The Lost World

  • UK Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World (more)


The Lost World is a 1960 fantasy adventure film based on the novel of the same name by Arthur Conan Doyle and from legendary fantasy/adventure director and producer Irwin Allen (Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Towering Inferno, The Poseidon Adventure) An eccentric scientist (Claude Rains Lawrence of Arabia) returns from the Amazon with news of a distant plateau where creatures from the dawn of time still prowl the jungle. To prove his story, he gathers a team of explorers, including a journalist (David Hedison - Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea), a playboy adventurer (Michael Rennie - The Day the Earth Stood Still), a beautiful socialite (Jill St John - Diamonds Are Forever) and a pilot (Fernando Lamas - The Violent Ones) with a secret plan of revenge. But an unexpected attack on their camp leaves the group stranded in a world of dinosaurs and other exotic creatures, where humans are no longer lords of the earth, they are helpless prey! (101 Films)


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English Poster tagline: SUDDENLY, IN THE MYSTERIOUS HEART OF THE AMAZON, YOU'LL SEE A DINOSAUR BATTLE TO THE DEATH, A FRESHLY HATCHED TYRANNOSAURUS, A SEA SERPENT EMERGING FROM THE DEPTHS OF A LAVA LAKE, CARNIVOROUS PLANT TRAPS AND SPIDERS STALKING HUMAN VICTIMS!!! One would almost like to say that the period poster sums it all up nicely, but of course the reality is a bit different. First of all, this is not a full-fledged adaptation of Doyle's novel, but rather a one-off with the simple effects offered by the golden age of Hollywood. The first act, when the action is interspersed with real shots of the Amazon, slightly gives the impression that we are simply "there", in the heart of a massive jungle, but the rest is purely studio work – i.e. models of rocks, trees, flora and iguanas and one small alligator with bone ornaments glued to their bodies to look like prehistoric lizards. When the camera picks them up, they crawl among models of trees, which they knock down, but otherwise I can't say a bad word against the effects – especially the rear/front projection – they look quite nice and believable for their time; in short, the higher budget must have had some effect. There's also a "battle of the dinosaurs", i.e. an alligator and an iguana biting each other frenetically, a prehistoric savage with tons of make-up and her savage tribe mates, love and hate between two members of the expedition (one played by a star of the time, the charismatic Michael Rennie), an eccentric scientist, a giant spider in front projection, and that's about it. Admittedly, even reading a comic strip in ABC magazine gave me more of an experience and insight into Doyle's seminal work, but I won't be mad at this film for that, it was quite an enjoyable watch. ()

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