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The Valley of Gwangi

James Franciscus , Gila Golan , Jim O'Connolly    G (General Audience)   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 80.04
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Product Details

Product Description


The stop-motion magic of legendary special effects creator Ray Harryhausen is the highlight of this sporadically exciting fantasy-adventure, which pits cowboys against dinosaurs in the Mexican desert. James Franciscus and Richard Carlson star as members of a struggling Wild West show who discover their newest attraction in Mexico--a tiny prehistoric horse. Exploration into a nearby valley uncovers living dinosaurs, including the fearsome "Gwangi"-an allosaur that the circus folk capture for exhibition. But as every creature connoisseur knows, monsters in cages always break free, and soon enough, the beast is on a rampage. Originally developed by Harryhausen's mentor Willis O'Brien in 1942, The Valley of Gwangi feels like a retread of his previous titles, especially 20 Million Miles to Earth, but Harryhausen's effects are spectacular as always (especially the miniature horse), and will please monster fans. Warner Bros' widescreen anamorphic DVD includes a short featurette, "Return to the Valley," in which Industrial Light and Magic animators pay tribute to Harryhausen's influence. --Paul Gaita

Product Description

A cowboy captures a prehistoric beast and hits on the idea of putting it on show at a traveling circus. The beast, however, has other ideas.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Cowboys vs Dinosaurs Dec 26 2013
I saw this movie when I was a kid and have been looking for it ever since. I fell in love with it then and it is just as great watching it now. Any fan of Ray Harryhausen should own this movie. The DYNAMATION in this movie is the main selling point but the story also delivers. This movie should be considered a classic. Cowboys vs dinosaurs....how can you go wrong?
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5.0 out of 5 stars PURPLE DINOSAURS July 6 2013
Format:VHS Tape|Amazon Verified Purchase
It is a wonderful tribute to early stop motion movie production. Loved it and will keep it in my collection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars drive in classic May 29 2013
By maddog
Format:DVD|Amazon Verified Purchase
I remember mom and dad taking me to a drive in to see this movie. Still love Ray Harryhausen work to this day
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4.0 out of 5 stars South of the border - down Mexico way June 29 2006
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
It was the turn of the 20 th century. Champ Connors (Richard Carlson) was putting on a rodeo show. Returning to make a horse deal and to see the girl (Gila Golan) that he did not realize he love was Tuck Kirby (James Franciscus.) Looks like more than one man loved her. However she had a "show must go on" attitude.

Can anyone win her heart? Meanwhile down in the valley, the valley so low, in an environment that was untouched for millennium Gwangi waits. Gypsies warn us not to go there.

We get a good history lesson as many people do not realize that the horse originated in the Americas and migrated to Asia.

There are some staking similarities between this cowboy love story and King Kong. The only major difference is Gwangi (Ray Harryhausen creation) would eat anything or anybody.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Get in touch with your inner forbidden valley. April 27 2004
The Valley of Gwangi is not a good "A" grade movie. It's not even a good "B" grade movie. But it is a fantastic "C" grade movie (the cinematic province of directors such as Ed Wood). Come to it with the right expectations and you'll not be dissappointed in this tale of Cowboys battling Dinosaurs in a turn of the century Mexico crawling with Spanish, Flamenco playing Gypsies (How did the Gypsies get here? Originally the story was supposed to be located in Spain, and they survived the rewrites that relocated it to Mexico.) The film is also significant in that it forms part of special-effects wizard Ray Harryhousen's body of stop-motion animated features.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Right down there with Sinbad & Eye of Tiger March 2 2004
By A Customer
The film is a total letdown. The blue coloring of Gwangi`s hide, the fake looking oversize props like Gwangi`s head, the rubbery pterasaur, the dwarf that becomes wider & taller when Gwangi snaps him up. How about the annoying trumpeting of the elephant? It is so obviously a human doing a bad, very bad imitation of an elephant. And finally poor Gwangi trapped inside the burning church roaring in pain. This is one film where I wanted the monster to win.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An under-rated classic looking better than ever. Feb. 21 2004
When Ray Harryhausen was looking for new ideas, he came across an old script - intended for a never-made film - written by Willis O'Brien (creator and animator of RKO's 'King Kong'). Wth a little re-writing, this film came into being. I remember seeing this film as a kid. Personally, I think it's still as good now as it was then. Ray Harryhausen's special effects are, as always, first-rate. The story is both interesting and exciting, contains barely a dull moment. Scenes of the cowboys riding into the forbidden valley, the little horse in its miniature stable, and the roping of the titular allosaur had stuck in my mind since I first saw this film. Combining a western with a dinosaur movie was certainly a master-stroke. The human characters are interesting, as are the dinosaurs - you really do feel sympathy for Gwangi at the finale. The soundtrack is excellent, and the backgrounds are atmospheric and dramatic. Besides this film, now looking better than ever, this DVD also contains an interesting look at the making of Gwangi, including interviews with Ray Harryhausen himself. This is recommended whether you're a fan of dinosaurs or monster movies in general.
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The Valley of Gwangi, aka Gwangi, aka The Lost Valley, aka The Valley Time Forgot, aka The Valley Where Time Stood Still, (whew!) stars James Franciscus (Beneath the Planet of the Apes) and Richard Carlson (It Came From Outer Space) and while they were decent, the real star of this movie is special effects creator and legend Ray Harryhausen.
Franciscus plays Tuck Kirby, a cowboy looking to make a quick buck by brokering a deal for the sale of a horse that's being used in his ex-girlfriend's Wild West circus show that is located 'just south of the Rio Grande'. Gila Golan plays T.J. Breckenridge, owner of the circus, with Carlson as Champ Connors, the protective fatherly figure/manager of the circus.
Anyway, a discovery is made of some sort of prehistoric animal, a wee little horse, and we soon find out the animal came from an area called the 'forbidden valley'...or at least that's what it is called by the gypsy-like tribe that seems to live near it, which, by the way, are inclined to believe that the rather wee horse needs to be returned to the valley whence it came of dire consequences involving a curse or some such hooey will follow. Now, getting off on a slight tangent, if I were these gypsies and I wanted to keep people out of the valley, I would have probably called it something else, like valley of the happy flowers, or valley of the nothing to see here, as the forbidden valley just sounds too tempting to strangers and such to not be explored. The gypsies also refer to it at times as the valley of the Gwangi, but they never really get specific as to the exact nature of the Gwangi.
So these gypsies end up stealing the wee, small horse and returning it to the 'forbidden' valley, with members of the Wild West circus in hot pursuit.
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