Dare You Enter… – The Lost World (1960)

The Lost World 1960 3
In 1960, The Lost World would be brought to the big screen once again and it was not the first time it would do so, nor would it be the last. This go round saw Claude Rains star as Professor Challenger, the man who says he has discovered dinosaurs, much to the derision and laughter of everyone. He is adamant though and plans to mount another expedition to finally bring back concrete proof of his discoveries and after a little needling, finally gets enough men to join up and head out to the Amazon with him. Once there, the group soon finds what they are looking for and more as dinosaurs and the local savages come out to play and they do so for keeps.

The Lost World 1960 37Overall, the movie is a great excursion into the imagination. Based upon the book by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the film obviously was updated from that long ago text, as there are now modern conveniences like helicopters, newer weaponry and the like which were not present when the book was written. The story is filled with dinosaurs of all kinds and in the film while they look great, the special effects consisting of iguanas and various lizards with pieces glued upon them to look other than they are, it ends up being ridiculous as Professor Challenger keeps exclaiming things like ‘it’s a Brontosaurus’ or ‘it’s a Tyrannosaurus Rex’ when in reality, they simply look like lizards with pieces glued upon them. If they had just left the creatures unnamed, left them as simple generic dinosaurs, it would have been fine. Putting a name to them when they look nothing whatsoever like their namesake was a big mistake on the part of the producers.

The Lost World 1960 42The story of course is one that we have seen many times over, especially when it comes to films that feature the prehistoric creatures of the past and where this one lacks in originality, it more than makes up for in the exuberance of its cast. Claude Rains was his effervescent self and gave the movie a little credence due to his presence while Michael Rennie was quite solid as the lead of the film. Every movie, or at least a picture like this, has to have a beautiful woman in peril and here it was Jill St. John, known more from her role as the Bond girl in Diamonds are Forever. So with a good cast and a story that by this point was a little clichéd when it came to adventure films, it still managed to entertain and feature some thrilling scenes, one such being the end sequence with the volcano and the battle with the giant lizard.

Directed by Irwin Allen in bright and bold De Luxe Color with cinematography by Winton C. Hoch, the film looked amazing whether it was costumes, set pieces or the creatures. Despite the beauty of the film, and it can be called beautiful in certain respects, it was dragged down by the script which was a little corny at times. If it could have been strengthened a little more and given the cast something a little meatier to work with, the film could have been a real winner instead of ending up as matinee fair until the end of time. Still, sometimes all you want is something to enjoy and something where you can turn your mind off and The Lost World fills that quota exceptionally well.

3 out of 5

2015 Edition

First EntryTrapped in the… – Valley of the Dragons (1961)
Second EntryCan You Feel the… – Tremors (1990)
Third EntryBeauty and Danger Collide in… – Viking Women and the Sea Serpent (1957)
Fourth EntryDance the Night Away in the… – Village of the Giants (1965)
Fifth EntryIt Was a Time… – When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (1970)
Sixth EntryDo Not Fall Into the Grasp of… – The Giant Claw (1957)
Seventh EntryWho Knew They Could Give Birth? – Tremors 2: Aftershocks (1996)
Eighth EntrySo Many to Choose From – The Loves of Hercules (1960)
Ninth EntryShould Have Stayed Down Below – Up From the Depths (1979)
Tenth EntrySnakes On a Boat! – Anaconda (1997)
Eleventh EntryThink Twice Before You Cheat – Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958)
Twelfth EntryBack to the Trough – Tremors 3: Back to Perfection (2001)
Thirteenth EntryPast and Present Collide in… – Mega Shark Versus Mecha Shark (2014)
Fourteenth EntryMating Season – Anacondas: Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004)
Fifteenth EntryA Land Before Time – One Million Years B.C. (1966)
Sixteenth EntryBattle of the She-Titans – Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader (2012)
Seventeenth EntryLook Out for The Hoff! – Anaconda 3: The Offspring (2008)
Eighteenth EntryImpossible Dangers on… – The Lost Continent (1968)
Nineteenth EntryYou Will Wish the Legend Was Over – Tremors 4: The Legend Begins (2004)
Twentieth EntryGoing Global – Tremors 5: Bloodlines (2015)
Twenty-First EntryThey Had Discovered… – The Land That Time Forgot (1975)
Twenty-Second EntryThey Were… – The People that Time Forgot (1977)

Last Year’s Creatures…

Giant Monster Gamera (1965)
The Monolith Monsters (1957)
Gamera vs. Barugon (1966)
Tarantula (1955)
Gamera vs. Gyaos (1967)
Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957)
Gamera vs. Viras (1968)
The Cyclops (1957)
Gamera vs. Guiron (1969)
Monsters (2010)
Gamera vs. Jiger (1970)
The Killer Shrews (1959)
Gamera vs. Zigra (1971)
The Deadly Mantis (1957)
Space Monster Gamera (1980)
King Dinosaur (1955)
Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)
The Black Scorpion (1957)
Gamera 2: Attack of Legion (1996)
Them! (1954)
Gamera 3: The Revenge of Iris (1999)
The Giant Gila Monster (1959)
Gamera the Brave (2006)
Frankenstein Conquers the World (1966)

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