Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend (1985)

PG | 93 or 95 mins | Adventure | 22 March 1985

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HISTORY

End credits state: “Producers extend their thanks to the Government and the people of the Ivory Coast for their cooperation during the making of this film.”
       The film begins with the prologue: “In the Equitorial Rain Forest of West Africa, rumors persist of a huge reptile-like creature. Said to be larger than an adult elephant, the natives call it Mokele-Mobembe. Numerous expeditions have been mounted in its pursuit. So far none has met success.”
       Although the prologue refers to the creature as “Mokele-Mobembe,” various sources spell the name “Mokèlé-mbèmbé.”
       Referring to the picture by its working title, Baby, a 9 Aug 1983 HR news item reported that principal photography was scheduled to begin 1 Oct 1983, but filming was delayed until 5 Dec 1983, as noted in 22 Nov 1983 Var. The first day of filming was reportedly set back until sundown because the driver of the mechanical “40-foot ‘Baby’” prop got lost in the jungle and ran out of gas, according to the 20 Jan 1984 HR.
       Still using the title Baby, the 7 May 1984 Us reported the film had a budget of $14 million, and marked the first U.S. production to be shot in the Ivory Coast of Africa. Hundreds of Ivory Coast villagers and tribe members were hired as background actors in the film, as reported in the 5 Apr 1985 L.A. Movie Gazette.
       The film’s three model dinosaurs, made from fiberglass, foam, and rubber, measured seventy-five feet, sixty feet, and ten feet long, and took a year to design, as stated in ... More Less

End credits state: “Producers extend their thanks to the Government and the people of the Ivory Coast for their cooperation during the making of this film.”
       The film begins with the prologue: “In the Equitorial Rain Forest of West Africa, rumors persist of a huge reptile-like creature. Said to be larger than an adult elephant, the natives call it Mokele-Mobembe. Numerous expeditions have been mounted in its pursuit. So far none has met success.”
       Although the prologue refers to the creature as “Mokele-Mobembe,” various sources spell the name “Mokèlé-mbèmbé.”
       Referring to the picture by its working title, Baby, a 9 Aug 1983 HR news item reported that principal photography was scheduled to begin 1 Oct 1983, but filming was delayed until 5 Dec 1983, as noted in 22 Nov 1983 Var. The first day of filming was reportedly set back until sundown because the driver of the mechanical “40-foot ‘Baby’” prop got lost in the jungle and ran out of gas, according to the 20 Jan 1984 HR.
       Still using the title Baby, the 7 May 1984 Us reported the film had a budget of $14 million, and marked the first U.S. production to be shot in the Ivory Coast of Africa. Hundreds of Ivory Coast villagers and tribe members were hired as background actors in the film, as reported in the 5 Apr 1985 L.A. Movie Gazette.
       The film’s three model dinosaurs, made from fiberglass, foam, and rubber, measured seventy-five feet, sixty feet, and ten feet long, and took a year to design, as stated in production notes in AMPAS library files. Sculpted in the U.S., the dinosaurs were reconstructed in the Ivory Coast, and were so life-like that villagers were reportedly frightened. Three small-framed, athletic performers were chosen to operate the dinosaurs from inside for up to an hour and a half at a time, while the dinosaur heads and tails were operated remotely, according to the 22 Mar 1985 LAHExam. The sound effects team used twenty-four different animal noises, combining camels, whales, cats, and raccoons to create to voice of “Baby.”
       As stated in Us, the Ivory Coast was reserving its hydroelectric power after a three-year drought, resulting in rolling blackouts that lasted up to twelve hours a day in the port city of Abidjan, where the film’s production offices were headquartered. Filming during dry season exposed the filmmakers to the “Harmattan,” a strong north wind bringing in dust and sand from the Sahara Desert, according to the 24 Mar 1985 SFChron.
