Seven decades before Michael Crichton borrowed the title of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic adventure tale, The Lost World was the movie sensation of 1925. (The film is not to be confused with Steven Spielberg's sequel to... more » Jurassic Park.) Just as Spielberg's dinosaur thrillers would advance the technology of computer-generated spectacle, Doyle's classic story provided a perfect opportunity to exploit the illusions made possible by stop-motion animation. Eight years before he stunned audiences with the amazing special effects of King Kong, pioneering stop-motion animator Willis O'Brien created the dinosaur stars of this classic silent-film fantasy. Following Doyle's plot, the film plays like a dress rehearsal for King Kong and establishes a now-familiar scenario: Wallace Beery plays a visionary scientist who returns to the remote South African plateau where he'd earlier discovered a jungle haven of prehistoric creatures. Determined to introduce this discovery to the world, he returns to London with a captive brontosaurus, which later escapes and goes on a destructive rampage through the city. --Jeff Shannon« less
Fantastic job by Image makes The Lost World fully satisfying
Brian C. Davis | Milwaukee | 01/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just finished watching Image's restored edition of the 1925 Lost World, prepared for DVD issue, but thankfully also released on very high quality VHS tape for luddites like me. This is one case where the VHS tape was not just an afterthought--the quality of the tape is exceptional, and mine had absolutely NO tracking problems, tape glitches, or audio dropouts whatsoever--something that has become all too rare these days. This version restores many lost scenes and many lost parts of scenes, restoring much character development, as well as some truly-impressive dinosaur footage. Compared to previous abridged versions, this one runs over half an hour longer, thanks to footage from *eight* prints, especially a Czech print found in the 90's from which most of the lost scenes come from. Anyway, I'm absolutely stunned by the quality of the film. It's never looked better, and for the very first time, it no longer seems like merely an important FX historical curiosity, but is now a fully satisfying adventure/fantasy film. The pacing no longer feels rushed, and Willis O'Brien's groudbreaking stop-motion and matte FX work is still simply amazing today. There's a restored dinosaur stampede and aftermath that features far more fully-articulated dinosaurs than anything in Jurassic Park. I am a fan of dinosaur films generally, and I can honestly say that in its restored form, the 1925 Lost World is simply the best dinosaur film I have ever seen.The image looks fantastic for such an old film too, and the color-tinting is very intelligently used--blue for night, brown/sepia for indoor, green for jungle--but it never comes across as intrusive. The new percussion-heavy modern musical score (by the Alloy Orchestra) commissioned for this version may be a bit untraditional, but it fits the film perfectly.The 12 min. of animation outtakes following the film were fascinating too, and helped to underscore how much detail and care went into the FX work on the film--there are some cool moments in the outtakes where freeze-frames actually show the animators at work in the frame.Anyway, fantastic film, stunning restoration. You've never seen the 1925 Lost World like this until you've seen Image's restored edition--and this is one restoration you can safely buy on either DVD or VHS. A+"
Something missing from the Image release...
BBQ | Seattle, WA USA | 04/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Image Entertainment version is definitely the version of this movie to own on DVD. It is the most complete version available, about half an hour longer than any other version. Also, the picture looks great and real care was taken on the special features. Bravo. However, I would like to point one curiosity about this version. I have seen the truncated hour-long version several times before, and there is a difference in the final "Brontosaurus on the loose" scene. In the shorter, more common version, there is a scene where the Brontosaurus roars into the camera, followed by a shot of its tail, knocking over several people on the street. In Image's restored, extended version, these scenes do not appear, but are replaced with alternate, more subtle shots. First, the dinosaur snarls, then we get a shot of his tail knocking around a single body on the street. The scenes are similar, but different depending on which version of the film you're watching. I thought it strange to watch the restored version of this movie and not see two of the most famous shots. Strangely, they are also nowhere to be found in the special features. It is a slight omission, but one that I noticed right away. If you want to see those scenes, you'll have to get one of the shorter versions of the movie. Still, if you can only own one, I recommend the Image DVD. Overall, it is the most superior and complete version. Too bad it wasn't quite perfect."
