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The Lost World of Conan Doyle on the Screen, Adaptation of 1925

Updated on May 11, 2018
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The inter-medial method is used by the author in studying of complex relations between painting, literature and screen. Mykola likes it


We destine this article for students of art faculties. The variants of "The lost world" on the screen may be useful for them as an example of creative activities.

There is an advantage of inter-medial method in art.

Also, it is for the students studying English as a foreign language. Reading of the script is the first stage in learning The Lost World. The watching of the silent movie is the second one. Students can see the unity of gestures with the meaning of words on the screen. The time remains for better understanding the plot than in sound movie.

The silent production may be very meaningful in developing of teaching tools. While learning English, students may use three sources for making up dialogues: the novel, the script, the silent movie. They have possibility to write their own script, synopsis, and review. Also, they try forces in composing advertisement of The Lost World.

Sir Arthur C.Doyle Made the First Step in Rapprochement of Different Media

Arthur Conan Doyle delighted with the screening. He demonstrated its sequences for the Society of American Magicians. A famous artist Harry Goudini was present. The spectators impressed. The hints of C.Doyle convinced the auditory in the documentary origin of the sequences.

The Lost World of 1925 is an American silent adventure movie. First National Pictures, Hollywood produced it.

There was Wallace Beery as Professor Challenger. Also, it was directed by Harry O'Hoyt, special effects made by Willis O'Brien, the scriptor Marion Fairfax.

Conan Doyle appears in a frontispiece to the movie.

In 1998, The Lost World recognized "significant" by the Library of Congress. It chose for stock in the United States national Film Registry. Moreover, due to its age, it is in the public domain and can download on site.

Harry Hoyt.

His film The Lost World is famous for pioneering effort in using of stop-motion animation. Artist, in our case, Harry O'Hoyt, a filmmaker, represented as an original generator of metaphors and linguistic play. Moreover, his basis is the presence of cultural text, which may be used in a free technique of bricolage.

He enters into complex relations with his precursor, i.e. the writer, Conan Doyle. The given relations are studied a little in the modern aesthetics. First of all, there are correlations between an artistic text and its visual kinetic reflection. The level of freedom in interpretation of the artistic text by a filmmaker is very significant.

C.Doyle with the Animator and Producer of the Lost World, July, 1924. Willis O'Brien and Harry O'Hoyt

Brief Synopsis. After Reading this Synopsis, Write your Own One.

Professor Challenger claims to have discovered a lost world in South America. He presents a paper to a scientific society. This world filled with prehistoric animals and ape-men.

Challenger forms an expedition to return to the Amazon country.

The Challenger party includes in its number: Paula White (Maple's daughter), Ed Malone (an Irish reporter), Sir John Roxton (one of Paula's suitors), Professor Summerlee, an eminent expert on beetles, and Challenger's butler.

The party reaches the high plateau where the lost world begins. It finds the remains of Paula's father. Moreover, there are witnesses of a fight between two prehistoric animals. They are later beset by ape-men and a brontosaurus.

The company finally escapes from the lost world. It returns to London, taking a brontosaurus with them. Ed Malone and Paula White married.

Crew and Cast

Adaptation of 1925
Literary images
Director-Harry O'Hoyt
Paula White
Bessie Love
Scriptor-Marion Fairfax
Ed Malone
Lloyd Hughes
Special effects-Willis O'Brien
Sir John Roxton
Lewis Stone
Music arrangements- Rudolf Friml, Harry B.Smith, Jeanne Gravelle
Professor Challenger
Wallace Beery
Professor Summerlee
Athur Hoyt
Mrs Challenger
Margaret McWade
Austin, Challenger butler
Finch Smile
jules Cowles
Bull Montana
Colin Mc Ardie
George Bunny
Major Hibbard
Charles Wellesley
Gladys Hungerford
Alma Bennett

First National Picture

All persons related to the production of the Lost World are united by cinema company First National Picture. Later on, one called "the industry of cinema". It was a branch of the company Warner Brothers

Sir Arthur C.Doyle started the Movie The Lost World, 1925

After Watching the Movie, Answer the Questions, Please. Quiz N1.

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Willis H. O'Brien, Father of Puppet Animation and a Great Master of Special Effects in Movies

Obie's Characters Consisted in Clay and Rubber

He spread in "The lost world" (1925). He started to cover armatures of future heroes with rubber skins. A rubber bladder allowed his models-monsters to "breathe", to fight. It moves increasing our imaginations and terrible fears.

