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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Lost World [Blu-ray]


(Irwin Allen, 1960)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Video: Llamentol



Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:37:10.783

Disc Size: 21,739,637,132 bytes

Feature Size: 21,487,681,536 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.69 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 25th, 2015



Aspect ratio: 2.29:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video


Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

DUB: Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps



Spanish, none








Description: An eccentric scientist (Claude Rains, Lawrence of Arabia) returns from the Amazon with news of a distant plateau where creatures from the dawn of time still prowl the jungle. To prove his story, he gathers a team of explorers, including a journalist (David Hedison, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea), a playboy adventurer (Michael Rennie, The Day the Earth Stood Still), a beautiful socialite (Jill St John, Diamonds Are Forever) and a pilot (Fernando Lamas, The Violent Ones) with a secret plan of revenge. But an unexpected attack on their camp leaves the group stranded in a world of dinosaurs and other exotic creatures, where humans are no longer lords of the earth, they are helpless prey!



The Film:

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's story of an expedition to a remote plateau rumored to be the home of prehistoric beasts, already the basis of a 1925 sci-fi classic, is again brought to the screen in Irwin Allen's lesser version. Claude Rains stars as Professor Challenger, who leads a team of fellow scientists and adventurers deep into the Amazon jungle. The team must battle unforgiving jungle conditions before arriving at the isolated plateau that is their final destination. There they discover a strange group of prehistoric beasts and unexpectedly find themselves in a fight for survival. While the 1925 Harry Hoyt version is still considered noteworthy for its ground-breaking stop-motion effects, Allen relies on enlarged footage of modern-day animals dressed up as their prehistoric counterparts, a technique that has aged less gracefully.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

When not writing about Sherlock Holmes, author Doyle penned an occasional fantasy, such as this one about a zoologist who finds a lost world. Rains stars as the man of science who claims he found a lost world in South America on a prior trip. He leads another group to the Amazon area where he intends to prove that dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures still live. His cadre includes St. John, the daughter of a newspaper publisher who is putting up the money for the expedition; Rennie, a playboy-adventurer; Haydn, a serious scientist who doesn't believe Rains; Stricklyn, St. John's brother; and Hedison, a photographer/reporter. They are joined by guitar-playing helicopter pilot Lamas and guide Novello. Into the dense jungle they go and are quickly set upon by dinosaurs, Indians who want to eat them, huge arachnids, and other unpleasantries. The beasts destroy their gear and the explorers are stranded on a plateau. Eventually, they make their way back to civilization, and Rains has a little relic with him; a small dinosaur egg that he plans to take back to England. Irwin Allen, who in the 1970s would become the "master of disaster" with films such as THE TOWERING INFERNO and BEYOND THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE to his credit, here first tried his hand at directing a special-effects opus.

Excerpt from TV Guide located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The 1960 version of The Lost World gets a 1080P transfer to Blu-ray from Spain - and in the UK. The Region FREE Llamentol is single-layered but has a decent bitrate. There is a bit of softness - and some noise scattered in the open sky shots but colors are surprisingly rich. It is not exceptional in the 2.29:1 aspect ratio but provides as good a presentation as I've seen for the star-studded adventure hoot.  It's clean without damage or speckles. I'd say this Blu-ray image is imperfect but looks better than I anticipated. I suspect it is a BD-R with a more limited shelf-life - but I can't confirm it with this particular disc. My guess would be the UK BD is pressed and equal-to or superior.




















Audio :

Audio in the form of a standard Dolby (lossy) stereo track. It is fairly unremarkable but occasionally effective with creature growls and miss St. John's screams. The Paul Sawtell (Silver City, The Fly, Denver and Rio Grande) and Bert Shefter (teaming with Sawtell on She-Devil and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea) score has some minor impact but is not demonstrative.  There are optional Spanish subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE - playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide. NOTE: The UK 101 Films Blu-ray is region 'B'-locked.


Extras :

None - not even a theatrical trailer. I believe the UK version is also bare-bones.



We can't recommend this package; a probable BD-R, possible boot-leg, lossy audio and no extras.  Hopefully I can get the UK Blu-ray in my hands one day and compare. I don't know that it's a film that home theater purists would bring the magnifying glass out for - maybe a few. I've always liked it - for all its hokiness - but that probably has to do with fond childhood memories. Only those as keen as I am and who are willing to accept the Spanish inferiorities. My suggestion is the 101 Films Blu-ray (better cover too). 

Gary Tooze

July 13th, 2015




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