“Just think what you and Miss Breckenridge could do with a dozen Eohippi!”
A stuntman (James Franciscus) and a rodeo star (Gila Golan) accompany a paleontologist (Laurence Naismith) and a young guide (Curtis Arden) to Forbidden Valley, where prehistoric creatures roam.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Prehistoric Times
- Ray Harryhausen Films
Cowboys meet dinosaurs in this impossibly hokey fantasy-western featuring special effects by Ray Harryhausen and an adorable ancient horse known as an Eohippus. Everything about the ridiculous screenplay — including a gypsy (Freda Jackson) muttering an inscrutable curse, Franciscus and Golan’s terribly dubbed hot-and-cold romance, and Naismith’s cliche-worthy eager-scientist — is merely an excuse to feature Harryhausen’s creatures, and eventually show a dinosaur (“Gwangi”) roped into a Wild West show. Will Gwangi stay put for the crowds? (What do you think?) Creatures “co-existing” (er, battling it out) together in the valley include a Pteranodon, an Allosaurus (Gwangi), and a Styracosaurus, and they’re all nicely animated by Harryhausen. But this flick — loosely based on The Lost World and King Kong — is really only must-see for Harryhausen’s followers.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
No — this one is only must-see for Harryhausen completists.
2 thoughts on “Valley of Gwangi, The (1969)”
A charming Ray Harryhausen fantasy western with typically superb SPFX. The script is fairly stock but most of the performances are decent enough.
First viewing – and in agreement with the initial, accurate assessment. This one is only must-see for Harryhausen fans – who will see anything he did anyway (and, yes, his work here is impressive).