       As reported in Us, the filmmakers were required to obtain permission from a local chief to use a lake, but the man agreed only after a witch doctor performed a sacrificial ceremony of approximately thirty animals. Along with the threat of highly venomous snakes and scorpions, many members were afflicted with jungle fever. A friend of the crew fell into a coma after being bitten by an unidentified animal or insect, and was airlifted to London, England, for emergency treatment. In addition, a local driver struck two sisters who were walking along the road at dusk, killing one of them. Machete-wielding natives were poised to retaliate, but tensions eased after film emissaries expressed their regrets and agreed to pay for the young girl’s funeral.
       A new widescreen format called Supertechniscope was used for the film, allowing for greater depth of field when projected in 70mm, according to production notes.
       Multiple sources stated a 1984 Christmas release was planned, but the film did not open until 22 Mar 1985.
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Hollywood Reporter
9 Aug 1983.
---
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jan 1984.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Mar 1985
p. 3, 20.
L.A. Movie Gazette
5 Apr 1985
pp. 2, 4.
Los Angeles Herald Examiner
22 Mar 1985.
---
Los Angeles Times
22 Mar 1985
Calendar, p. 3.
New York Times
22 Mar 1985
p. 16.
San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle
24 Mar 1985.
---
Us
7 May 1984
pp. 28-29.
Variety
22 Nov 1983.
---
Variety
20 Mar 1985
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
Asst dir, United Kingdom crew
2d asst dir, United Kingdom crew
Dir, United Kingdom Crew 2nd Unit
Asst dir, United Kingdom Crew 2nd Unit
Asst dir, United Kingdom Crew 2nd Unit
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op, United States crew
1st asst cam, United States crew
Still photog, United States crew
Cam op, United Kingdom crew
1st asst cam, United Kingdom crew
Clapper/Loader, United Kingdom crew
Cam eng, United Kingdom crew
Gaffer, United Kingdom crew
Best boy, United Kingdom crew
Grip, United Kingdom crew
General op, United Kingdom crew
Cam, United Kingdom Crew 2nd Unit
1st asst cam, United Kingdom Crew 2nd Unit
Cam grip, United Kingdom Crew 2nd Unit
Best boy, United Kingdom Crew 2nd Unit
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir, United States crew
Prod illustrator, United States crew
Art dir, United Kingdom crew
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed, United States crew
Asst ed, United States crew
SET DECORATORS
Set dec, United States crew
Prop master, United States crew
Set dec, United Kingdom crew
Prop master, United Kingdom crew
Const mgr, United Kingdom crew
Standby carpenter, United Kingdom crew
COSTUMES
Cost dept supv, United States crew
Cost supv, United States crew
Miss Young's ward des by, United States crew
Cost, United Kingdom crew
Cost, United Kingdom crew
MUSIC
Orch, United States crew
Mus supv, United States crew
Mus ed, United States crew
Mus scoring mixer, United States crew
SOUND
Sd supv, United States crew
Sd mixer, United States crew
Re-rec mixer, United States crew
Re-rec mixer, United States crew
Re-rec mixer, United States crew
Supv sd ed, United States crew
Sd ed, United States crew
Sd ed, United States crew
Sd ed, United States crew
Sd ed, United States crew
Sd ed, United States crew
Sd ed, United States crew
Sd ed, United States crew
Foley artist, United States crew
Foley artist, United States crew
A.D.R. ed, United States crew
Boom op, United Kingdom crew
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff supv, United States crew
Dinosaur tech, United States crew
Dinosaur tech, United States crew
Dinosaur tech, United States crew
Dinosaur tech, United States crew
Dinosaur tech, United States crew
Dinosaur tech, United States crew
Dinosaur tech, United States crew
Dinosaur body motion, United States crew
Dinosaur body motion, United States crew
Dinosaur body motion, United States crew
Dinosaur body motion, United States crew
Miniature consultant, United States crew
Mechanical eff, United States crew
Mechanical eff, United States crew
