2018 Sci-Fi Horrorfest: The Lost World (1925)
Cast: Bessie Love as Paula White
Lewis Stone as Sir John Roxton
Wallace Berry as Professor Challenger
Lloyd Hughes as Ed Malone
Alma Bennett as Gladys Hungerford
Arthur Hoyt as Professor Summerlee
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as Himself
Screenplay by Marion Fairfax
Based on the 1912 novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Directed by Harry O. Hoyt
Plot: Newspaper writer Ed Malone needs to impress his girl Gladys if he ever hopes to get married. So he joins his friend Sir John Roxton on an expedition with Professor Challenger, a man who claims to have discovered a plateau in the Amazon where time stands still and dinosaurs roam the earth. However, he never counted on his feelings for the lovely Paula White, in search of her missing father, nor the fact that the professor was telling the truth. Now, they have to find a way back home to prove his claims, with a surprise twist.
Richard’s Review: For many years, I watched the same worn out hour-long print that everyone else did. Despite the visual flaws, I enjoyed the movie and loved the stop-motion animation from the legendary Willis O’Brian. However, this restored print is almost like watching a new film. Nearly 45 minutes of film footage has been restored, resulting in a far more detailed and impressive feature. Enhanced by color tinting and an amazing score by the Robert Israel Orchestra, you now have a true classic worthy of all of the love and attention it has received.
You’ll find some amazing sequences that had to be inspirations for what we’ve seen previously in the Jurassic Park series, as well as the upcoming Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. The dinosaur work by Willis O’Brian is stunning and the extra footage included on the Blu-ray give a glimpse at some behind-the-scenes magic at work. I cannot recommend this Flicker Alley release enough, from the main film to all of the extras. I consider this a new experience and it’s one of my favorite viewings of the year so far.
Karla’s Thoughts: I loved this movie and was beyond impressed with the special effects work, even the early test footage included on the Blu-ray. In fact, I’m surprised that footage wasn’t added into the movie. I loved the color tinting and the music. I also really enjoyed the story and the happy ending. I also found the extras really good and well worth watching. I’ll be watching this one again for sure.
- For many years, most prints of the film ran approximately 65 minutes. These prints omitted the sub-plot around Ed Malone and his love interest Gladys, as well as scenes at the last outpost, while shortening their time on the plateau and the climax as well.
- The original print had been missing since 1930 until restoration work began in the 1990s. David Shepard completed one restoration in 2000 while Lobster Films handled this most recent release, thanks to the discovery of more lost footage with its’ original color tinting and intertitles.
- The only time Sir Arthur Conan Doyle appeared onscreen in an adaptation of one of his stories. He was 66 at the time and would die five years later, in 1930, at the age of 71. His original appearance at a desk is, unfortunately, still lost. However, utilizing footage from a 1927 Movietone film, the writer is once again present as our story begins.
- Writer Marion Fairfax had previously co-written the William Gillette stage play of Sherlock Holmes.
- Lewis Stone may be better known for his role as Judge Hardy, Andy Hardy’s father, in the popular Mickey Rooney film series.
- Wallace Berry, a Kansas City native, is well-known for his films The Champ (1931) and Treasure Island (1934).