Movie Review – The Valley of Gwangi (1969)

Director: Jim O’Connelly

Stars: James Franciscus, Gila Golan, Richard Carlson, Laurence Naismith

Tuck (Franciscus) encounters an old flame, TJ (Golan) who shows him a miniature horse that is going to be the star of a new show. When a professor (Naismith) hears of this, he urges for an expedition to the Valley of Gwangi, an almost mythical place where more of these fantastical creatures are said to live.

The Valley of Gwangi combines cowboys and dinosaurs, two of my loves and I’m surprised that this pairing has not been used in more movies. Franciscus is a similar sort of actor to Charlton Heston, and the leading lady is glamorous, although she has been obviously dubbed. The real stars are of course the creatures by Ray Harryhausen.

The film is decent. The story shares a lot of parallels with King Kong and yet doesn’t have the same depth or serious tone, in fact it could be considered a remake. It’s quite a colourful movie though, and it remains entertaining throughout.


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