Legend Of The Lost DVD Review
“Legend of the Lost” is an interesting departure for John Wayne.
In the 1957 film “Legend of the Lost,” the story revolves around a treasure hunter (Paul) who hires a hard drinking American guide (Joe) to explore the Sahara Desert. Paul’s real quest involves trying to find his presumably late father and the lost city of Ophir. Dita (a sexy troublemaker) eventually tags along on the journey. To no surprise, a love triangle begins to form as both Paul and Joe begin to fall for her. As the journey into the desert proceeds, the trio face multiple dangers and begin to wonder if the entire quest was a fool’s errand.
The John Wayne and Sophia Loren starring film “Legends of the Lost” is not a title I was previously familiar with, but it turned out to be an engaging albeit flawed “adventure” film. I say “adventure” because it’s an adventure film that could have used a little more adventure. It’s not exactly an Indiana Jones level adventure nor is it particularly eventful (see the numerous walking scenes). With that said, I didn’t mind the lack of action too much as it was nice to see a film that focused more on character and theme.
As you can tell from the plot synopsis, this is pretty much a 3 character movie and it works for the most part. Granted, the character of Dita could have been a bit more developed, but the intimate and sometimes intense scenes between the three main characters still manages to hold your interest regardless. It’s particularly fascinating to see John Wayne (Joe) here as this is not the normal type of role for him. While he’s a bit shaky in spots, he does a fine job overall. As for the themes about desire, faith, jealousy, greed, and the past, they proved to be rather stimulating. It’s a refreshingly deep character piece that doesn’t really feel like the average old Hollywood film.
Last, but not least, I have to give props to the famed cinematographer Jack Cardiff. Cardiff’s (who is perhaps best known for lensing striking films like “The African Queen” and “Black Narcissus”) work shines once again here with some truly gorgeous Technicolor imagery.
Presentation: 2.35:1. How does it look? The Technicolor print has never looked better thanks to a crystal clear DVD transfer. This might be the best Olive Films DVD transfer I have seen to date.
Audio Track: Dolby Digital Stereo. How does it sound? Perfectly adequate.
The only extra is a trailer.
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