The Lost World (1925) Director: Harry Hoyt
The Lost World is the natural prelude to King Kong, and other similar later adventure films. The story is based on the Arthur Conan Doyle novel (1912) of the same name. It features incredible stop-motion special effects, a novelty for the time.
The plot: Edward Malone’s girlfriend will not commit to any man unless he is unafraid of danger, so he, a newspaper reporter, attends a university dialogue with Mr. Challenger, an adventurer who has just returned from the Amazon jungle where he has lost a compatriot. He claims there are living dinosaurs in the jungle. In thinking of his girlfriend, Edward Malone, signs up for a renewed expedition and gets his newspaper to sponsor the trip. When they arrive, they create a tree-bridge in order to enter the plateau where the dinosaurs dwell, however a brontosaurus soon collapses their bridge and they make preparations to stay indefinitely. They experience various dangerous battles between dinosaurs, and “cannibal” apemen who thwart them at every turn. In the end, they are able to capture the brontosaurus and return to Europe with it, however it escapes and runs amok in the city. In addition, while he has been away, Ed’s girlfriend has married another man, so he falls in love with the young woman on the expedition, Paula White, whom another famous sportsman on the expedition is also in love with. This tension is left un-concluded at the film’s end.
The Lost World is a brilliant film in the long tradition of adventure movies. It is a supremely enjoyable film, even if certain technical and special effects have become outdated.