The Lost World (1960 film)

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This article is about the 1960 film. For other uses, see The Lost World (disambiguation).
The Lost World
Original 1960 theatrical poster
Directed by Irwin Allen
Produced by Irwin Allen
Cliff Reid
Screenplay by Irwin Allen
Charles Bennett
Based on Novel:
Arthur Conan Doyle
Starring Michael Rennie
Jill St. John
David Hedison
Claude Rains
Fernando Lamas
Music by Paul Sawtell
Bert Shefter
Cinematography Winton C. Hoch
Edited by Hugh S. Fowler
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
July 13, 1960 (USA)
Running time
97 min.
Country U.S.A.
Language English
Budget $1,515,000[1]
Box office $2,500,000 (US/ Canada)[2]

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.


A professor leads a group of diverse characters to a remote plateau deep within the Amazonian jungle to investigate reports that living dinosaurs still exist there. Adventure ensues.


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. 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.

Featured cast[edit]

  • 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.

Prehistoric Creatures[edit]


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.[3] Stock footage was also used in the 1970 movie When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth.


  1. ^ 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
  2. ^ "Rental Potentials of 1960", Variety, 4 January 1961 p 47. Please note figures are rentals as opposed to total gross.
  3. ^ James Van Hise, Hot Blooded Dinosaur Movies, Pioneer Books Inc. 1993 Pg.157

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