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Unknown Island

Entry updated 4 April 2017. Tagged: Film.

US film (1948) Albert Jay Cohen Productions/Film Classics Inc. Produced by Albert J Cohen. Directed by Jack Bernard. Written by Robert T Shannon, Jack Harvey from an original story by Shannon. Cast includes Richard Denning, Virginia Grey, Barton MacLane and Phillip Reed (as Philip Reed). 76 minutes, cut to 75 minutes. Colour.

Adventurer Ted Osborne (Reed) convinces his fiance Carole Lane (Grey) to finance a search for a legendary Island in the South Pacific where Dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures supposedly still exist. Buying passage on a ship commanded by Captain Tarnowski (MacLane), the two set out on the search in company with John Fairbanks (Denning), who says he saw the creatures while flying over the island during World War Two. They do indeed find the island in question, discovering both living Dinosaurs and giant sloths, as well as hostile natives. Much adventure ensues, including conflict with Tarnowski – a violent alcoholic – over Carole Lane, ultimately leaving four survivors after the Ceratosaurs (persistently misidentified as Tyrannosaurus rex), Dimetrodons and sloths have wreaked havoc with the party. After Tarnowski is killed by a giant sloth, the others escape on the ship. While largely routine, the film is unusual in that its Lost World is not destroyed by an earthquake or some other natural Disaster at the conclusion. It is also one of the few sf films of the 1940s to be shot in colour. [GSt]


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