The Lost World (1960)

96-97 mins | Adventure, Horror | July 1960

Director:

Irwin Allen

Producer:

Irwin Allen

Cinematographer:

Winton Hoch

Editor:

Hugh S. Fowler

Production Designers:

Duncan Cramer, Walter M. Simonds

Production Company:

Saratoga Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

The film's title card reads: "Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World ." According to a May 1959 DV news item, Irwin Allen negotiated with Victor Mature, Robert Mitchum, Peter Ustinov, Trevor Howard and Gilbert Roland to appear in the picture, which, at that time was to be shot in Todd-AO and Technicolor to give it the "blockbuster treatment." A Jan 1960 HR news item added that Clifton Webb, Orson Welles and Robert Morley were to star in the picture. According to a Jun 1960 HR news item, two different orchestras were used to record the score. One played the conventional background music while the other played South American music, using native instruments blended with the voice of Gwen Johnson to create the "lost world" sound. A NYT news item noted that production on the film was interrupted by the Screen Actors Guild Strike that lasted from 7 Mar--18 Apr 1960.
       Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novel was first filmed in 1925 by First National Pictures. That version was directed by Harry O. Hoyt and starred Bessie Love and Lloyd Hughes (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 .) Willis O'Brien, who was credited with technical effects on the 1960 film, also worked on the 1925 version, as well as the 1933 release King Kong ... More Less

The film's title card reads: "Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World ." According to a May 1959 DV news item, Irwin Allen negotiated with Victor Mature, Robert Mitchum, Peter Ustinov, Trevor Howard and Gilbert Roland to appear in the picture, which, at that time was to be shot in Todd-AO and Technicolor to give it the "blockbuster treatment." A Jan 1960 HR news item added that Clifton Webb, Orson Welles and Robert Morley were to star in the picture. According to a Jun 1960 HR news item, two different orchestras were used to record the score. One played the conventional background music while the other played South American music, using native instruments blended with the voice of Gwen Johnson to create the "lost world" sound. A NYT news item noted that production on the film was interrupted by the Screen Actors Guild Strike that lasted from 7 Mar--18 Apr 1960.
       Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novel was first filmed in 1925 by First National Pictures. That version was directed by Harry O. Hoyt and starred Bessie Love and Lloyd Hughes (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 .) Willis O'Brien, who was credited with technical effects on the 1960 film, also worked on the 1925 version, as well as the 1933 release King Kong . More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
11 Jul 1960.
---
Daily Variety
26 May 1959.
---
Daily Variety
1 Jul 60
p. 3.
Film Daily
1 Jul 60
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jan 60
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Feb 60
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
2 May 60
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
6 May 60
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jun 60
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jul 60
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
9 Jul 60
p. 765.
New York Times
8 Mar 1960.
---
New York Times
14 Jul 60
p. 23.
Variety
6 Jul 60
p. 22.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Voice of "lost world" sound
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
Spec photog eff
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hair styles
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
Eff tech
Production illustrator
Animal trainer
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (London, 1912).
SONGS
"Carmela" and "Zandunga," composers undetermined.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World
Release Date:
July 1960
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 13 July 1960
Production Date:
mid February 6 March 1960
mid April--early May 1960
Copyright Claimant:
Saratoga Productions, Inc. and Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
13 July 1960
Copyright Number:
LP16707
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Recording System
Color
De Luxe
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Duration(in mins):
96-97
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
19503
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

When his plane lands in London, crusty old professor George Edward Challenger is besieged by reporters questioning him about his latest expedition to the headwaters of the Amazon River. After the irascible Challenger strikes reporter Ed Malone on the head with his umbrella, Jennifer Holmes, the daughter of Ed's employer, Stuart Holmes, offers the injured reporter a ride into town. That evening, Jenny is escorted by Lord John Roxton, an adventurer and big game hunter, to Challenger's lecture at the Zoological Institute, and Ed invites them to sit with him. When Challenger claims to have seen live dinosaurs, his colleague Professor Summerlee scoffs and asks for evidence. Explaining that his photographs of the creatures were lost when his boat overturned, Challenger invites Summerlee to accompany him on a new expedition to the "lost world," and asks for volunteers. When Roxton raises his hand, Jenny insists on going with him, but she is rejected by Challenger because she is a woman. Ed is given a spot after Holmes offers to fund the expedition if the reporter is included. The four then fly to the Amazon, where they are met by Costa, their guide and Manuel Gomez, their helicopter pilot. Arriving unexpectedly, Jenny and her younger brother David insist on joining them. Unable to arrange transportation back to the United States, Challenger reluctantly agrees to take them along. The next day, they take off for the lost world and land on an isolated plateau inhabited by dinosaurs. That evening, a dinosaur stomps out of the jungle, sending them scurrying for cover. After the beast destroys the helicopter and radio, the ... +


