Atlantis the Lost Continent (1960)

USA, 1960
90m
35mm film, “in Metrocolor”
mono, English

An American fantasy film directed by George Pal.

Premise

A Greek fisherman rescues a young woman to find that she is a princess from Atlantis. He follows her back home where he is enslaved but escapes to lead its oppressed people in revolution as the continent is submerged beneath the waves.

Credits

Crew
Directed by: George Pal
© MCMLX [1960] by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. and Galaxy Productions, Inc.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents a George Pal production. Made by Galaxy Productions, Inc.
Produced by: George Pal
Screen Play by: Daniel Mainwaring
Based on a Play by: Sir Gerald Hargreaves
Director of Photography: Harold E. Wellman
Film Editor: Ben Lewis
Music Score: Russell Garcia
Recording Supervisor: Franklin Milton
Make-up Created by: William Tuttle
Hair Styles by: Mary Keats
Special Effects: A. Arnold Gillespie, Lee LeBlanc and Robert R. Hoag
Animation: Project Unlimited
Art Directors: George W. Davis and William Ferrari

Cast
Anthony Hall (Demetrios)
Joyce Taylor (Princess Antillia)
John Dall (Zaren)
Bill Smith (Captain of the Guard)
Edward Platt (Azor)
Frank De Kova (Sonoy)
Berry Kroeger (surgeon)
Edgar Stehli (King Kronas)
Wolfe Barzell (Petros)
Jay Novello (Xandros)
Paul Frees (narration)

Alternative Titles

Atlantis de Verzonken Stad – Netherlands
Atlantis der Verlorene Kontinent – Germany

Press

Variety 19 April 1961
Through proper exploitation, curiosity inspired by the subject and, to a certain extent, producer George Pal’s reputation as a science-fantasy specialist, Metro’s Atlantis, The Lost Continent should drum up fairly good business. But, though cinematically skillful, The film as a whole is strictly lower-grade Pal; far inferior, for example, to his outstanding production of a year ago, The Time Machine. […] Actually, and rather surprisingly, The picture closely parallels in style and structure of content the sort of escapist screen entertainment being fashioned in great abundance by Italian filmakers over the past few years. There is an astonishing similarity to the stevereevesian spectacle that have been arriving on these shores with clockwork consistency. There is a Romanesque aura about the production, undeniably imitative of the vast number of films that have been set in that civilization. An “ordeal by fire and water” ritual conducted in a great, crowded stadium seems almost a replica of gladiatorial combat in the Colosseum. When Atlantis is burning to a cinder at the climax. one can almost hear Nero fiddling. Even Russ Garcia’s score has that pompous, martial Roman air about it. And, finally, at least several of the mob spectacle scenes evidently have been lifted and incorporated from Roman screen spectacles of the past (the 10-year-old version of Quo Vadis looks like the source), an example of some enterprising shipping by producer-director Pal, with the assistance of editor Ben Lewis. The acting is routine. A pair of newcomers to the screen from the tv ranks, Anthony Hall and Joyce Taylor, undertake the leading romantic assignments, and neither fares particularly well under the burden of some stiff, mechanical dialog and the uneven nature of the screenplay, which is extremely untidy in detail, incomplete in exposition. […] Harold E. Wellman contributes some pretty Metrocolor camera work. Gaudy, crystalline-dominated Atlantis is pictorially attractive through the efforts of art directors George W. Davis and William Ferrari. Its destruction is astutely managed via a combination of meticulous miniature work and the spectacularly explosive special effects operation (notably one awesome tidal wave) of A. Arnold Gillespie, Lee LeBlanc and Robert R. Hoag. A vital assist is fashioned by makeupman William Tuttle, whose transformation of human facial features into those of cows and asses brings to mind a similar arrangement in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The similarity is purely physical. – from a review by Tube

References

Periodicals

  • Castle of Frankenstein no.6 p.5
  • The Daily Cinema no.8335 (22 July 1960) p.7 – note (Over 40 titles in big M-G-M line-up)
  • The Sensational Sixties no.1 (Autumn 2020) pp.2-13 – illustrated article (George Pal’s time travels by Richard Hollis)
  • Variety 19 April 1961 – credits, review (by Tube)

Books

  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed) p.197
  • Epic Films (2nd edition) by Gary Allen Smith pp. 24-25
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films: A Checklist by Donald C. Willis p.29 – credits
  • Kinematograph and Television Year Book 1963 p.113 – credits (Films trade shown 1961-1962)
  • Nuclear Movies: A Filmography by Mick Broderick p.61
  • Reference Guide to Fantastic Films by Walt Lee p.19 – credits
  • The Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Handbook by Alan Frank pp.15-16 – credits, review
  • The Stop-motion Filmography by Neil Pettigrew pp.48-49
  • The World of Fantasy Films by Richard Myers p.107