Lost Continent (1951)

Maj. Joe Nolan (Cesar Romero, the only Joker never to shave), Lt. Danny Wilson (Chick Chandler) and Sgt. William Tatlow (Sid Melton, Alf Monroe from Green Acres) and three scientists — Stanley Briggs (Whit Bissell, the undertaker in The Magnificent Seven), Robert Phillips (Hugh Beaumont from Leave It to Beaver) and Russian Michael Rostov (John Hoyt, Flesh Gordon) — are headed out to find an atomic rocket that has crashed in the South Pacific.

Spoiler: they find dinosaurs.

Yes, if you want to see a movie where dinosaurs wipe out a team of smart men and military guys, by all means, Lost Continent is the movie for you.

You’ve got Ward Cleaver being brutalized by a brontosaurus and a triceratops goring one of the team members, who eventually get back at the dinos by shooting a pterosaur for food. If this was an Italian movie, that would have been a real pterodactyl and we would have watched one of the natives hack at it with a dull machete.

Also, if you like rock climbing and tinting a black and white film green so that it doesn’t seem dated or uncool, then you’re also going to love this.

Director Sam Newfield has 277 directorial credits on his IMDB page, among them Radar Secret Service and I Accuse My Parents. In fact, he made so many movies that he also used the names Peter Stewart and Sherman Scott to hide the sheer amount of films that he directed. He’s considered to be the most prolific film director in the history of American film and some believe that his final number of movies could be well over three hundred projects thanks to his industrial promotional one-reelers, training films, comedy shorts, TV series episodes, full-length features and the very same TV series episodes that were padded into full-length features.

Sadly, all of this work came from the fact that Sam suffered from a serious gambling addiction, making him poor for most of his life and even breaking up his marriage. After thirty years of directing, he was so broke that his brother Sigmund, the head of PRC Pictures, paid off all his debts and gave him a place to live for the last six years of his life. After all, he’d only paid him $500 a movie for years, so it was the least that he could do.

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