Follow TV Tropes


Film / The Last Dinosaur

Go To

1977 action-adventure film in which a drilling expedition unexpectedly finds a Lost World deep below the North Pole. Big game hunter and oil tycoon Masten Thrust is determined to hunt his last and ultimate predator, a Tyrannosaurus rex that killed nearly the entire first explorer group. Ultimately the team becomes trapped in the Lost World and must try to survive against the T. rex and vicious cavemen. This film was a co-production between Rankin/Bass Productions (best known for the stop-motion Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer special) and Tsuburaya Productions (best known for Ultraman and its countless spin-offs).


You ding-dong! This is a list of tropes associated with this film:

  • Animal Jingoism: Taken to extremes. A Triceratops apparently waited in the lair of the Tyrannosaurus so that it would have the opportunity to ambush it when it came back.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: There are a lot of inaccuracies you can point out, most egregious being the Uintatherium (a prehistoric rhino-like mammal) that attacks the group shortly after their arrival, which Chuck identifies as a "ceratopsian" (the group of horned dinosaurs that Triceratops belonged to). This is especially hilarious considering earlier in the film Chuck claimed to have taken a year of vertebrate paleontology.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Masten Thrust: possibly the most ridiculously masculine name ever coined by a screenwriter.
  • Bad Vibrations: Played straight when the party confronts the dino face to face, averted when it's time for shock value. (It takes Francesca and Hazel completely by surprise at the riverbank; Hazel only sees it when she spots its reflection in a pan of water.)
  • Advertisement:
  • Cool Plane: Masten Thrust's private jet is a full-blown jumbo with an internal trophy room, with customary animal heads on the walls and its own fireplace (although where does the smoke go?).
  • Closed Circle: The Lost World is deep underneath the Arctic ice to start with, and then the Tyrannosaurus steals the drilling machine and takes it to its lair, and then to the horror of the rest of the expedition Masten reveals that he ordered that no rescue teams were to be sent.
  • The Determinator: Masten Thrust. The man absolutely refuses to leave the lost world until he's killed the damn dinosaur, even when his grand attempt at the climax with a catapult doesn't works. As a result, the other survivors leave him behind by his own request.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The Last Dinosaur refers to not just the Tyrannosaurus, but also Masten Thrust, the last Great White Hunter. Lampshaded when he acknowledges this himself.
  • Dumb Dinos: The T. rex consistently attacks the humans and inanimate objects rather than its natural prey.
  • Elephant Graveyard: The Tyrannosaur's Super Villain Lair is a valley boneyard of all the things it's killed and eaten.
  • Five-Man Band
    • The Hero: Thrust, even though he's much more of an anti-hero.
    • The Lancer: Banks the photographer.
    • The Big Guy: Bunta the Masai tracker.
    • The Smart Guy: Dr. Kawamoto, a, well, scientist. Wade is also a geologist and knows most about the dinosaurs but is...
    • The Chick: Wade, who honestly is the whiniest of the group.
  • Forging Scene: When Masten Thrust makes a crossbow to deal with the cavemen hounding the group.
  • Great White Hunter: Masten Thrust, complete with a black tracker to carry his rifle for him.
  • I Choose to Stay: Masten Thrust, at the end, decides to stay on the Lost World while the rest of the expedition leaves on the reclaimed drill.
  • Large Ham: Richard Boone is an absolute delight as he chews up the scenery. Reportedly he was heavily drinking while filming and even drunk during some scenes.
  • Last of His Kind: The Tyrannosaurus is assumed and said to be this, and Thrust also declares himself as such, giving the film its Double-Meaning Title.
  • Living Dinosaurs: Somehow dinosaur life was preserved in the oasis in the Arctic.
  • Moby Schtick: Masten Thrust's obsession with getting that T. Rex is shown as dumb from the get-go, and looks borderline suicidal when he still wants to hunt the damn thing even if the best he can devise with the extremely limited resources he has on hand is literally shrugged off by the beast. His decision to stay in the Lost World at the end is not unsubtly implied to be a Bolivian Army Ending in the making.
  • Moral Dissonance: Frankie is a liberated and independent woman and manages to get herself included in the expedition because women are as capable as men. No argument there, but somehow she ends up being assigned the cooking and housekeeping chores when they're stranded in the lost world. Made a little more obnoxious when they "adopt" Hazel, a cavewoman, whom Frankie then saddles with the domestic duties, including washing and brushing Frankie's hair. note 
  • Non-Indicative Name: The T. rex may very well be the last of its species (no others are shown), but there clearly are other dinosaurs in the Lost World.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Chuck, who is nominally a geologist, exhibits expertise in zoology, paleontology and botany. Likewise Kawamoto is both a machinist/engineer, geologist and botanist.
  • People in Rubber Suits: Well, the effects were Japanese-made, and what are they most famous for?
  • Reliably Unreliable Guns: Big game hunter Masten Thrust throws away his hunting rifle after it jams while trying to shoot a Tyrannosaur that's about to attack them. Not only does he make no effort to clear the jam, but he never even tries to get the rifle back later (he has the perfect opportunity to pick it back up later, but instead only takes the scope to put on his new crossbow). The fact that he's both a lifelong hunter and a firearms collector makes this all the more implausible.
  • Recycled In Space: Moby-Dick - WITH DINOSAURS.
  • Send in the Search Team: Defied, much to the horror of the rest of the expedition: Masten gave explicit orders that if the expedition didn't contacted the surface world in two days' time, no rescue attempt was to be made to avoid any more potential massacres. The team is able to recover the drilling machine three months after the T. Rex steals it.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: The Tyrannosaurus is a gigantic freaking dinosaur, and yet in several scenes (including two kills) it's able to walk right up to where the humans are without being detected.
  • Stock Dinosaurs: A Tyrannosaurus is the main star, also with an appearance by a Triceratops, complete with a showdown between the two. Pteranodons also make several appearances.
  • Translation by Volume: Watch Frankie try to teach Hazel the intricacies of hair care. She shows Hazel a hair brush, very loudly and deliberately sounding out every syllable, and tries to get Hazel to help wash her hair by handing Hazel a pan and pointing at her own head, again loudly and deliberately repeating herself. Hazel just looks at Francesca, obviously confused at Frankie's inability to communicate like a normal person.
  • Tyrannosaurus rex: Paleontologists have called them the crown of creation... the king of the super tyrant lizards!
  • The Voiceless: Bunta. Though Thrust says he is "very articulate if you happen to speak his language", he is never heard saying a thing in any language.
  • Your Size May Vary: Despite the Tyrannosaurus being explicitly stated to be 20 feet tall, it frequently appears much larger.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: