Michael Rennie - Lord John Roxton
Jill St. John - Jennifer Holmes
David Hedison - Ed Malone
Claude Rains - Professor Challenger
Fernando Lamas - Manuel Gomez
Vitina Marcus - Native Girl

Produced by Irwin Allen
Directed by Irwin Allen

Written by Irwin Allen and Charles Bennett,
based on the book by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Costume Design by Paul Zastupnevich
Special Photographic Effects by L.B. Abbott
US Release - July 1960




I had met with Irwin Allen and he liked me a lot. Then I read the script and thought, "I don't want to do this. Jill St. John in pink tights and that silly little dog and Ö" There was no reality to any of it. It started out interestingly enough, but then we got into the dinosaurs and all that Ö

But I had already talked to this one and to that one and I really did not want to go on suspension. (what happened to uncooperative contract players in those days)

They did have a very good cast. Good people like Claude Rains and Michael Rennie. If they were going to do it, Iíd join the team. So I did it, and I was very unhappy making this film. I had read the novel in school but it had really changed a lot in our script. It might have worked better as a period piece, but the budget wasnít there to do that, I guess.


It was shot entirely on the Fox lot, which was then a huge lot. The jungle was all on the back lot -- in fact, the whole film was shot on the lot. The cave was a set which I think was used in an early film, Journey to the Center of the Earth. Fox would always recycle their sets and redress them so they would look like another set.

I enjoyed working with Claude Rains. He would let me visit with him in his dressing Room and bombard him with questions as to what it was like working at Warner Brothers in the 1940ís. Warnerís was my favorite movie studio growing up. I loved all of those actors - James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet, Betty Davis and Ida Lupino; Max Steiner and Franz WaxmanÖ

In 1956 when I was getting all kinds of offers for screen tests, I was very disappointed that it narrowed down to Fox. I had always dreamed of being with Warner Bros. Rains would tell me great stories of those days so I kept talking to him. He was wonderful, a terrific actor, and didn't seem to mind at all.

The 1960 actor strike was called in the middle of the picture, so we had to work long hours after the strike to get the picture over with so it could be released by a certain date. The strike didn't affect me because I was under contract, but some of the other actors were not being paid during the strike and didnít get paid until we resumed production.

Irwin Allen sent me out on tour to plug the film, a little junket. I donít think Iíve seen the entire film. Iíve seen parts of it, but I don't like to watch myself. I'll put on the TV and it will be on and I'll stand there and watch for about for about five minutes and then I flip it off. People seem to like it, but it's never been a favorite of mine.


David Hedison
Science Fiction Confidential 2002

 

 COURTESY OF DAVID HEDISON

According to the New York Times, at the start of production in mid- February 1960 David was signed to work with co-stars Clifton Webb, Orson Welles and Robert Morley in THE LOST WORLD.

Obviously that casting didn't last long.

For the Dinosaur fight we used a Cayman alligator from the Caribbean and a monitor lizard from Singapore. They were about matched for size.

There were some scenes where the natural habits of the rhinoceros iguanas made them more useful. We used a smaller variety of monitors for the monster living in the steaming pool. The baby dinosaur was a gecko lizard from Central America.

We dressed the reptiles in foam rubber to produce the prehistoric effect. The gecko played it straight.

The gecko interested me and after the film Jim Dannaldson [the reptile wrangler] gave it to me and it lived for a while at my house in my den, running up and down the walls and across the ceiling. It would poke it's head out from behind a painting and send my female guests scurrying for safety, something that always amused my male guests no end.


L. B. Abbott, 1984

 

Recycling, Irwin Allen style....

In the first season episode "Turn Back the Clock" of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Captain Crane suddenly changes from his standard uniform to a stylish khaki jumpsuit and neckerchief before entering the bathysphere. No explanation for this is offered onscreen, but the reason was simple - Irwin Allen was going to use footage from Lost World and Captain Crane's outfit needed to match Ed Malone's costume to reuse the scenes of Ed and Jennifer being menaced by dinosaurs as the same scenes with Lee Crane and Carol Denning (Yvonne Craig )!

By this same tight focus on the bottom line, Irwin reused the Vitina Marcus chase scene from Lost World,  bringing Vitina to the studio in the same costume for the episode (But still no name for the poor lovesick native).

The dinosaurs would also return for the second season episode "Terror on Dinosaur Island" to menace Admiral Nelson and Chief Sharkey.

And to make sure he got his money's worth from her wardrobe, Vitina would return again in "Return of the Phantom" at the end of the second season, as a Polynesian dancer who is identical to Krueger's lost love Lani and therefore must die so Lani can live again.

Vitina Marcus Website
The Lost World
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1912)
SciFi Classics
DinoSource