Journey to the original Lost World
Joseph P. Menta, Jr. | Philadelphia, PA USA | 09/25/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This 1925 silent film still works as an involving, pretty exciting experience, not in just a "let's see how a dinosaur movie made in 1925 looks" kind of way. This Image Entertainment restored edition is definitely the DVD version to get, as it's about thirty minutes longer than the other editions on the market. I especially liked the epic shots of the dinosaur plateau in the distance; the creepy man/gorilla creature; and the nice views of London at the beginning and end. The dinosaur action is also impressive more than seventy-five years later, though I thought most of the dinosaurs were more cute than scary. Another nice touch is the long booklet included with the DVD; it's a reproduction of the original souvenir program given to patrons at the film's premiere. There are lots of other great extras to enjoy, too, including a choice of two musical tracks to accompany the film. Oh, yes, an excellent article about the various undertakings to restore this movie- including Image's efforts- appears in the 75th issue (dated Sept. 2001, I believe) of "Video Watchdog", a very good monthly digest about genre movies. After reading the article, I went out and picked up "The Lost World", and I'm happy I did."
Good Golly You Missed, Molly
L.A.M. | Costa Mesa, CA USA | 10/14/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)
"It looks like Amazon hasn't been paying attention again, as usual!There was only one Lost World released in 1960. Wallace Beery, one of the stars of the 1925 silent classic, DIED 10 years before the Irwin Allen film was made.I would love to have a DVD of this Michael Rennie, Jill St. John, David Hedison, and Claude Rains masterpiece, even if produced by such a schlock company as GoodTimes. But alas, this seems not to be.GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT, AMAZON!!!"
Restored version is the only way to fly!
S. H. Towsley | Fort Wayne, IN & Los Angeles, CA | 04/28/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"THE LOST WORLD has been restored twice in recent years, but the only version widely available is this one, the Image edition that depicts two dinosaurs on the cover. Be sure, if you want the restored version, that you are getting this one, ASIN:B00005ABVF. There are so many releases on VHS and DVD of the 63-minute abridged version that I have tried and failed several times to get this restored version on the used market -- from marketers who simply don't know the difference. A similarly boxed vesion with only ONE dinosaur by the same artist on the cover, for example, is the old tired hour-long "kiddies' version" of LOST WORLD. It's a case of buyer beware. Until the Kodak company releases its competing "restoration," the 90-minute Image version, ASIN: B00005ABVF, is the only one to own, for completeness and clarity. My advice is not to try to save a buck or two in the used market UNLESS the seller specifically indicates in advance that he will be seinding you the Image release, that is clearly marked "Restoration" and with a running time of approximately 90 minutes, plus extras -- and it has the two dinosaurs on the cover, as pictured on the Amazon product page. Some versions touting "extra material" only have still photos of the missing scenes. The Image restoration has all its restored footage edited into the movie -- and it all moves!The Image restoration is excellent. The picture quality is very good, the movie starts at its original, earlier point in the story, when the reporter's girlfriend Gladys tells him she can only marry an "adventurer," and contains much more footage throughout, including an entire set piece in a native village where Professor Challenger toys with the explorers by fooling them with a blank page instead of the map to the plateau. Also restored is Dr. Summerlee's fascination with insects, and some scenes of the brontosaurus near the end of the picture, like the one that amazed viewers on first run of the brontosaurus' huge head ramming through a window and interrupting a poker game -- and the bronto finally swimming down the English channel with a steamship in the background. This is the first version of the movie for grown-ups. It foreshadows KING KONG, released 8 years later, by generally putting an expedition in a jungle full of dinosaurs, but also in one more specific way -- In Doyle's book, Challenger merely brings back a Pteradactyl's egg, and it hatches in the lecture hall and flies away. In THE LOST WORLD, in 1925, the expedition brings back a giant Brontosaurus, which gets loose and "wreaks havoc" (as the TV Guide was always fond of putting it) in the city. This original idea was later gleefully borrowed and immortalized in the much more popular, sensational, and brilliant KING KONG of 1933 -- by the same special effects master, the most gifted stop-motion animator of all time, Willis H. O'Brien."