Special effect of Willis O' Brien in the Lost World

Movie Screenwriter, Marion Fairfax

Marion Fairfax was born in Richmond, Virginia, on October 25, 1875. After graduating from Chicago's South Division High School, she went on to Emerson College in Boston. She was movie screenwriter and Broadway playwright

Marion Fairfax was closely associated with director Marshall Neilan. For whom she wrote Freckles (1917) featuring Jack Pickford, the incredibly popular Dinty (1920) starring child actor Wesley Barry. Fairfax also joined the ranks of female directors. She produced and wrote the sentimental The Lying Truth (1922).

Fairfax's the most famous film, The Lost World (1925), was one of her last.

Differences between Film and Novel

The main difference is the ending. In the novel, Professor Challenger brings a pterodactyl child back to London. He wanted to prove to the people that his adventures were real. The terrible bird escapes, frightens a few people, then flies away.

In the film, yet, it is a grown brontosaurus. The Professor carried it the capital of the United Kingdom. The monster escapes to rampage through the streets and breaks Tower Bridge.

The End of the Script


- boundless waters - the long Atlantic swell. An ocean liner steaming

along, homeward bound, meets the Brontosaurus - headed for South




With Marion Faitfax the script became the sphere of literature in one hand, in another one as the artistic basis for movie.

This duality is the subject of discussion ".literary work-script-movie". As ideal, it may be the finished work even it exists in one exemplar and not published. The script in contrast to the play is performed one time only and finished itself in the movie.

The term of post-modern "death of the author" is suitable here, evidently, it says not about the physical death, but alienation of the work from his author for realization of the movie.

The Laws of the Script

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Marion Fairfax, Scriptor

Ukulele as a Part of the Musical Arrangement in the Lost World: without Words but with Music

Rudolf Friml, Harry B.Smith, Jeanne Gravelle

They produced explanation of the movie with music. The combination of the ukulele and piano was unique, it prepared and explained the perception of many scenes. Hardly can we imagine the silent movie without such exciting music. It formed with special effects the charming of the Lost World.

Actors in The Lost World, Adaptation of 1925, Silent Movies

Just in the epoch of the silent movie actors accomplished out the original style of their play due to techniques of facial and body expression.

Sometimes, gestures of some actors in the silent movie surpassed the creative activities of their colleagues in sound one. Masterly possession of his body and mimicry could permit Wallace Beery to be a bright example for following.

The same concerns to other actresses and actors in The Lost World.

Does the appearance of Wallace Beery correspond to the literary description, portrait, of Professor Challenger?

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Time in Movie

Each actor in his appearance brings the literary description of the hero during all movie. This is one of the specific features in the cinema's impression.

Wallace Beery and Scientific Meeting

Wallace Beery and Jungle

He is courageous, aggressive, confident, and eccentric

Bessie Love in the Role of Paula White

Alma Benett in the Role of Gladys Hungerford

These women were accomplished for black and white. As a result, blonde tresses and nice figures etched on the screen like silver shadows.

Are there modern silent movies?

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After Watching the Silent Movie The Lost World, Wright the Review Using the Phrases:

Introductory Phrases
Main Body Phrases
Conclusion Phrases
The movie is directed| produced by
The movie shows ... complex relations between... The movie deals with
My first impression was... but later
It is a...-comedy|horror movie...-movie about present-day problems-movie which keeps you thinking...-movie which keeps you on suspence
The plot focuses on... The movie reached a dramatic climax... The script is dull|exciting|clever...
If you want an exciting|boring|ftrightened evening, then go and see... (the name of the movie)
The movie is set in... The movie is based on...-
It portrays... The ending is...
Don't miss it. It is worth seeing
The cast is excellent-awful-weak... A talented-famous-actor-actress plays the main part
X has starred in many fine movies
I wouldn't recommend it because... I'd recommend the movie for everyone

Conclusion:Three Main Interpretations of the Literary Message to Screen

Regarding the idea of "progress" as one of unsuccessful myths of the Western culture, the postmodern considers movement of the culture from the point of view of multiplication images and names, complication the language and enrichment the content of archetypes.

That's why some critics consider three interpretations of the literary message by cinema and TV.

There are analogue, deformation, and dialogue. The true adaptation, analogue, is on the Conan Doyle's novel :The Lost World, (1925). The Lost World of 1960 is successful as well. We pay attention to the adaptation of 1998, created by Leonard Nimoy and John de Lancie.

This silent movie shows how many people are involved in its production. The destiny of it is very interesting for modern cinema. The restorations prove its importance in our cultural life.

© 2018 Mykola


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    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      4 weeks ago

      This is an interesting in-depth study of the movie, The Lost World. Mel Brooks made the silent movie , Silent Movie in 1976. There was one spoken word in that film.

    • Mykola profile imageAUTHOR


      5 months ago from Ukraine

      I tried to use an inter-medial method in studying cinema potential of Conan Doyle. Yours, Mykola


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