Saturday Afternoon Matinee ’69

valley_of_gwangi

To honor the birthday of Ray Harryhausen, here’s the fantastic poster for one of his most underrated features, THE VALLEY OF THE GWANGI, based on an old Willis O’Brien project about cowboys discovering a hidden den of dinosaurs in the old west. GWANGI is Harryhausen’s swan song to the prehistoric critters he cut his teeth on as a youth, his mastery of stop-motion art and technique at its apex. Although his 60’s/70’s fan base often criticized the film elements outside his craft like writing, acting and directing, THE VALLEY OF THE GWANGI is almost the textbook definition of a perfect Saturday Afternoon Creature Feature (streaming in HD now on Warner Archive Instant), replete with a rousing soundtrack by Jerome Moross, reworking his famous THE BIG COUNTRY theme into one of the best melodic scores of any decade. The stalwart cast of James Franciscus and sci-fi film vet Richard Carlson along with some surprising deaths keep you entertained between wonders such as the famous roping sequence, still one of the most technically accomplished scenes in spfx history. Another candle in the wind for Gwangi and his legendary creator…

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