The Lost World (1960 film)

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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 The Lost World
by 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 date
July 13, 1960 (U.S.)
Running time
97 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1,515,000[1]
Box office $2,500,000 (US/ Canada)[2]

The Lost World is a 1960 De Luxe Color and a CinemaScope 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 flat mountain in Venezuela inhabited by cannibals, dinosaurs, carnivorous plants, and giant spiders. The cast includes Claude Rains, David Hedison, Fernando Lamas, Jill St. John, and Michael Rennie.


Professor Challenger (Claude Rains), a famed biologist and anthropologist, reports to the London Zoological Society that he has discovered living specimens of supposedly extinct animals, including dinosaurs, on an expedition to the Amazon Basin. When his colleagues dismiss his claims, he challenges the Society to mount another expedition to verify his story. Challenger and his companions travel to an isolated plateau, where they encounter prehistoric creatures and other hazards, and discover the legacy of a previous explorer that reveals the hidden past of one of their team. During a volcanic eruption, they escape from the plateau carrying the egg of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. The egg hatches when it is dropped by accident, and Professor Challenger decides to take the infant dinosaur 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 Global News.
  • David Hedison as Ed Malone — A journalist at the Global News who volunteers to join the expedition.
  • Claude Rains as Professor George Edward Challenger — The short-tempered leader of the expedition.
  • Fernando Lamas as Manuel Gomez — The expedition's helicopter pilot.
  • Richard Haydn as Professor Summerlee — A rival of Challenger's who joins the expedition.
  • Ray Stricklyn as David Holmes — The brother of Jennifer Holmes and the son of Malone's boss Stuart Holmes.
  • Jay Novello as Costa — Gomez's assistant who also guides the expedition into the plateau.
  • Ian Wolfe as Burton White — A professor who visited the Amazon Plateau 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 who organises the expedition.
  • Vitina Marcus as the Native Girl.


Allen purchased the rights to Doyle's novel for $100,000.[3] He received financing to make the film from Buddy Adler, head of production at 20th Century Fox.[4]

Allen said he wanted to cast Trevor Howard and Peter Ustinov in support to Rains.[3]

Special effects for the film were rather basic 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.[citation needed]


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

Comic book adaptation[edit]

See also[edit]


  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. ^ a b LOCAL FILM VIEWS: Return to 'The Lost World' Planned -- New Indian Drama -- Other Items By A. H. WEILER. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 28 June 1959: X7.
  4. ^ Entertainment Films Stage Music: Adler Signs Allen for 'Lost World' Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 01 Oct 1959: B12
  5. ^ James Van Hise, Hot Blooded Dinosaur Movies, Pioneer Books Inc. 1993 Pg.157
  6. ^ "Dell Four Color #1145". Grand Comics Database. 
  7. ^ Dell Four Color #1145 at the Comic Book DB

External links[edit]