The Last Dinosaur (1977)

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The Last Dinosaur soundtrack

Rankin Bass.pngSlash.pngTsuburaya ProductionsSlash.pngToho Company, Limited Monster Movie
Japanese The Last Dinosaur Poster
The Last Dinosaur
Directed by Tsugunobu Kotani, Alexander Grasshoff
Produced by Noboru Tsuburaya,
Arthur Rankin Jr.,
Jules Bass,
Kazuyoshi Kasai,
Benni Korzen,
Kinshiro Ohkubo,
Masaki Izuka
Written by William Overgard
Music by Kenjiro Hirose,
Maury Laws
Distributor TohoJP,
American Broadcasting CompanyUS
Running Time 106 minutesJP
(1 hour, 46 minutes)
95 minutesUS
1 hour, 35 minutes)
Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Rate this film!
(21 votes)

The Last Dinosaur (極底探険船ポーラーボーラ,   Kyokutei Tanken-sen Pōrā-Bōra, lit. Expedition Under the Pole: Polar-Borer) is a 1977 tokusatsu kaiju film co-produced by Rankin/Bass Productions and Tsuburaya Productions and distributed by Toho. The film first aired on ABC on February 11, 1977 in the United States, while it was later released theatrically in Japan in October of that year.


Wealthy big-game hunter Masten Thrust, using his company's advanced drilling vehicle, the Polar-Borer, leads an expedition to a mysterious underground pocket beneath the North Pole which is inhabited by several dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures, including a tribe of primitive humans. The expedition takes a dangerous turn when a Tyrannosaurus rex destroys the Polar-Borer, leaving the crew stranded in a mysterious primitive world, where they are stalked by the T-Rex and various other dangerous creatures.


Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.

  • Directed by   Tsugunobu Kotani, Alexander Grasshoff
  • Written by   William Overgard
  • Produced by   Noboru Tsuburaya, Arthur Rankin Jr., Jules Bass, Kazuyoshi Kasai, Benni Korzen, Kinshiro Ohkubo, Masaki Izuka
  • Music by   Kenjiro Hirose, Maury Laws, Nancy Wilson
  • Cinematography by   Shoji Ueda
  • Edited by   Minoru Kozono, Yoshitami Kuroiwa, Tatsuji Nakashizu
  • Assistant Directing by   Shohei Tojo
  • Special Effects by   Kazuo Sagawa, Yoshiyuki Yoshimura


Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.

  • Richard Boone   as   Masten Thrust Jr.
  • Joan Van Ark   as   Francesca Banks
  • Steven Keats   as   Chuck Wade
  • Luther Rackley   as   Bunta
  • Masumi Sekiya   as   Hazel
  • William Ross   as   Hal
  • Carl Hansen   as   Barney
  • Tetsu Nakamura   as   Dr. Kawamoto
  • Don Maloney   as   Captain of Mother 1
  • Vanessa Cristina   as   Reporter
  • Shunsuke Kariya   as   Primal Man leader
  • Toru Kawai   as   Tyrannosaurus rex
  • Tatsumi Nikamoto   as   Head of Triceratops



Weapons, Vehicles, and Races


Main article: The Last Dinosaur/Gallery.


Main article: The Last Dinosaur (Soundtrack).

Alternate Titles

  • Expedition Under the Pole: Polar-Borer (Literal Japanese title)
  • The Last Dinosaur (最後の恐竜,   Saigo no Kyōryū, Early Japanese title)
  • Last Dinosaur - King of Monsters (Viimeinen Dinosaurus - Hirviöitten Kuningas; Finland)

U.S. Release

American The Last Dinosaur television ad

The Last Dinosaur was scheduled for theatrical releases in both Japan and the United States, however it was decided at the last moment to release the film straight to television in the U.S. The film was aired on television by ABC, and had 11 minutes cut from its run time, while it was later released uncut theatrically in Japan by Toho. Warner Bros. finally released the uncut English version of the film in 2011 on DVD.

