MovieChat Forums > Valley of the Dragons Discussion > Watching it Right Now on TCM

Watching it Right Now on TCM

Pretty good special effects.

Very interesting Sci-Fi movie.


Dude, me too! *high fives you*


This is pretty funny -- why would the men discard their perfectly good boots from the "present" in favor of the caveman sandals? In fact, why would the cave people even have sandals? I don't think the producers of this did much research on the tools and clothing of the cave people, not that audiences in 1961 cared very much.

Notice Joan has a bucket that looks like it's made out of metal and there's some kind of metal cauldron that the cave dwellers were cooking in. Really? And they seem to know how to sew, or at least to lace their clothes together. And did he really need to shave? Then again, the ladies seem to have a way to pluck their eyebrows too, lol.

The other group seems to wear footwear reminiscent of Roman sandals and the guy who's jealous looks like Brad Garrett, who played Raymond's brother on Everybody loves Raymond.

What a hoot.


Them zz top looking cavepeople must have real bad hangovers to be that scared of the sun.


They seemed like a rip off of the Morlocks from The Time Machine -- then again, Joan Staley looks a bit like Yvette Mimieux from the 1960 film of that H.G. Wells book.


April, I took the liberty of checking your first name in the baby name voyager... and it reached its peak of popularity in the late 60s/early 70s at around 2200 per million babies, though it's only around 200 per mil today.

Not to creep you out or nothin but I was curious about it.


I hope they bbq that giant iguana.


Not creeped out at all, but it's a nom de plume, so to speak. :)


I'm watching too. Love that the dragons are so realistic! lol


It was a decent movie. Good time killer for a Saturday morning. Fell that Rodan added a nice touch of class. There were many hint of other classic SF which was also fun to pick out. Who knew Star Trek stoled from B SF?

There is more Gravy about you then the Grave. Scrooge.


The dragons looked 100% real. I just think they should have made them look more like dinosaurs than lizards. They even made the mastodons look real too.

The mechanical effects back then looked almost as good as the cgi today. One would think since they made them look like lizards, they would have actually used real lizards and some trick photography.

One shot in the film I will say was really well done was the girl getting smothered by the lava.

Probably the best cinematography was the underwater shot between the girls hanging breasts.


namaGemo -- Sorry, but I don't understand most of what you wrote.

The dragons looked 100% real. I just think they should have made them look more like dinosaurs than lizards.

Since there's no such thing as dragons, how could they look "100% real"? How can anything look like something that doesn't exist? And if they'd made the lizards look more like dinosaurs, they'd be dinosaurs, not "dragons".

The mechanical effects back then looked almost as good as the cgi today. One would think side they made them look like lizards, they would have actually used real lizards and some trick photography.

Huh? They did use real lizards. There were no "mechanical effects" at all, as far as the animals were concerned. (The volcano and earthquake were of course mechanical effects.) And obviously it was trick photography -- making the lizards look larger.

I agree that the girl getting smothered by the lava was well done. But it must be remembered that all these effects -- the giant lizards, the mastodons, the volcano, the lava, all the scenes of the cave people interacting with the monsters -- were not made for Valley of the Dragons. Those scenes were all lifted from the 1940 film One Million B.C. So whatever you think of the effects, the people who made Valley of the Dragons weren't responsible for them. They just re-used someone else's work. Complimenting -- or criticizing -- this film for the quality of those effects isn't accurate.


Well, transformers don't look real, but the cgi is good enough to make then look real, same with the dinosaurs in Jurassic park. Dinosaurs might HAVE BEEN real at one time, but they aren't real in they film, but they certainly looked real. I remember being just as shocked as Sam Neil when he saw the brachiosaur.

As far as calling them dragons, that's just in reference to the point that I believe the film makers meant dinosaurs with the term dragons, as you mention, dragons don't exist except in imagination, films or books.

I was making a joke about the lizards being mechanized. It was quite obvious they had zero budget for any real visual effects for dinosaurs when they had the worst stuffed spider on history, a prop that might have been used in Gilligans Island.

I mentioned in another topic that most scenes with supposed dinosaurs were lifted from OM B.C., and the obvious Rodan shots in b & w.


Okay, true, you can create something that doesn't exist, like a Transformer, and make it look real via CGI or other effects. So you can make a real-looking dragon.

That said, I don't see how one can say the lizards looked like dragons, let alone "100%". They looked exactly like what they were: lizards. With frills attached in some cases, and magnified to look big. They 100% did not look like dragons, dinosaurs or anything else. They were pretty obvious.

The spider was from director Edward Bernds's previous film World Without End, re-used in his Queen of Outer Space. I'm not 100% sure if it was the exact same spider puppet or a reconstituted one but the situations were the same, just recycled.

I knew from your other posts that you know most of the effects shots in Valley of the Dragons were taken from One Million B.C. But that's why it's misplaced to compliment the effects in connection with this film, since they weren't created for this film.

Also, what may have worked for audiences in 1940 didn't do so well in 1961. Apart from the fact that many people may have recognized where the footage came from, by 1961 people were used to seeing images of "real" dinosaurs on the screen, not lizards vainly trying to pass as dinosaurs. The work of people like Willis O'Brien and Ray Harryhausen made dinosaurs come to life and lizards just didn't pass muster, if they ever had. They were used convincingly enough in Journey to the Center of the Earth in a very limited manner, but flopped badly in the 1960 remake of The Lost World.

Even in 1940 audiences had already seen "real" dinosaurs in The Lost World (1925) and King Kong (1933) and I'm sure most people simply found the lizards in OMBC entertaining, not convincing as dinosaurs. And of course, while there were cavemen in 1,000,000 B.C. -- the date, not the movie -- dinosaurs had been extinct for 64 million years. People (and mastodons) never walked the Earth with dinosaurs, so unless you're a believer in creationism, the whole premise was ridiculous. But fun.

VOTD was a very low-budget quickie that relied on stock footage from other films (mostly OMBC) for almost all its special effects. It was cheap, all right. This doesn't mean it wasn't amusing or entertaining, but as I said, since almost none of the effects were done for this movie, it's inaccurate to praise or damn this picture for their quality. Except the spider.


I wondered if that was the same spider in World Without End. Very similar scene, too, as I recall. A rather lifeless spider.

''It's a lonely way, you know, the way of the necromancer.''


Oh yes, same scene, same spider. You're right, very lifeless. It's been called a "pillow spider" because from underneath it looks like a stuffed pillow from somebody's couch. Cute but not terribly realistic.


I watched this morning. I loved it. I never get tired of these classic B movie sci-fi gems.

With great power comes great responsibility.