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'The Lost World' silent film at The Phipps

"The Lost World," a 1925 silent feature film adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic novel about a land where prehistoric creatures still roam, will be accompanied by Dennis James on the Wurlitzer theater pipe organ on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m. at The Phipps Center for the Arts.

Explorer Professor Challenger (Wallace Beery) is lambasted in the London press thanks to his claim that living dinosaurs exist in the far reaches of the Amazon. Newspaper reporter Edward Malone (Lloyd Hughes) learns that this claim originates from a diary given to him by fellow explorer Maple White's daughter, Paula (Bessie Love). Malone's paper funds an expedition to rescue Maple White, who has been marooned at the top of a high plateau. Joined by renowned hunter Sir John Roxton (Lewis Stone), and others, the group goes to South America, where they do indeed find a plateau inhabited by prehistoric creatures, one of which they even manage to bring back to London with them.

It was directed by Harry O. Hoyt and featured pioneering stop-motion special effects by Willis O'Brien, a forerunner of his work on the original "King Kong." Doyle appears in a frontispiece to the film. In 1998, "The Lost World" was deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

For over 40 years, James has played a pivotal role in the international revival of silent films presented with live music. The popular entertainer tours under the auspices of the Silent Film Concerts production company performing to silent films with solo organ, piano and chamber ensemble accompaniments in addition to presentations with major symphony orchestras throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

Tickets are $24 for adults and $17 for students of any age. Discounts are available by purchasing season tickets. Reservations may be made by contacting The Phipps ticket office at 715-386-8409.

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