When his plane lands in London, crusty old professor George Edward Challenger is besieged by reporters questioning him about his latest expedition to the headwaters of the Amazon River. After the irascible Challenger strikes reporter Ed Malone on the head with his umbrella, Jennifer Holmes, the daughter of Ed's employer, Stuart Holmes, offers the injured reporter a ride into town. That evening, Jenny is escorted by Lord John Roxton, an adventurer and big game hunter, to Challenger's lecture at the Zoological Institute, and Ed invites them to sit with him. When Challenger claims to have seen live dinosaurs, his colleague Professor Summerlee scoffs and asks for evidence. Explaining that his photographs of the creatures were lost when his boat overturned, Challenger invites Summerlee to accompany him on a new expedition to the "lost world," and asks for volunteers. When Roxton raises his hand, Jenny insists on going with him, but she is rejected by Challenger because she is a woman. Ed is given a spot after Holmes offers to fund the expedition if the reporter is included. The four then fly to the Amazon, where they are met by Costa, their guide and Manuel Gomez, their helicopter pilot. Arriving unexpectedly, Jenny and her younger brother David insist on joining them. Unable to arrange transportation back to the United States, Challenger reluctantly agrees to take them along. The next day, they take off for the lost world and land on an isolated plateau inhabited by dinosaurs. That evening, a dinosaur stomps out of the jungle, sending them scurrying for cover. After the beast destroys the helicopter and radio, the group ventures inland. When one of the creatures bellows threateningly, they flee, and in their haste, Challenger and Ed slip and tumble down a hillside, where they encounter a native girl. The girl runs into the jungle, but Ed follows and captures her. They then all take refuge in a cave, where Roxton, who has been making disparaging remarks about Jenny's desire to marry him solely for his title, angers Ed. Ed lunges at Roxton, pushing him to the ground, where he finds a diary written by Burton White, an adventurer who hired Roxton three years earlier to lead him to the lost diamonds of Eldorado. Roxton then admits that he never met White and his party because he was delayed by a dalliance with a woman, thus abandoning them to certain death. Gomez angrily snaps that his good friend Santiago perished in the expedition. That night, Costa tries to molest the native girl, and David comes to her rescue and begins to communicate with her through sign language. After Gomez goes to investigate some movement he spotted in the vegetation, he calls for help, and when Roxton runs out of the cave, a gunshot from an unseen assailant is fired, nearly wounding Roxton and sending the girl scurrying into the jungle. Soon after, Ed and Jenny stray from camp and are pursued by a dinosaur, and after taking refuge on some cliffs, watch in horror as their stalker becomes locked in combat with another prehistoric creature and tumbles over the cliffs into the waters below. Upon returning to camp, they discover it deserted, their belongings in disarray. As David stumbles out from some rocks to report they were attacked by a tribe of natives, the cannibals return and imprison them in a cave with the others. As the drums beat relentlessly, signaling their deaths, the native girl reappears and motions for them to follow her through a secret passageway that leads to the cave in which Burton White lives, completely sightless. After confirming that all in his expedition perished, White tells them of a volcanic passageway that will lead them off the plateau, but warns that they must first pass through the cave of fire. Cautioning them that the natives plan to sacrifice them, White declares that their only chance of survival is to slip through the cave and then seal it with a boulder. After giving them directions to the cave, White asks them to take the girl along. As the earth, on the verge of a volcanic eruption, quakes, they set off through the Graveyard of the Damned, a vast cavern littered with dinosaur skeletons, the victims of the deadly sulfurous gases below. Pursued by the ferocious natives, Roxton takes the lead as they inch their way across a narrow ledge above the molten lava. After escaping the natives, they jam the cave shut with a boulder and, passing a dam of molten lava, finally reach the escape passage. At its mouth is a pile of giant diamonds and a dinosaur egg. As Costa heaps the diamonds into his hat, Challenger fondles the egg and Gomez pulls a gun and announces that Roxton must die in exchange for the death of Santiago, Gomez' brother. Acting quickly, Ed hurls the diamonds at Gomez, throwing him off balance and discharging his gun. The gunshot awakens a creature slumbering in the roiling waters below. After the beast snatches Costa and eats him alive, Ed tries to dislodge the dam, sending a few scorching rocks tumbling down onto the monster. Feeling responsible for the peril of the group, Gomez sacrifices his life by using his body as a lever to dislodge the dam, covering the creature with oozing lava. As the cave begins to crumble from the impending eruption, the group hurries to safety. Just then, the volcano explodes, destroying the lost world. After Roxton hands Ed a handful of diamonds he has saved as a wedding gift for him and Jenny, Challenger proudly displays his egg, which then hatches, revealing a baby dinosaur. +

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

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