Mechanical eff, United States crew
Mechanical eff, United States crew
Mechanical eff, United States crew
Mechanical eff, United States crew
Spec photog eff supv, United States crew
Spec eff cine, United States crew
Spec eff cine asst, United States crew
Matte artist, United States crew
Dinosaur sculptures, United States crew
Opt dept supv, United States crew
Titles, United States crew
Dinosaurs created and engineered by
Dinosaurs created and engineered by
MAKEUP
Makeup supv, United States crew
Makeup/Hair Stylist, United Kingdom crew
Makeup artist, United Kingdom crew
Makeup artist, United Kingdom crew
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Casting
Prod coord, United States crew
Asst to the prod, United States crew
Prod liaison, United States crew
Dinosaur voice
Dinosaur voice
Scr supv, United States crew
Unit pub, United States crew
Prod consultant, United Kingdom crew
Liaison, United Kingdom crew
Liaison & casting, United Kingdom crew
Catering supv, United Kingdom crew
Transportation coord, United Kingdom crew
Post-prod coord, United Kingdom crew
Cont, United Kingdom Crew 2nd Unit
STAND INS
Stunt player coord
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Baby...Secret of the Lost Legend
Baby
Release Date:
22 March 1985
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 22 March 1985
Production Date:
5 December 1983--February 1984 in Ivory Coast
Copyright Claimant:
Walt Disney Productions
Copyright Date:
9 April 1985
Copyright Number:
PA243831
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo® in selected theaters
Color
Color by Technicolor®
Lenses
Zeiss
Duration(in mins):
93 or 95
MPAA Rating:
PG
Countries:
Ivory Coast, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
27646
SYNOPSIS

During a parade in West Africa, Dr. Eric Kiviat stabs a scientist named Etienne, and steals his briefcase. Inside are photographs of the mysterious “Mokèlé-mbèmbé,” a large dinosaur-like creature rumored to still be in existence. Later, at an excavation site, Susan Matthews-Loomis, an American postdoctoral student, shows Dr. Kiviat a large bone that she discovered and believes to be from a dinosaur. He falsely dismisses it as belonging to a giraffe, but later admits to his assistant, Nigel Jenkins, that it is a prehistoric bone. The two men plan to pursue the artifact without telling Susan. As Susan and her journalist husband, George Loomis, prepare to leave Africa, they discuss starting a family. However, a Red Cross worker named Dr. Pierre Dubois shows Susan an identical bone to the one she found, and confirms that is not from a mammal. Susan becomes suspicious of Dr. Kiviat. When she fails to convince George to delay their trip home, she sneaks away, leaving a note for her husband. George charters a plane and follows Susan to a jungle village several hours away. There, Susan and Dr. Dubois attend to natives who are sick and dying after eating the flesh of a mysterious animal. They are unable to speak the tribal language, but a chief draws a picture of the food source, which appears to be a Brontosaurus dinosaur. George and Susan continue up river to find the carcass in a seaplane flown by a friendly man named Kenge Obe. Learning of their whereabouts, Dr. Kiviat and Nigel follow. Meanwhile, George and Susan are abandoned by Kenge’s guide ... +


During a parade in West Africa, Dr. Eric Kiviat stabs a scientist named Etienne, and steals his briefcase. Inside are photographs of the mysterious “Mokèlé-mbèmbé,” a large dinosaur-like creature rumored to still be in existence. Later, at an excavation site, Susan Matthews-Loomis, an American postdoctoral student, shows Dr. Kiviat a large bone that she discovered and believes to be from a dinosaur. He falsely dismisses it as belonging to a giraffe, but later admits to his assistant, Nigel Jenkins, that it is a prehistoric bone. The two men plan to pursue the artifact without telling Susan. As Susan and her journalist husband, George Loomis, prepare to leave Africa, they discuss starting a family. However, a Red Cross worker named Dr. Pierre Dubois shows Susan an identical bone to the one she found, and confirms that is not from a mammal. Susan becomes