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Tag Archives: Willis O’Brien

Film Review: The Land Unknown (1957)

Rate This Movie SYNOPSIS: “Navy Commander Hal Roberts is assigned to lead an expedition to Little America in Antarctica to investigate reports of a mysterious warm water inland lake discovered a decade earlier. His helicopter and its small party, including beautiful reporter Maggie Hathaway, is forced down into a volcanic crater by a fierce storm. They find themselves trapped in …

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Film Review: The Lost World (1925)

Rate This MovieSYNOPSIS: “Explorer Professor Challenger is taking quite a beating in the London press thanks to his claim that living dinosaurs exist in the far reaches of the Amazon. Newspaper reporter Edward Malone learns that this claim originates from a diary given to him by fellow explorer Maple White’s daughter, Paula. Malone’s paper funds an expedition to rescue Maple …

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Film Review: The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953)

Rate This MovieSYNOPSIS: “As a result of an arctic nuclear test, a carnivorous dinosaur thaws out and starts making its way down the east coast of North America. Professor Tom Nesbitt, only witness to the beast’s existence, is not believed, even when he identifies it as a ‘rhedosaurus’ to paleontologist Thurgood Elson. All doubts disappear, however, when Elson is swallowed …

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Film Review: Just Imagine (1930)

Rate This MovieSYNOPSIS: “New York, 1980: airplanes have replaced cars, numbers have replaced names, pills have replaced food, government-arranged marriages have replaced love, and test tube babies have replaced – well, you get the idea. Scientists revive a man struck by lightning in 1930 and he is rechristened ‘Single O’. He is befriended by J-21, who can’t marry the girl …

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Early Special Effects in Film – The Grand Illusions

In the current climate of rampant digital effects, ultra-real prosthetics and virtual 3-D cinematography, audiences are being spoiled. Special effects have become commonplace and of such a high standard that jaws are no longer dropping. This wasn’t always so. Special effects have come a long way since the invention of cinema and the path they have walked is fascinating. Arguably, …

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Ray Harryhausen

The most famous animated creature in film history was King Kong (1933), built and manipulated by Willis O’Brien. A decade later O’Brien was working on another giant ape movie called Mighty Joe Young (1946) and hired a young assistant, Ray Harryhausen. During the fifties it became clear that Harryhausen had inherited O’Brien’s mantle as the top stop-motion animator in the …

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