The Lost World

Overview

This adventure virtually butchers its source, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic novel. But with stop-motion photography and special effects that were incredibly innovative in 1924 and 1925, who cared? These effects were the whole film, and Wallace Beery's inspired performance was a bonus. The tale opens on reporter Edward Malone (Lloyd Hughes), who wants to marry Gladys Hungerford (Alma Bennett). Gladys, however, only wants to marry a man of great deeds. So Malone, having asked his editor for an adventuresome ...
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Overview

This adventure virtually butchers its source, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic novel. But with stop-motion photography and special effects that were incredibly innovative in 1924 and 1925, who cared? These effects were the whole film, and Wallace Beery's inspired performance was a bonus. The tale opens on reporter Edward Malone (Lloyd Hughes), who wants to marry Gladys Hungerford (Alma Bennett). Gladys, however, only wants to marry a man of great deeds. So Malone, having asked his editor for an adventuresome assignment, is given the task of interviewing Professor Challenger (Beery), who is planning an expedition to a "lost world." Malone accompanies Challenger and his men to South America where, on a great plateau, they find a prehistoric world occupied by dinosaurs and ape-like men. They barely escape with their lives, but they manage to bring a brontosaurus back to London. The beast breaks out and terrorizes the city before crashing through the London bridge and swimming out toward the ocean to freedom. In the midst of all this, Malone has fallen in love with Paula White, the daughter of an explorer (Bessie Love). Since Gladys, it turns out, has married a clerk, Malone is able to wed his new sweetheart.
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Special Features

[None specified]
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Hans J. Wollstein
Reportedly seven years in the making, this silent adventure based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic 1912 novel was a watershed mark in special effects filmmaking. Willis H. O'Brien's stop-motion work, which would reach near-perfection in King Kong (1933), was much admired in its day and although primitive by modern standards remains visually engaging. So does Wallace Beery, complete with a theatrical beard, as Professor Challenger, whose theory of prehistoric dinosaurs surviving on a secluded plateau in the Amazonian jungle has made him the target of ridicule. Intrepid reporter Ed Malone (Lloyd Hughes) offers the professor a chance to redeem himself, and with Big Game hunter Sir John Roxton (Lewis Stone) and pretty Paula White (Bessie Love) in tow, they are off on a perilous expedition to South America. Paula, who is returning to the jungle in search of her missing scientist father, falls in love with the handsome reporter, much to the chagrin of Sir John. This triangle drama continues up the perilous climb to the plateau where Professor Challenger's theories are terrifyingly substantiated by all kinds of prehistoric fauna. Soon, a flesh-eating Tyranosaurus is attacking a family of more benign Triceratopses right in front of the astounded humans, who also have to contend with an erupting volcano, the dried-up bones of Paula's poor father, and the bizarre spectacle of stunt-man Bull Montana in a gorilla suit. But with the able assistance of a lovesick pet monkey, the expedition not only makes it safely down from the plateau but returns to England complete with a captured brontosaurus. Unfortunately, the beast is soon loose on Piccadilly Circus (where a theater marquee is advertising The Sea Hawk, 1924, also produced by First National), on Tower Bridge, and in sundry other picturesque London locations before apparently drowning in the River Thames. Originally released in 10 reels, The Lost World was cut to the bone in 1930 and it is this 62 minute version that exists today, beautifully restored by the George Eastman House. Missing, however, are subplots involving Alma Bennett as Lloyd Hughes' demanding London fiancé, Virginia Brown Faire as a Brazilian half-caste tempting Lewis Stone and a rendezvous with a tribe of cannibals. Left intact, however, are a few uncomfortable sequences with comic actor Jules Cowles appearing in blackface as Stone's pidgin-accented servant. Willis H. O'Brien's monsters may not frighten contemporary kids, with today's high special effects standards, but they certainly hold up well in comparison to some of the tacky creatures let lose in the 1950s and early 1960s.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/22/2002
  • UPC: 089218406491
  • Original Release: 1925
  • Rating:

  • Source: Alpha Video
  • Presentation: Black & White
  • Time: 1:03:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 16,926

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bessie Love Paula White
Lloyd Hughes Edward J Malone
Wallace Beery Prof. Challenger
Arthur Hoyt Prof. Summerlee
Margaret McWade Mrs. Challenger
Frank Finch Smiles Austin, Challenger's Butler
Jules Cowles Zambo
Bull Montana Ape Man
George Bunny Colin McArdle
Alma Bennett Gladys Hungeford
Virginia Brown Faire Marquette
Lewis Stone Sir John Roxton
Charles Wellesley Maj. Hibbard
Technical Credits
William Dowling Director
Harry Hoyt Director
Arthur Edeson Cinematographer
Marion Fairfax Screenwriter
Carl Laemmle Sr. Producer
George McGuire Editor
Milton Menasco Set Decoration/Design
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Play [10:23]
2. Chapter 1 [15:58]
3. Chapter 2 [12:56]
4. Chapter 3 [12:35]
5. Chapter 4 [15:56]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Index
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