The Valley of Gwangi (1969) Poster

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  • Ray Harryhausen intended the monster to be an Allosaurus but based its design on a Tyrannosaurus. You decide.

  • On April 26, 1890, the Tombstone Epitaph (a local Arizona newspaper) reported that two cowboys had discovered and shot down a creature--described as a winged dragon--that resembled a pterodactyl, only it was much larger. The cowboys said its wingspan was 160 feet, and that its body was more than four feet wide and 92 feet long. The cowboys supposedly cut off the end of the wing to prove the existence of the creature.

    The paper's description of the animal fits the Quetzelcoatlus, whose fossils were found in Texas. (Gish, Dinosaurs by Design, 1992, p. 16.) Could this be thunderbird, or Wakinyan, the jagged-winged, fierce-toothed flying creature of Sioux Native American legend? This thunderbird supposedly lived in a cave on the top of the Olympic Mountains and feasted on seafood. Different from the eagle (Wanbli) or hawk (Cetan), the Wakinyan was said to be huge and that it carried off children. It was so named because of its association with thunder and lightning. Supposedly lightning had struck it during a storm, and it fell to the ground. (Geis, Darlene, Dinosaurs & Other Prehistoric Animals, 1959, p. 9.) It was further distinguished by its piercing cry and thunderous beating wings (Lame Deers 1969 interview).

  • Presumably the boy was too heavy for it.

  • As they were trying to capture Gwangi for their show, they wanted to protect Gwangi from being harmed by the Styracosaurus in battle.

  • It is odd. She takes part in having the eohippus stolen and brought back to the valley so that its curse won't bring death and destruction to her people. But then she has the Gwangi released in a public area, where it goes on a killing spree. We can only guess that she wants revenge. That was her son whom Gwangi had killed in the valley.

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