|The Lost World|
Original 1960 theatrical poster
|Directed by||Irwin Allen|
|Produced by||Irwin Allen|
|Screenplay by||Irwin Allen|
|Based on||The Lost World|
by Arthur Conan Doyle
Jill St. John
|Music by||Paul Sawtell|
|Cinematography||Winton C. Hoch|
|Edited by||Hugh S. Fowler|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|July 13, 1960 (U.S.)|
|Box office||$2,500,000 (US/ Canada)|
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 plateau 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.
This section needs an improved plot summary. (August 2016)
Professor Challenger (Claude Rains), a celebrated 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 and up a barely known plateau.
Much to Challenger's dismay, he has attracted a few very unscientific people to join him on his second journey to the Amazon. This expedition group includes big game hunter Lord John Roxton (Michael Rennie), newsman Ed Malone (David Hedison) whose publisher advances $100,000 to pay for the expedition. The publisher's adventurous daughter, Jennifer (Jill St. John) and son David join the group at the head of the Amazon. Also, in the group is a Zoological Society bigwig (Richard Haydn), helicopter pilot Gomez (Fernando Lamas) and sidekick Jose Costa (Jay Novello).
First night on the plateau, a dinosaur wrecks the helicopter. As the expedition proceeds, Malone chases a primitive jungle girl (Vitina Marcus) through cobwebs to a giant spider. Roxton argues with the others, and jealousies over Jennifer leads to a fistfight between Malone and Roxton. They discover a diary of a previous explorer, Burton, who was lost on the plateau. Roxton is mentioned several times in the diary. Roxton reveals that he had visited the plateau years before, and claims the plateau holds a bounty of diamonds.
At one point, Malone and Jennifer are separated from the others and have a near death encounter with two battling dinosaurs. Cannibals kidnap the members of the party but before they can become dinner the jungle girl leads them to a passage that leads down the plateau. Along the way, they encounter Burton, now living as a blind hermit. More obstacles: the cannibals are chasing them, spider plants, the “graveyard of the damned,” and a dinosaur in a lava pit guarding the diamonds. 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Baby Tyrannosaurus portrayed by a tokay gecko with glued-on horns and sails
- Giant spider portrayed by a Mexican redknee tarantula
- Giant carnivorous vines
In 1959 Allen purchased the rights to Doyle's novel for $100,000. He wanted to make the film with Trevor Howard and Peter Ustinov in support of Rains, as well as Victor Mature and Gilbert Roland (who had been in the 1925 film). He hired Charles Bennett to help him adapt the book into a script and commissioned Willis O'Brien, who worked on the 1925 film, to do the models. He said he wanted to start filming on 15 October 1959.
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.
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 movie When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (1970).
Comic book adaptation
- 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.
- 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.
- Workman, Christopher; Howarth, Troy (2016). "Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the Silent Era". Midnight Marquee Press. p. 199. ISBN 978-1936168-68-2.
- Entertainment Films Stage Music: Adler Signs Allen for 'Lost World' Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 01 Oct 1959: B12
- James Van Hise, Hot Blooded Dinosaur Movies, Pioneer Books Inc. 1993 Pg.157
- "Dell Four Color #1145". Grand Comics Database.
- Dell Four Color #1145 at the Comic Book DB