Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Valley Of Gwangi (1969)

Starring James Franciscus, Gila Golan, Richard Carlson, Laurence Naismith, Freda Jackson
Directed by Jim O'Connolly
(actor & director credits courtesy

The cast of a touring Wild West show discover a hidden valley where living prehistoric creatures still exist, and try to capture one for them to exhibit.

Aided by the always high quality effects work of master stop-motion animator Ray Harryhausen, this is an entertaining romp mixing the seemingly impossible combination of cowboys and dinosaurs.  I've heard this was a project first developed by Harryhausen's mentor and King Kong animator Willis O'Brien, and in tribute, the film is staged as something of a King Kong remake, with the captive dinosaur escaping and endangering the movie's female lead, culminating in a climax where the beast eventually meets its fate.  The film is of course not on the same level as the classic King Kong, and is not as well-written or exciting as some of Harryhausen's other films, but still remains a diverting adventure.

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