“Pity and compassion played little part in the existence of those people– They despised weakness, worshipped strength!”
During the prehistoric era, an outcast member of the brutal Rock Tribe (Victor Mature) falls in love with a woman from the gentler Shell Tribe (Carole Landis).
This “historical epic” by producer/director Hal Roach — infamously remade in 1966 with Raquel Welch — was the top-grossing film of 1940, and marked the debut of big-chested Victor Mature as a leading man. It received good reviews upon its release (with the New York Times referring to it as a “masterpiece of imaginative fiction”), and still has a devoted set of fans clamoring for its release on DVD. For my part, however, I don’t understand what all the fuss is about, given that this “Land of the Lost” precursor is utterly lacking in historical veracity (dinosaurs and humans co-exist, to name just the most egregious error) and possesses an insipid storyline. At least it’s partially redeemed by some impressive action sequences and special effects.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Some exciting, well-done action sequences — particularly the erupting volcano
No. While it holds historical interest as the most profitable film of 1940, this movie is really only a “must-see” for fans of cavemen flicks.