come out
of it as friendly as the Geiko gecko.
I'm not really a follower of science fiction to the point where I can call myself an expert on the genre, so I had to simply accept what the two men realized had happened and just go along with the flow with that explanation and enjoy the sight of large creatures they had to hide from. Sure, it is really silly that the Frenchman (Cesare Danova) floats down the river on a palm raft as large creatures (including a snake and lizard) pass right by him as if they didn't want to disturb his nap. It is easy to overlook faulty parts of a storyline when it is presented so entertainingly. Only George Pal and Ray Harryhausen were doing successful films like this at the time, and this one wasn't either one of their talented thumbs.
Fortunately, the romantic involvement between the two men and the cave women they found was subtly done not to overshadow the pre-historic nature and science fiction elements of the film. Young audiences of today might not appreciate it (to quote the son of a friend who watched "Godzilla" and told his dad that it was a man in a lizard suit.) But for those of us who remember the double creature feature (and no computer animation), it remains a lot of fun.
This was one of the very first dinosaur movies I ever watched. When I was a kid I loved the a lot of the scenes, especially the ones from the volcanic eruption. Little did I know at the time that most of the footage was "borrowed" from the original "jurassic classic" One Million B.C. (1940). Also, I didn't find out until several years later that this film was based on a work by the master of science fiction, Jules Verne. This is an okay film for lovers of B movies. Too bad that they don't really show it on television anymore.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is another movie I'd been after for years and recently obtained a
copy off ebay on the Colombia Classics label.
2 men having a duel somehow end up on a comet when a storm breaks out. This comet contains a prehistoric jungle and strange creatures (more on them later). They also make friends with natives (cave men and women) and find love too. But they also have to fight off unfriendly, missing link creatures.
Now to those prehistoric creatures, these are mostly lots of giant lizard stock footage from One Million BC. We also see Wolly Mammoths, Mastadons and a giant spider.
I found this move enjoyable and great fun to watch.
Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
Two men are about to fight a duel in the 19th century when a comet
flies by and sucks them onto the comet. However, the comet itself is
quite Earth-like except that it is populated by dinosaurs, ice age
creatures and semi-humans and humans. The two men learn to live and
even thrive on this planet--finding a couple hot babes (complete with
nicely tweezed eyebrows, makeup and salon hair) and places in tribes of
I must admit that I did enjoy "Valley of the Dragons", but at the same time, in some ways it was a rather bad movie. After all, many of the scenes featuring 'dinosaurs' were lifted from other movies. What makes it worse is that these were BAD dinosaurs--clearly monitor lizards and alligators with fins glued to their backs. They were also EVIL in that the original filmmakers simply let these reptiles kill each other for real on tiny sets and put these brutal scenes in the movie! While I am certainly NOT a raving animal rights advocate, I still think these scenes were sick and awful. This aspect of the film is just awful. I also had a laugh when normal animals such as coatimundis and armadillos were blown up to dinosaur size! However, the acting was quite good--which surprised me, as the actors were definitely not big-name stars. And, while the script was a bit fantastic, it was fun and worth seeing. Overall, not as bad as I'd assumed and a bit of a guilty pleasure.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Valley of the Dragons was one of the last gasps of the classic Fifties
SF movie. In the UK it has been very difficult to see, but is now
available on DVD, in a superb print, as part of the excellent Columbia
If you like this sort of thing (I do) then there is quite a lot to keep you occupied, including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and plenty of dinosaur and mammoth action; not to mention a couple of very fetching cave girls. It delivers a lot more than many B movies of the era.
I am pleased to have finally seen it, but I cannot claim it is an unsung minor classic. It consists of a prologue that nods in the direction of Jules Verne, followed by a caveman movie similar to One Million BC. That is where the problems lie: "similar to" is a massive understatement.
In truth, most of this movie (and just about all the action) is stock footage taken directly from that earlier picture and the new material was clearly written just to accommodate it.
Valley of the Dragons is not just based on One Million BC.
It is One Million BC.
Jules Verne's name is shamelessly and regularly dropped in and around
this Movie, but none of that matters. What is at stake here is its
ability to draw in the Kids with Giant Monsters and Scantily Clad
Girls. There is a ton of that seen here, but a lot of it had been on
Screen before as it unabashedly clips Scenes from other Movies.
If you can forgive its Plagiarism this is a fast moving Movie with a few of its own quite interesting Shots. There are plenty of Lizards in the Background and some of them are quite brutally disposed of as they menace and mangle everything in sight. Also in sight is an underwater Cheesecake Scene that had the Boys howling in the 1961 Theatres.
An Entertaining piece of Schlock is fondly remembered by its now Grown Up (or have they) Audience, but is just below Mid-Range for this type. Its familiarity is its weakness, but there is enough Cool Stuff to be forgiving. Its an easy Movie to make Fun of but also an easy Movie to have Fun with.
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