The Last Dinosaur (極底探検船: 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 Company Ltd.


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



Weapons, Vehicles, and Races


Main article: The Last Dinosaur (1977 film)/Gallery.


Main article: The Last Dinosaur (1977 film soundtrack).

Alternate Titles

  • Expedition Under the Pole: Polar-Borer (Literal Japanese title)

U.S. Release

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. Warner Bros. finally released the uncut English version of the film in 2011 on DVD.

Video Releases

Toho (2009)

  • Released: 2009
  • Region: Region 2
  • Language: Japanese

Warner Bros. (2011)

  • Released: 2011
  • Region: Region 1
  • Language: English




  • This film was a co-production between Toho and Rankin/Bass, who previously collaborated on the film King Kong Escapes ten years earlier.
  • This film is also the second collaboration between Toho and Tsuburaya Productions, the first being Daigoro vs. Goliath.
  • After the 1977 film, The Tyrannosaurus rex suit was refurbished and re-used in two more Tsuburaya Productions - both time as recurring, but otherwise unrelated villains. The first being Ururu (alias Emperor Tyrannos) in "Dinosaur Great War Izenborg" (1977-1978), and later as Tyrannosaurus Jackie in "Dinosaur Squadron Koseidon" (1978-1979).
  • The Tyrannosaurus rex in this film is portrayed by Toru Kawai, who played Godzilla in Terror of MechaGodzilla, while the Triceratops is portrayed by Katsumi Nimiamoto, who played Titanosaurus in the film.
  • In the Tsuburaya series Dinosaur Great War Izenborg and Dinosaur Warrior Koseidon, in which the tyrannosaurus suit from this film was reused, the tyrannosaurus battles a triceratops as an homage to The Last Dinosaur.
Film media
Godzilla films
King Kong films
Mothra films
Gamera films
Other films
Cancelled or scrapped films