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The Lost World (1925) - Blu-ray Review

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The Lost World (1925) - Blu-ray Review

5 beersThe release of the fully restored 110-minute version of director Harry O. Hoyt's The Lost World on Blu-ray is a big fucking deal.  For the longest time, the original version of this silent film had long been thought destroyed and missing.  It was as if the film had simply been deleted as only a very shortened version of what used to be a 10-reel picture remained.  And many a film historian was disheartened at the thought of having the very first creature feature film lost to the ravages of time, never to be seen again.  

Thankfully, that is no longer the case. The Lost World is, after all, the fantasy adventure that inspired the creation of King Kong and where would we be without that gem?  In the Dark Ages, my friends, and that’s nowhere for the forward-thinking medium of film to be.  And, truthfully, we owe any and all achievements in film special effects to the success of The Lost World, even if that big ape gets all the credit.    

Lobster Films and Flicker Alley have joined efforts and, with the help of Blackhawk Films, searched the world over for any remaining elements of the original 1925 release of this blockbuster.  After being contacted by a film collector, the team began their journey through A negatives and missing sequences in order to restore and replicate, as faithfully as possible, the original presentation of the film, including all the tinting effects that went into the film. 

The result is that The Lost World, now available in 1080p, is a HUGE success and every bit the monster hit it initially was.  It’s almost beyond words to describe to you just how beautiful this film looks and, yes, the blazing bright red torch in the T-Rex’s mouth, is indeed a sight to behold.

Based on the book by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this fantasy adventure is one teeming with dinosaurs and other creatures as a team of explorers from Europe go on a rescue mission and wind up bringing some rare creatures back with them.  This is not a detective yarn as Doyle was into more things than just Mr. Sherlock Holmes.  It is the story of a rather interesting diary that leads a fearless group of explores deep into the Amazon River where they face all sorts of wild and EXTINCT animals.  Because in those pages are illustrations featuring living dinosaurs with men standing right next to them! 

The diary belongs to Maple White and it is the sue-happy Professor Challenger (Wallace Beery) who intends to mount a rescue party with the help of Ed Malone (Lloyd Hughes), who has to face death before being able to marry his intended, back across the sea and on down the South American coast.  While there are many obstacles, Professor Summerlee (Arthur Hoyt, the director’s brother) tackles each with breakneck speed simply because he wants to see Challenger fail.  Absolutely. And then there is Bessie Love as Paula, the daughter of Maple.  This cast is a delight and, thankfully, the film manages to balance all its creations with some fine characterizations while still carrying on at a solid pace.

But, ultimately, what they discover on the island will re-write the history books.  Especially when one pissed off brontosaurus finds himself trapped … in London!  This visually stunning 2K restoration on this disc features newly incorporated scenes previously not available and special effect sequences, incorporating as much of the the discovered original elements as possible.  This release is now the most complete version of this revered classic.

I imagine there were all sorts of screams and squeals when, forty minutes into the movie, a pterodactyl guts a pig and lands on an embankment overlooking a valley.  Attack from the skies above!  We even get a crossing the log sequence that King Kong would later borrow since it is employed here and remains so damn effective in creating a sense of dread in the audience.  Such heights! 

And the special effects on display throughout the island and then later in London are truly a marvel.  Each and every creation has its own personality.  We’re talking rubber and wire here, sure, but these beasties – thanks to the attention to detail from the animator – actually come alive with purpose.

With great visual effects from Willis O’Brien, a revered legend among stop motion animators, the construction of this film had to have been a very tedious and time consuming process and, true enough, the marvel contained here in this picture with these effects took years to complete.  They – along with the color tinted scenes – still work, by the way.  No need to rush out and remake this picture, Hollywood.  There’s no replacing it.   

There is a timeless quality to The Lost World that is preserved by this splendidly detailed release from Flicker Alley.  It is also the most complete version of the film ever released.  And, for fans of the silent cinema, it is lovingly dedicated to David Shepard, who has done more than his fair share of film preservation.

The Lost World (1925) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
116 mins
: Harry O. Hoyt
Marion Fairfax
Wallace Beery, Bessie Love, Lloyd Hughes
: Adventure | Fantasy
It Will Astound You and Enthrall You!
Memorable Movie Quote: "In the office of the London Record Journal."
Theatrical Distributor:
First National Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
June 22, 1925
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
September 19, 2017
Synopsis: Follow Professor Challenger, played by the inimitable Wallace Beery, as he and a crew of curious explorers embark on an expedition in search of a mythical, prehistoric plateau in South America. Along for the adventure are eminent scientist Summerlee (Arthur Hoyt, the director’s brother), sportsman Sir John Roxton (Lewis Stone), journalist Ed Malone (Lloyd Hughes) and Paula White (Bessie Love), whose father disappeared on the same plateau. The party is not there long before the “lost world” of the jungle begins to reveal its secrets: a primitive ape-man, a Pterodactyl flying through the air, a massive Brontosaurus feeding upon the trees, the vicious Allosaurus, and many more monstrous beasts of the Jurassic age.

The Lost World (1925) - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Flicker Alley
Available on Blu-ray
- September 19, 2017
Screen Formats: 1.33:1
: English
Music: LPCM 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Single disc
Region Encoding: Region-free playback

With a 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in pillarboxed 16:9, The Lost World is a certified treasure of detail and fantastic images.  We have correct color tinting, dynamic shades, and clarity in the image that is remarkable.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound and Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound of renowned composer Robert Israel’s full orchestra score is AMAZING.  Black levels are solid.  Grays echo the detail.  This visually stunning 2K restoration that, accomplished by Lobster Films, is essentially walking through a living museum of film history.  It features scenes and special effect sequences that were not a part of any other release and, as a result, incorporates almost all the original elements possible for its debut on blu-ray.  This is an all regions release.



  • While highly recommended, it is sad that there are no commentaries for the film.

Special Features:

This is simply amazing.  The supplementary material includes restored outtakes from a 1925 original nitrate transfer of The Lost World.  It also features TWO short films produced and directed by stop-motion guru Willis O’Brien.  They celebrate new 2K HD restorations by the Dinosaur Museum.   There is also an unfinished film from O’Brien included with this release.  While Creation remains unfinished, it is THE FILM that convinced Merriam Cooper to hire O’Brien for King Kong.  Fans also get a booklet featuring an essay about the restoration of this classic film written by Serge Bromberg of Lobster Films.

  • Deleted Scenes
  • R.F.D., 10,000 B.C. (1917)
  • The Ghosts of Slumber Mountain (1918)
  • Creation (1930)

The Lost World (1925) - Blu-ray Review

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