The Lost World

1960, Movie, NR, 97 mins

Review

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When not writing about Sherlock Holmes, author Doyle penned an occasional fantasy, such as this one about a zoologist who finds a lost world. Rains stars as the man of science who claims he found a lost world in South America on a prior trip. He leads another group to the Amazon area where he intends to prove that dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures still live. His cadre includes St. John, the daughter of a newspaper publisher who is putting up the money for the expedition; Rennie, a playboy-adventurer; Haydn, a serious scientist who doesn't believe Rains; Stricklyn, St. John's brother; and Hedison, a photographer/reporter. They are joined by guitar-playing helicopter pilot Lamas and guide Novello. Into the dense jungle they go and are quickly set upon by dinosaurs, Indians who want to eat them, huge arachnids, and other unpleasantries. The beasts destroy their gear and the explorers are stranded on a plateau. Eventually, they make their way back to civilization, and Rains has a little relic with him; a small dinosaur egg that he plans to take back to England. Irwin Allen, who in the 1970s would become the "master of disaster" with films such as THE TOWERING INFERNO and BEYOND THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE to his credit, here first tried his hand at directing a special-effects opus. The results are pretty feeble as the "beasts" all look like what they are--blow-ups of insects and reptiles--while the screenplay is plodding. St. John looks gorgeous, however, and Hedison is handsome. Allen must have liked his work, for he starred the actor in the TV series "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" several years later. Doyle's story was originally filmed as a silent in 1925 with Wallace Beery. leave a comment

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The Lost World (1960/1925)
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Classic Quad Set 17 (Fantastic Voyage / The Lost World / The Towering Inferno / Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea)
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