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Full Version of 1925 "The Lost World"

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Ken Viewer

Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 319

PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:45 am    Post subject: Full Version of 1925 "The Lost World" Reply with quote


While this new version of this famed silent film is planned to be released sometime this year in Blu-Ray format here in the U.S., the same lost footage has been incorporated into the release being sold on Amazon's French site in vanilla DVD format -- and they will ship it to those who purchase it and live in the U.S. It hasn't been commercially shown in some 92 years.

TAKE NOTE that the new French release (the 1925 movie, on which portions of the original King Kong's special effects are based), has been uploaded to Youtube. (Links below.)

The credits list Bull Montana in a significant role, and the credits and titles have been redone. First National Pictures made this film and that studio was soon acquired by Warner Bros. But R.K.O, which made "King Kong," and hired Willis O'Brien to do the special effects for "King Kong," who created the special effects for "The Lost World," redid so much of O'Brien's earlier work that they were forced to purchase the rights to "The Lost World" in order to avoid copyright infringement litigation.

The uploader of the new version (which uses portions of what is believed to be the only surviving original print -- which was never made available although its then-surviving owner offered it for archival purpose several decades ago) has decided to narrate the entire film. No disrespect to him, but I promptly turned off the sound on my computer. There is no music included in this upload.

The footage starts off with scenes of the real Arthur Conan Doyle, who wrote the book upon which the film was based. (Well, it's either him or Bull Montana, who does appear later in the film.)

The restored film:

The French Amazon store offer of the DVD (Amazon's site is in French):

It's not widely known this film is now on Youtube (less than 400 views), so don't tell anyone.

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Steve Yohe

Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 3108
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe Bull Montana played a missing link type ape man in the film. I'll buy the new Blue ray when it shows up....if they don't charge too much.

There was a movie in the early 50's called Animal World. I remember it as a kid, but have never seen it since... on TV or anywhere else. I think Harry Harryhausen did the stop focus motion stuff on it. I remember the dinosaurs section being really well done. Remember two T-Rexs fighting & falling off a cliff. The dinosaurs stuff lasted less than 20 minutes & the rest of the movie was real animals doing tricks & stuff. It must be a lost film. Wish it would show up. --Yohe
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Ken Viewer

Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 319

PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want to spend the money, you can see the roughly 12-minutes of Ray Harryhausen AND Willis O'Brien special effects in "The Animal World" by purchasing a DVD of it from Amazon (new for $12) or elsewhere.

The film was made for release in 1956 by Irwin Allen, as a "documentary" prior to his becoming famous for disaster-fiction films. According to one piece of artwork, it took Allen two billion years to make the film. Dat's a long time.

Except for you, virtually no one still alive seems to have seen the film and I guess the best reviews can be read on Amazon -- all ten of them.

According to research I've done, Willis O'Brien was the head of special effects and Ray Harryhausen also worked on the effects. I certainly don't know what's what but Harryhausen's fans' list the film as one of his, with no mention of O'Brien.

Here's the Amazon link:

Are you sure Bull Montana didn't portray Doyle in "The Lost World" and Doyle played the ape-man?

Lastly, Amazon is asking $35 for a Blu-Ray copy of the full film for shipping in September. That's a rip-off, even though they don't charge you until the copy ships.

Anticipated new cover-art:

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Ken Viewer

Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 319

PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those of us who are major Willis O'Brien fans, my condolences to the Ray Harryhausen fan-club.

O'Brien, the only one of the two who ever won a "Best Visual Effects" Academy Award for his work (for "Mighty Joe Young"), ran the show for the 12 minutes' worth of animation in Irwin Allen's "The Animal World," so explains the New York Times.

Here are excerpts from critic Bosley Crowther's review from the Times:

"...Since he had no dinosaurs to film, Mr. Allen re-created, with the assistance of scientists and noted special effects men and animators, that awesome prehistoric period.

"Perhaps moviegoers with memories of 'The Lost World' and 'King Kong' will not find this twelve-minute sequence entirely novel. But the scale-model Tyrannosaurus Rex, the Brontosaurus, Allosaurus and Triceretops do live, battle and die with chilling sound and visual effects..."

Harryhausen was five years old when O'Brien's creations were used for "The Lost World" and 13 years old when the original "King Kong" was released.

In a bit of astonishing coincidence, the Times's review of "The Animal World" ran as the bottom portion of the reviews of the films released in New York City on either May 30 or May 31, 1956. The top portion of the review is an all-out roaring rave for John Ford's "The Searchers," which was the last film "King Kong" creator/co-screenwriter/co-director/producer Merian C. Cooper ever produced.

The films are not connected except that they both opened in Manhattan on the same day, but seeing both O'Brien's and Cooper's names in one omnibus review on the same day, for the last time, is really something.

Harryhausen, toward the end of his career, did receive an honorary award from the Oscars people.

Although Cooper was co-nominated for Best Picture in one of the-then two Best Picture categories back in 1929 for a silent film, he (and his co-director/producer/cinematographer Ernest Schoedsack) did not win. He, too, received an honorary Academy Award some 20-odd years later.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, still in its early stages the year "King Kong" was eligible for awards, decided not to have a Best Effects category for that period, so no one was nominated.

The 1950 Oscars award for Best Special Effects (officially awarded to ARKO Pictures, which was owned by Cooper and C.V. Whitney -- onr of the very-wealthy Whitneys -- who financed the film and he financed "The Searchers." Cooper chose not to collect the award. He sent O'Brien up to get what O'Brien deserved (O'Brien gave a very long speech):

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