The Ghost of Slumber Mountain
|The Ghost of Slumber Mountain|
Theatrical poster to The Ghost of Slumber Mountain
|Directed by||Willis O'Brien|
|Produced by||Herbert M. Dawley|
|Written by||Willis O'Brien|
|Starring||Herbert M. Dawley
|Music by||Tom Luis|
The Ghost of Slumber Mountain was a 1918 film, written and directed by special effects pioneer Willis O'Brien, produced by Herbert M. Dawley, and starred both men; Dawley played Uncle Jack Holmes, while O'Brien played the ghost of Mad Dick the Hermit. Although most of the film itself is lost, it is often cited as a trial run for The Lost World.
Most of the plot is unknown; The Ghost of Slumber Mountain originally took up 3000 feet of film and ran 3 reels, equivalent to approximately 30 minutes. After the film premiered at the Strand Theater, manager Walter Hayes ordered that Dawley cut the film down to about one reel because it was too long. A restored version runs approximately 19 minutes. In the version available today, Holmes (Dawley) is telling his nephews about an adventure he had in the woodlands around Slumber Mountain, near the Valley of Dreams. He found the cabin belonging to the late hermit Mad Dick, who Holmes's friend Joe once saw carrying a strange telescope-like instrument.
That night, Holmes investigated the cabin and found the instrument. Upon doing so, the ghost of Mad Dick (O'Brien) instructs him to use it to look on the peak of Slumber Mountain. When he does, he seemingly looks back into the past, seeing a Tyrannosaurus and a Triceratops doing battle. The Tyrannosaurus proves triumphant, and after killing the Triceratops, somehow breaks the time barrier (unless the instrument had done that itself) and begins chasing Holmes.
But it was all just a dream...
The Ghost of Slumber Mountain was a box office hit, grossing over $100,000 on a $3,000 budget.
- O'Brien vs Dawley. The First Great Rivalry in Special Effects by Stephen Czerkas. Cinefex #138 R.B Graphics. 2014. Pg.22
- Willis O'Brien-Creator of the Impossible by Don Shay. Cinefex #7 R.B Graphics. 1982. Pg.13
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