suspicious of Dr. Kiviat. When she fails to convince George to delay their trip home, she sneaks away, leaving a note for her husband. George charters a plane and follows Susan to a jungle village several hours away. There, Susan and Dr. Dubois attend to natives who are sick and dying after eating the flesh of a mysterious animal. They are unable to speak the tribal language, but a chief draws a picture of the food source, which appears to be a Brontosaurus dinosaur. George and Susan continue up river to find the carcass in a seaplane flown by a friendly man named Kenge Obe. Learning of their whereabouts, Dr. Kiviat and Nigel follow. Meanwhile, George and Susan are abandoned by Kenge’s guide and continue searching for the carcass on their own. Before long, local tribesmen attack, but Susan befriends them by taking photographs with her Polaroid camera. Tribal leader, Cephu, shares the tribe’s food and drink with the couple, but when Susan shows him a drawing of a Brontosaurus, he and the natives flee. Alone again in the jungle, Susan and George set up camp and are alarmed by strange sounds. Suddenly, a dinosaur lifts the tent over their heads and walks into the jungle. Meanwhile, Nigel and Dr. Kiviat travel up river guided by Colonel Nsogbu and a band of African soldiers. In the morning, Susan and George find the dinosaur and follow it, camera in hand, to discover there are three dinosaurs: father, mother, and baby. The couple lures the baby with fruit and put a transmitter on its leg. Arriving at the site, Dr. Kiviat orders Nigel to shoot the mother dinosaur with a tranquilizer gun. As the father dinosaur stampedes toward them, Dr. Kiviat’s military convoy ignore his protests and kill the creature. As Susan and the juvenile dinosaur, now nicknamed “Baby,” hide in the shadows, George confronts Dr. Kiviat, who orders his men to kill George. Susan runs to stop them, and as they turn their guns on her, her tribesman friend, Cephu, comes to her rescue. A fight ensues. George and Susan escape unharmed, while Dr. Kiviat and his convoy leave with the mother dinosaur. George and Susan take care of the orphaned Baby, with plans of revealing their dinosaur to the world before Dr. Kiviat can announce his discovery. While the couple makes love in the jungle, Baby wanders away. George and Susan search for the hatchling and discover Dr. Kiviat’s outpost, where they try to rescue the mother dinosaur. However, they are captured by his army cohorts. Dr. Kiviat reveals that he already discovered the existence of Baby by picking up the dinosaur’s transmitter signal. When Nigel reports to the doctor that Colonel Nsogbu plans to air lift the mother dinosaur and claim the discovery as his own, Dr. Kiviat kills the colonel and frames Susan and George for the murder. In an effort to track Baby, he manipulates the African army to search the jungle by telling them that Susan and George have hidden gold. Spotting Baby from a helicopter, Dr. Kiviat declares that Baby is the real gold, and they shoot tranquilizers at the dinosaur. Still in captivity, George and Susan fight the soldiers and jump from the helicopter into a river. They swim ashore and hide Baby in an underground cave, as Dr. Kiviat and his men give chase. As they escape, Baby outruns George and Susan in an effort to reach its mother, and Dr. Kaviat catches the hatchling. Later, Cephu finds George and Susan in the jungle and leads them to their awaiting seaplane. Pilot Kenge tells them that he has seen the dinosaurs from the sky and will help his friends recover them. They fly to Dr. Kiviat’s outpost, and, with the help of Cephu and the tribesmen, make their attack on the ground while Kenge flies overhead and drops explosives. Dr. Kiviat flees with Baby in a truck as George and Susan give chase on a motorcycle. The mother dinosaur is freed and also charges after Baby. When his truck crashes, Baby is wounded and the mother dinosaur kills Dr. Kiviat. George and Susan rush to Baby’s side, who rouses at its mother’s nudge. The couple kiss and watch mother and baby walk into the jungle. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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