The Lost World

Posted: 03 Sep 2023
Released: 1925
Rating: ★★★★★

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An Original Adventure

The Lost World is a fantastical silent film from 1925 based on the book of the same title, authored by Arthur Conan Doyle. You may remember him as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, but did you know that Doyle also wrote the original Dinosaur tale which the modern Jurassic films are based on? You do now, hey you learned something today!

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Meet Malone

Malone is a young reporter looking for a dangerous story to impress his love interest. His editor, who isn't too fond of his childish demeanor, sends him on an impossible errand - interview Professor Challenger at Zoological Hall. Malone is unaware what he is getting into. He sneaks into Zoological Hall at his own peril, since the Hall forbids reporters from attending their gatherings.

Challenger is known for assaulting reporters because they question his fantastic claims. Challenger says he discovered a land in South America where ancient, living dinosaurs roam freely.

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Professor Challenger addresses the scientific community in Zoological Hall. He dares anyone brave enough to join him on a return trip to the Amazon waterways, to witness for themselves these ancient giants.

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Malone offers to join the party. Challenger is not happy that a reporter snuck in, and rushes to attack Malone. A chase ensues and Challenger assaults Malone. After the scuffle, and when Malone and Challenger realize they have a mutual friend in Sir John Roxton (a big game hunter who also nominated himself for the trip), they decide to work together.

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It turns out nobody wants to fund such a ludicrous expedition, until Challenger introduces Paula White. Her father was marooned on a plateau within the Lost World. Malone sees a good human interest story and convinces his editor to finance the rescue. Paula White, Zambo and Jocko join the expedition.

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Three weeks later they set camp at the base of the plateau, where many a strange creature make appearances. A large winged Pterodactyl coasts high above the cliff. One hairy ape-man spies on the rescue party from the hill-tops, and tries to scare them off by rolling boulders down-hill toward their camp. Long-necked Brontosaurus pull trees from their roots. An Allosaurus attacks a Triceratops. The stop-motion creatures are beautifully done. There is quite a lot of Dinosaur action to see, and some scenes have both creatures and people in the same shot - exceptional!

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I won't spoil the rest of this great story. There is action, adventure and plenty of stop-motion animation. Don't be fooled, this silent film is not boring. You don't want to miss it.

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Watch It

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Did You Know

Arthur Conan Doyle's book "The Lost World" was published in 1912 and is now in the public domain. You can get a digitized copy of it from Project Gutenberg. Much of the literary version is missing from the film, so it's worth a read!

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