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Friday, September 25, 2015

Video Beaverhausen: Jill St John in The Lost World

Video Beaverhausen just reviewed 1951's Lost Continent. Here is my look at 1960 version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World. It was directed by Irwin Allen who later produced the very popular disaster films like The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno.  He also produced the tv series The Time Runnel, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Lost in Space and Land of the Giants.

The Lost World has a great cast: Jill St John, Claude Rains, Michael (The Day the Earth Stood Still) Rennie, David (The Fly) Hedison, Fernando Lamas and Richard Haydn amongst them. They all set off to explore a remote plateau in the Amazon jungle. Jill's a reporter, and brings her hunky, youg brother along Rains is the professor leading the exploration. He's not so keen on bringing a woman along. For good reason, it turns out as, in 1960 style, Jill does a lot of falling down, needing to be rescued and acting helpless, so as to jeopardize everyone. So does Vitina Marcus as a native girl who runs right into a bunch of giant spider webs as if unaware a giant spider is in there someplace.

Young people may not realize how groundbreaking it was when Princess Leah burst on the scene in the original Star Wars. The times they were a'changin', at last!

Besides the spider, there are man-eating plants and, of course, dinosaurs in this sci-fi action film. It was a huge hit in its day; the Jurassic Park of its time.

The dinosaurs, however, are of the reptiles-with-prosthetic-makeup variety. I can't promise, watching this movie tonight on dvd, that no animal cruelty was employed at the time this was made. The   creatures are everywhere, including one that lives in the lava within a volcanic mountain. Our heroes are put in in numerous perils throughout their adventure, as you might expect. 

A remembrance of a kiddy matinee movie past, and still a gas to watch today.


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