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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
Challenger constantly misidentifies the dinosaurs they encounter on the plateau. See more »
Irwin Allen dinosaur adventure is high in corniness.
You would expect much more from an Irwin Allen film than 1960's The Lost World delivers. This film is high on silly-to-obnoxious characters, and corniness. The first few scenes in the film are particularly loaded down by corniness as we are introduced to the characters. There's eccentric Professor Challenger (Claude Rains) with his silly facial expressions, and boisterous but stuffy personality. There's Lord John Roxton (Michael Rennie) with his selfish and uncharming personality. There's Jennifer Holmes (Jill St. John) who starts out by trying to show the men a woman can also be worthy to take along on an expedition, but then becomes a useless, timid character who shows no strengths at all. The sexist remarks made by some male characters in the beginning become even more obnoxious, because Jennifer never comes through on showing strength, courage or ideas to help her crew members. The only strength she really proves is that she can pick out some elegant but inappropriate clothing to wear during the dangerous expedition. Jennifer has also brought along her silly, little poodle named Frosty. And then there's Costa (Jay Novello), a wimpy, greedy, seedy, little man. Throw in Fernando Lamas as Manual Gomez, the hired helicopter pilot who is also along for a side plot of personal revenge. He plots his murder-revenge and strums his guitar along the way (the natives even let him keep his guitar when the group is captured!) Not too many characters to really care for, but there are a few to possibly like such as Jennifer's brother, David (Ray Stricklyn.) David actually turns out to be more of a help then originally believed. A captured native girl (Vitina Marcus) turns out to be one of the better characters in the picture, but that is most likely because she has none of the corny lines and characteristics the expedition party's characters have. There's also corny drama from a love triangle that forms along the way. We all know Claude Rains (Phantom Of The Opera), Michael Rennie (The Day The Earth Stood Still) and others can do fine acting jobs, and the acting in this movie is fine--It's just most of the characters are so corny at times it should be embarrassing to the stars of the picture. The action in the film does not really build to any exciting levels as the crew is menaced by various creatures. The dinosaurs are lizards and reptiles with fins and horns applied to their bodies, and the giant spider is a rather lame effect (especially since it just hangs there, and only moves its legs a bit.) There is an unpleasant scene in which a real lizard fights a real reptile (portraying dinosaurs) that seems very politically incorrect by today's standards (and should have been a no-no even back in 1960.) Irwin Allen and 20th Century Fox could've done much better than this, and it is not nearly as good of a film as Journey To The Center Of The Earth (also from 20th Century Fox.) Still, The Lost World may entertain on a Saturday afternoon matinee level, and it is one of those movies collectors of horror and science fiction films will probably want to add to their 1950's and 1960's collections.
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