Video Releases

Toho DVD (2009)[1]

  • Discs: 1
  • Region: 2
  • Audio: Japanese, English
  • Subtitles:
  • Special Features: Audio commentary by director Tsugunobu Kotani and actress Masumi Sekitani, message from actress Sekitani, interview with special effects director Kazuo Sagawa (13 minutes), behind-the-scenes footage narrated by Sagawa, production galleries, Japanese trailer

Warner Archives DVD (2011)

  • Region: N/A
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: English (2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: None
  • Special Features: None
  • Notes: Made-to-order DVD-R.



Warner Bros. The Last Dinosaur promotional clip
Warner Bros. The Last Dinosaur promotional clip
Warner Bros. The Last Dinosaur promotional clip


  • This film was a co-production between Tsuburaya Productions and Rankin/Bass, the latter having previously collaborated with Toho to make King Kong Escapes ten years earlier.
  • This film is also the second non-Ultra Series film collaboration between Toho and Tsuburaya Productions, with the first being Daigoro vs. Goliath.
  • After this film, the Tyrannosaurus rex suit was refurbished and reused in two more Tsuburaya Productions projects, both times as recurring but otherwise unrelated villains; first as Ururu (alias Emperor Tyrannos) in Dinosaur Great War Izenborg (1977-1978) and later as Tyrannosaurus Jackie in Dinosaur Squadron Koseidon (1978-1979).
    • The Ururu / Emperor Tyrannos version of the suit was faithfully recreated for the climactic segment of the 2017 documentary The Return of Izenborg.[2][3][4]
  • The Tyrannosaurus rex in this film is portrayed by Toru Kawai, who played Godzilla in Zone Fighter and Terror of Mechagodzilla, while the front end of the Triceratops is portrayed by Tatsumi Nikamoto, who acted opposite Kawai as Zone Fighter and Titanosaurus in the two works, respectively.
  • The boneyard that litters the Tyrannosaurus' lair contains the remains of a wide variety of prehistoric creatures that are not seen living onscreen in the rest of the film. Among the remains are the skulls of a two-horned warthog, numerous mastodons, an ox with a singular horn like that of a unicorn, a separate ox skull with three unusual horns, an unspecified giant reptile, a long-faced cow, a sitting pair of bull skulls, a large headless humanoid skeleton hanging from a dead tree, numerous Pteranodons, the scattered jawbones of prehistoric rhinoceroses such as the Embolotherium and the Arsinoitherium, and skulls heavily resembling those of the Dire Wolf, the Archaeotherium, the Pakicetus, and the Daeodon.[5]


This is a list of references for The Last Dinosaur. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

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Era Icon - Toho.png
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Toa Hydros

22 months ago
Score 0

My Thoughts: The Ladt Dinosaur

Oh, how I love this movie. One of my favorite "cheesy" dino flicks. I used to watch this one back-to-back with "Planet of Dinosaurs" when I was a kid.

The effects and costumes are... well, bad, but I've seen worse. I like how the T. rex randomly shifts size; one moment it's normal sized, and the next it's nearly kaiju-sized. And let's not forget the triceratops that just appears out of the side of a cliff. No explanation, or hint to how it wound up buried there, just RANDOM TRICERATOPS ATTACK!!!!

The acting, however, is of opposite quality. The human characters are surprisingly likable and defined. I especially liked Richard Boone's character.

Overall, if you can handle a dino flick with a hefty side of cheese, you'll like it just fine.

The King of the Monsters

24 months ago
Score 0

A lot of people would classify this movie as "so bad it's good." I watched this movie once a long time ago when I was little, and recently went into watching it again expecting it to be so bad it's good. To my surprise, it was actually a pretty competently made film with some solid acting, especially from the great Richard Boone, and enjoyable special effects. The Tyrannosaurus rex in particular has become one of my favorite kaiju, as despite its clumsy suit it manages to exude quite a bit of personality and menace. The story, despite its obvious B-movie premise, is handled pretty well too.

I'd say The Last Dinosaur isn't "so bad it's good." I say if it's your kind of film, then it's just plain good. It's entertaining and well-done in many respects, and some of the cheesier aspects of the production serve only to make it more fun and endearing. I'll give it a 5 out of 5, just because I was greatly impressed by its quality given my expectations.

The King of the Monsters

25 months ago
Score 0
I finally ordered this movie on Amazon, so I will be able to watch it again for the first time since I was really little and actually start making pages for all the things that appear in it soon.