A lesson in mountain climbing.

There are a couple movies that were made with the title “The Lost Continent”. The one I am referring to now is the 1951 movie staring Cesar Romero as Major Joe Nolan. It’s not often you see Cesar Romero in a monster movie. It also stars Hugh Beaumont (Robert Phillips), Whit Bissell (Stanley Briggs) and John Hoyt (Michael Rostov). With Chick Candler (Lt. Danny Wilson) and Sid Melton (Sgt Willie Tatlow) to round out the team.

When a rocket goes off course and crash lands on a remote unknown tropical island Major Nolan is sent on a mission to find it. With him are a team of three scientists, his co-pilot and the airplane mechanic. While flying over the island the plane they are on experiences trouble and crashes. A native woman tells the group that something fell from the sky and landed on a plateau on the island. The expedition must climb the escarpment to get to the rocket. There is a montage of rock climbing shots. A lot of rock climbing shots. One of the men, Briggs, falls to his death. Joe is suspicious of Rostov who was near by.

Once they get to the top of the plateau the movie changes and there is a green tint to the film. That is where the group runs into the dinosaurs. Stop motion animation is used for the various dinosaurs. They discover a Brontosaurus a couple Triceratops and a Pterosaur. Now at the top of the mountain they need to find the rocket, avoid the dinosaurs and make it back to the safety of the valley. Piece of cake.

The main problem with the movie is the pace. At least one third of the movie is the team climbing the mountain. All the dinosaurs are in the last third of the movie. The change from black and white to the tinted green at the top of the plateau is a nice touch. It adds to the otherworldly feel of the jungle. It’s OK to expect dinosaurs with a green haze around you. Unlike the pace the acting is great. And of course Sid Melton as the comic relief is perfect. The dinosaurs are not the best but I never expect good dinosaurs in a 1950’s movie. Plus it is a low budget “B” movie so I’m always willing to cut it some slack. And there’s more than one dinosaur. Bonus. I had never seen the movie until recently. I was happy with my new old discovery.