"Jurassic Park" turns 25
Photo by Murray Close/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Today, June 11, marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park.
An adaptation of the bestselling book from the late Michael Crichton, the movie centered on an eccentric tycoon named Hammond, played by director-actor Richard Attenborough, who funds a team of scientists to use DNA technology to revive dinosaurs that populate a one-of-a-kind theme park.
Before the park opens, Hammond invites experts in various disciplines — Sam Neill as paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant, Laura Dern as a botanist, and Jeff Goldblum as a skeptical mathematician — to kick the tires, so to speak. Also along for the preview ride are Hammond’s two grandchildren.
The tour goes sideways in a massive way however, when a park employee — played by a pre-Seinfeld Wayne Knight — shuts down security systems as part of a plot to sell steal dino embryos. The park’s main attractions soon slip their pens, and wreak havoc on the humans stranded there. All this is set to another great John Williams score.
The movie famously made use of cutting-edge computer generated effects from the wizards at George Lucas’ special effects house Industrial Light and Magic, as well as the late Stan Winston and his team, who supplied stunning, full-sized dinos for close-ups — including the now-iconic scene that saw a T-Rex getting up close and personal with a couple of kids, with only a toppled SUV’s window between them.
Both effects teams won Oscars for their respective efforts. The film also won a third trophy, for Best Sound Effects Editing.
The movie — “Jaws with claws” as how some described it — went on to gross more than a billion dollars at the global box office, and spawned a pair of sequels, 1997’s The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and Jurassic Park III in 2001.
The franchise got a billion dollar-plus boost with a blockbuster 2015 reboot, Jurassic World, with Marvel movie star Chris Pratt playing a veteran-turned-velociraptor trainer, alongside his onscreen boss, played by Bryce Dallas Howard. A sequel, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, hits theaters June 22.
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