Atlantis, the Lost Continent (1961)

90 mins | Science fiction | 3 May 1961

Director:

George Pal

Producer:

George Pal

Cinematographer:

Harold E. Wellman

Editor:

Ben Lewis

Production Designers:

George W. Davis, William Ferrari

Production Company:

Galaxy Productions
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HISTORY

On 4 May 1960, an LAT news item reported that producer-director George Pal’s Atlantis, the Lost Continent would be Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s (MGM) first project to be shot on its studio lot in Culver City, CA, following a recent actors’ strike. The screenplay by Daniel Mainwaring was said to have been completed “some time ago.”
       Italian actor David Mioni was initially cast in the role of “Demetrios,” as announced in the 9 Jun 1960 DV. However, when it was discovered that Mioni’s American work visa was set to expire, MGM replaced him with newcomer Sal Ponti , who, as noted in the 21 Jun 1960 LAT, adopted the stage name “Anthony Hall” prior to production.
       The 12 May 1960 DV reported that principal photography would commence on 13 Jun 1960. In early Jun 1960, some location shooting took place on Santa Catalina Island, CA.
       A casting announcement in the 19 Jul 1960 DV stated that Harry Fleer, I. Stanford Jolley, Hal Torey, Gene Roth, and Stewart Nedd would appear in the film.
       Anthony Hall and co-star Joyce Taylor were set to record a duet for the picture on 15 Aug 1960, as stated in the 5 Aug 1960 DV. Composer Russ Garcia completed the score on 30 Nov 1960, that day’s DV reported. Prints were expected to be ready by mid-Dec 1960.
       A news item in the 22 Feb 1961 DV noted the coincidence that the film’s plot involved a “death ray machine,” while recent reports from Moscow in the Soviet Union claimed that Russians were experimenting with a death ray invention, ... More Less

On 4 May 1960, an LAT news item reported that producer-director George Pal’s Atlantis, the Lost Continent would be Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s (MGM) first project to be shot on its studio lot in Culver City, CA, following a recent actors’ strike. The screenplay by Daniel Mainwaring was said to have been completed “some time ago.”
       Italian actor David Mioni was initially cast in the role of “Demetrios,” as announced in the 9 Jun 1960 DV. However, when it was discovered that Mioni’s American work visa was set to expire, MGM replaced him with newcomer Sal Ponti , who, as noted in the 21 Jun 1960 LAT, adopted the stage name “Anthony Hall” prior to production.
       The 12 May 1960 DV reported that principal photography would commence on 13 Jun 1960. In early Jun 1960, some location shooting took place on Santa Catalina Island, CA.
       A casting announcement in the 19 Jul 1960 DV stated that Harry Fleer, I. Stanford Jolley, Hal Torey, Gene Roth, and Stewart Nedd would appear in the film.
       Anthony Hall and co-star Joyce Taylor were set to record a duet for the picture on 15 Aug 1960, as stated in the 5 Aug 1960 DV. Composer Russ Garcia completed the score on 30 Nov 1960, that day’s DV reported. Prints were expected to be ready by mid-Dec 1960.
       A news item in the 22 Feb 1961 DV noted the coincidence that the film’s plot involved a “death ray machine,” while recent reports from Moscow in the Soviet Union claimed that Russians were experimenting with a death ray invention, and Hughes Aircraft in Great Britain was working on a similar project.
       Although the film was neither a critical nor commercial success, a news brief in the 21 Jun 1961 Var stated that ticket sales had been impressive in Pittsburgh, PA, thanks to “the application of the Marcus Plan,” which was said to entail “extra promotion on a given picture on the part of many exhibitors collectively along with the distributor.”
       A novelization of Atlantis, the Lost Continent was in the works in early Aug 1960, and slated to be released by Dell, according to an 11 Aug 1960 DV news brief. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
4 May 1960
p. 2.
Daily Variety
12 May 1960
p. 14.
Daily Variety
9 Jun 1960
p. 5.
Daily Variety
17 Jun 1960
p. 6.
Daily Variety
17 Jun 1960
p. 7.
Daily Variety
19 Jul 1960
p. 10.
Daily Variety
5 Aug 1960
p. 13.
Daily Variety
11 Aug 1960
p. 4.
Daily Variety
27 Sep 1960
p. 3.
Daily Variety
30 Nov 1960
p. 3.
Daily Variety
22 Feb 1961
p. 9.
Daily Variety
19 Apr 1961
p. 4, 43.
Los Angeles Times
4 May 1960
Section B, p. 10.
Los Angeles Times
21 Jun 1960
Section B, p. 7.
New York Times
24 Jul 1960
Section X, p. 5.
New York Times
13 May 1961
p. 10.
New York Times
27 May 1961
p. 12.
Variety
21 Jun 1961
p. 3.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A George Pal Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec supv
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Hairstyles
ANIMATION
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Atalanta, a Story of Atlantis by Gerald P. Hargreaves (London, 1949).
DETAILS
Release Date:
3 May 1961
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 3 May 1961
New York opening: 26 May 1961
Production Date:
began 13 June 1960
Copyright Claimant:
Galaxy Productions
Copyright Date:
31 December 1960
Copyright Number:
LP19109
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex
Color
Metrocolor
Duration(in mins):
90
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Demetrios, a young sailor in ancient Greece, finds an unconscious girl adrift in the Mediterranean. Upon awakening, she informs him that she is the Princess Antillia of Atlantis, and he agrees to take her home. When they arrive in Atlantis, Antillia learns that her father's power has been usurped by Zaren, the minister of war, who plans to conquer the world with a deadly crystal that lies embedded in an extinct volcano. To dislodge the crystal, Zaren has recruited hundreds of slaves, some of whom have been turned into animals by his surgeon. Though Demetrios is also forced into slavery, he wins his freedom when he overpowers a seven-foot man in the Ordeal by Fire and Water. Eventually Zaren succeeds in removing the crystal, but on the day that the great war is to begin, the volcano suddenly erupts. As Demetrios, Antillia, and some of the slaves escape in boats, Zaren turns the deadly rays of the crystal on them. Before he can kill them, however, he is destroyed by his own diabolical weapon. Waves of molten lava pour over Atlantis, and a mammoth tidal wave sweeps over the continent, causing it to sink into the sea. Demetrios, Antillia, and the other survivors sail away in search of a new ... +


Demetrios, a young sailor in ancient Greece, finds an unconscious girl adrift in the Mediterranean. Upon awakening, she informs him that she is the Princess Antillia of Atlantis, and he agrees to take her home. When they arrive in Atlantis, Antillia learns that her father's power has been usurped by Zaren, the minister of war, who plans to conquer the world with a deadly crystal that lies embedded in an extinct volcano. To dislodge the crystal, Zaren has recruited hundreds of slaves, some of whom have been turned into animals by his surgeon. Though Demetrios is also forced into slavery, he wins his freedom when he overpowers a seven-foot man in the Ordeal by Fire and Water. Eventually Zaren succeeds in removing the crystal, but on the day that the great war is to begin, the volcano suddenly erupts. As Demetrios, Antillia, and some of the slaves escape in boats, Zaren turns the deadly rays of the crystal on them. Before he can kill them, however, he is destroyed by his own diabolical weapon. Waves of molten lava pour over Atlantis, and a mammoth tidal wave sweeps over the continent, causing it to sink into the sea. Demetrios, Antillia, and the other survivors sail away in search of a new continent. +

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

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