Lost World, The (SE)/B+,C+
Image/1925/93/FS 1.33/BW

    The Lost World on DVD is billed as the most complete version since its 1925 theatrical release. It's a solid but standard adventure yarn based on the novel by Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle. The silent film images are broken by frequent use of title cards for written dialogue. I never realized that staccato use of these cards can break the flow of a film, however, such is the case.
     Professor Challenger, a gruff explorer. returns from an expedition to the Amazon jungle with fantastic claims of prehistoric beasts hidden away deep int he jungle. Unfortunately, his photographs have been irreparably damaged by water. As Challenger presents his findings to an skeptical assembly of the London scientific community, he's greeted by ridicule. Challenger challenges his audience to volunteer to return to the jungle with him in an attempt to prove his claims.

Look, it's a bird, it's a.....ŠImage

     Reporter Edward J. Malone and Sir John Roxton quickly agree to join Challenger for different reasons of the heart. Paula White, whose father Maple White was lost int he jungle on Challenger's expedition, also returns to the jungle to find dear old dad.
     The action is pretty stiff and the romance never ignites beyond title card interruptus, yet the simple adventure tale unfolds with an elegance beyond the individual scenes and plot development.
    The stop animation action work of legendary Willis H. O'Brien is very effective and the prehistoric beasts belnd well with the cahracter action.
     Wallace Beery has the tough task of playing Challenger under a bad hair day wig. Beery does truculence well though and is convincing. Lewis Stone is a stolid Sir John Roxton, while romantic lead Lloyd Hughes makes a rather limp hero making eyes at Bessie Love's Paula White.
     The presentation has been culled together from various sources. It's not in great shape, but happily, detail has not been sacrificed to overzealous digital cleaning. A majority of the scenes are presented in different tints to lovely effect. A choice of two scores accompanies the action. Included in the special edition is an audio commentary from Roy Pilot, author of The Annotated Lost World. There are also some simple animation outtakes.







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