Lost World, The

30. THE LOST WORLD (1925-USA). With WALLACE BEERY, BESSIE LOVE, LEWIS STONE. Based or the novel by ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE. Special effects by WILLIS O’BRIEN. From Conan Doyle’s “Stupen dous Story of Adventure and Romance”: a science fiction/horror thriller about a fabulous land untouched by the ravages of time. Truly the granddaddy of all prehistoric monster epics, this sensational movie is about at expedition that journeys in the uncharted Amazon regions and discovers a plateau inhabited by all sorts of dinosaurs, as well as by hostile ape-men. After surviving these creatures and various natural perils, the voyager bring a live brontosaur back to London, to convince the skeptics. But the gigantic reptile breaks loose, and rampages through the city! The clever special effects were by Willis O’Brien, a technical wizard who had pioneered the animation of dinosaur models in many short films. Here he used 49 miniature dinosaurs (tyrannosaurs, pterodactyls, stegosaurs, and many others), consisting of flexible rubber material placed over movable wooden frameworks, and animated through stop-action against convincingly scaled settings. Sometimes the creatures are combined with humans in the same shot, and the results are astounding, especially considering the film’s early production date. The effects led the way for OÕBrianÕs more ambitious work in “King KongÓ (which also clearly owes its storyline to this film), and to the “Dynamation” techniques of his pupil. Ray Hart ryhausen. Although some of the model work may be considered crude by later standards, the dinosaur battles their chaotic stampede away from an erupting volcano, and the bronto’s climactic destruction of much of London (he smashes into fountains and buildings, terrorizes people, disrupts traffic, and finally crashes through the Tower Bridge) are gems of monster moviemaking! Silent film with music score, correct projection speed. 77 minutes. ÒSilentÓ Science Fiction