The Lost World
Arthur Conan Dull
Release Date: 1 June
1960 | PG | Blu- ray/ DVD Director: Irwin Allen Cast: Michael Rennie, Claude Rains, Jill St John, David Hedison, Richard Haydn
Conan Doyle’s 1912 novel The Lost World had previously been filmed in 1925 in what was a pretty swish production for the time. This 1960 version marked the beginning of a decade of schlocky sci- fi output, mainly on the small screen, for former magazine editor Irwin Allen; his Lost World is exactly the sort that’d turn up in series such as The Time Tunnel and Land Of The Giants.
We’re a while getting there, though. We start in London, where grumpy Professor Challenger ( Claude Rains) is telling a sceptical bunch of journos that he’s found prehistoric life in the Amazon. A band of volunteers eventually set off for the other side of the world with him – 45 minutes in we glimpse a dinosaur. Except, this being a cheap Irwin Allen production, these “dinosaurs” are mainly magnified lizards, with plastic spikes and horns glued to them. It’s a wonder that scenes where the reptiles do combat, seemingly ripping lumps out of each other, didn’t attract the ire of the RSPCA.
Lumps are also evident elsewhere, notably the script. Following the protracted introduction the action unfolds in stodgy fashion, the stereotyped characters acting in entirely predictable fashion ( best to look upon it as just an old- fashioned kids’ adventure). It even has one of those endings where a group of characters all simultaneously laugh. Bless!
None. Russell Lewin Scenes of David Hedison battling a giant spider later turned up in Irwin Allen TV series Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea.
Barry knew something felt different this morning but couldn’t quite put his finger on it.