The Lost World (1960 film)
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|The Lost World|
Original 1960 theatrical poster
|Directed by||Irwin Allen|
|Produced by||Irwin Allen
|Screenplay by||Irwin Allen
Arthur Conan Doyle
Jill St. John
|Music by||Paul Sawtell
|Cinematography||Winton C. Hoch|
|Edited by||Hugh S. Fowler|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Release dates||July 13, 1960 (USA)|
|Running time||97 min.|
|Box office||$2,500,000 (US/ Canada)|
The Lost World is a 1960 fantasy adventure film loosely based on the novel of the same name by Arthur Conan Doyle and directed by Irwin Allen. The plot of the film revolves around the exploration of a mysterious flat mountain (see Tepui) in the heart of unknown Venezuela inhabited by cannibalistic natives, dinosaurs, carnivorous plants, and giant spiders. The cast includes Claude Rains, David Hedison, Fernando Lamas, Jill St. John, and Michael Rennie.
Special effects for the film were rather simple and involved monitor lizards, iguanas, and crocodiles affixed with miniature horns and fins. Director Allen later stated that though he wanted stop motion models, he could only work with lizards and live creatures in accordance with the studio's budget.
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The boisterous, arrogant Professor Challenger (Claude Rains), a reputed biologist and anthropologist, dares the London Zoological Society to mount an expedition to verify his spectacular claim, without physical proof, that his previous expedition to the Amazon Basin found live dinosaurs. Apart from him and his 'socialite' counterpart, Professor Summerlee (Richard Haydn), the adventurous party consists of experienced discoverer Lord Roxton (Michael Rennie), the young reporter Ed Malone (David Hedison) - who got publicly struck down with Challenger's umbrella at his arrival - and Jennifer Holmes (Jill St. John), Malone's news agency's boss's daughter, who is allowed by her father to come essentially as one of the conditions for putting up the money. In Brazil they are joined by Jennifer's brother David (Ray Stricklyn) and local 'guide' Manuel Gomez (Fernando Lamas). They arrive by air, soon discover the dinosaurs and other creatures are real and dangerous (their helicopter is incidentally destroyed by fighting dinosaurs), and the party is desperate to get off the isolated plateau. They learn Roxton knew about the fate of Burton White, an explorer whose diary they find, search for diamonds, and confirm that the local tribesmen are lethal guardians of the plateau's secrets. Additionally they learn Roxton accidentally killed Gomez's brother on a separate trip before this one, leaving Gomez hungry for revenge. During a volcanic eruption, they manage to escape from the plateau, carrying a Tyrannosaurus rex egg with them. The egg hatches when it is dropped by accident, and Professor Challenger resolves to take the infant dinosaur (here represented by a cosmetically altered gecko lizard) back to London with them.
- Michael Rennie as Lord John Roxton — An experienced big-game hunter who joins the expedition.
- Jill St. John as Jennifer Holmes — The daughter of the owner of the Daily Gazette.
- David Hedison as Ed Malone — A journalist at the Daily Gazette who volunteers to join the expedition.
- Claude Rains as Professor George Edward Challenger — The famously short-tempered leader of the expedition.
- Fernando Lamas as Manuel Gomez — The expedition's guide.
- Richard Haydn as Professor Summerlee — A rival of Challenger's who joins the expedition.
- Ray Stricklyn as David Holmes — The confident and brave brother of Jennifer Holmes and the son of Malone's boss Stuart Holmes.
- Jay Novello as Costa — Gomez' cowardly and selfish assistant who also guides the expedition into the plateau.
- Ian Wolfe as Burton White — A professor who ventured into the Amazon Plateau a couple of years before Challenger's expedition.
- John Graham as Stuart Holmes — Edward Malone's employer and the father of Jennifer and David Holmes.
- Colin Campbell as Prof. Waldron — The employer of Professor Challenger and Professor Summerlee, he organises the expedition.
- Vitina Marcus as the Native Girl — A native girl found on the plateau by the expedition.
- Iguanodon portrayed by an iguana with glued on horns
- Stegosaurus portrayed by a monitor lizard with glued-on frills and plates
- Triceratops portrayed by a baby alligator with glued-on horns and fins
- Tyrannosaurus portrayed by a monitor lizard with glued-on horns and fins
- Giant spider portrayed by a Mexican redknee tarantula
- Giant carnivourous vines
Irwin Allen utilized stock footage from this film for episodes of his various TV series, including Land of the Giants, Lost in Space, The Time Tunnel, and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. In 1966, Irwin Allen even tried to sell a TV series based on the film as he had done with Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea but was unsuccessful. Stock footage was also used in the 1970 movie When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth.
- Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p252
- "Rental Potentials of 1960", Variety, 4 January 1961 p 47. Please note figures are rentals as opposed to total gross.
- James Van Hise, Hot Blooded Dinosaur Movies, Pioneer Books Inc. 1993 Pg.157
- The Lost World (1960) at the Internet Movie Database.
- The Lost World at AllMovie
- The Lost World at the TCM Movie Database