One Million Years B. C.


1h 31m 1967
One Million Years B. C.

Brief Synopsis

A rebellious caveman leaves his tribe in search of a better life.

Film Details

Genre
Adventure
Fantasy
Sci-Fi
Release Date
Jan 1967
Premiere Information
New York showing: 21 Feb 1967
Production Company
Hammer Film Productions, Ltd.; Seven Arts Productions
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Country
United Kingdom
Location
Canary Islands
Screenplay Information
Based on the film One Million B. C. , screenplay by Mickell Novak, George Baker and Joseph Frickert (United Artists, 1940).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (DeLuxe)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Synopsis

In prehistoric times, Tumak of the Rock People violently quarrels with his father and is banished from his tribe. After escaping from an attack by a giant lizard and a brontosaurus, he reaches an ocean and collapses on the beach. He is found by the Shell People, a tribe considerably more advanced than his own. They nurse him back to health, and when he kills an allosaurus, they treat him as a member of their tribe. But he fights with the leader and is once more banished. Loana, a young woman who has fallen in love with him, decides to accompany him into the desert. After witnessing a fight between a triceratops and a ceratosaurus, they make their way to the caves of the Rock People. While Loana is teaching Tumak to swim, she is carried off in the claws of a pterodactyl and then dropped into the sea when the huge bird encounters another of its kind. She makes her way back to the Shell People and persuades some of them to return with her to Tumak's tribe. But they are attacked by the Rock People, and the fighting ends only when a giant volcano suddenly erupts. As the earth cracks and molten lava pours over the rocks, many members of both tribes are killed. Loana and Tumak join the other survivors in beginning a new life as the shadow of a huge mushroom cloud darkens the horizon.

Photo Collections

One Million Years B. C. - Color Still Set
Here is a set of color stills from the Hammer production One Million Years B. C. (1966), starring Raquel Welch and featuring special effects by Ray Harryhausen. For certain prestigious color productions, studios would send out sets of color stills as promotional material.

Film Details

Genre
Adventure
Fantasy
Sci-Fi
Release Date
Jan 1967
Premiere Information
New York showing: 21 Feb 1967
Production Company
Hammer Film Productions, Ltd.; Seven Arts Productions
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Country
United Kingdom
Location
Canary Islands
Screenplay Information
Based on the film One Million B. C. , screenplay by Mickell Novak, George Baker and Joseph Frickert (United Artists, 1940).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (DeLuxe)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Articles

One Million Years B.C. (1966) - One Million Years B.C.


Those of you who get a little light-headed thinking about Wilma Flintstone will have to get a cold compress when viewing One Million Years B.C. (1966). Raquel Welch in a fur bikini? Words fail us. Did we mention dinosaurs as well? Now a happy death awaits.

One Million Years B.C. was Hammer Studios' attempt to cash in on the short-lived (mercifully?) dinosaur exploitation trend, which thrived despite ASPCA complaints and the scientific impossibility of humans co-existing with dinosaurs. You know how these films went: big lizards, scantily clad cave folk and lots o' rocks. Told in pantomime with no spoken dialogue (except for occasional grunts), the fun in this film is catching all of the anachronisms from the cave peoples' sophisticated hairstyles and flawless make-up to their perfect teeth. In the future, this type of film would lead to the various pretensions of Quest for Fire (1981) and Jurassic Park (1993) but at the time One Million Years B.C. was drive-in fodder and we were darn proud to get it.

As the film opens, we get to meet our caveperson hero, John Richardson (from the horror classic Black Sunday [1960] though we're still wondering about 1975's Duck in Orange Sauce on his filmography). He fights with his father and gets kicked out of the Rock People tribe. He wanders a bit before discovering the Shell People with Ms. Welch attached. The two youngsters fall in love while eventually a war ignites between the different tribes, making this perhaps a cave-dwelling Romeo and Juliet. (Officially it's a remake of the 1940 One Million B.C. which starred Victor Mature, a one-time matinee idol whose bust could rival Ms. Welch's!) Particularly memorable is the sequence where Raquel emerges from a lake and is promptly snatched up and carried away by a flying reptile. While it is true that most of the creatures are animated models, there is one fight sequence featuring two live lizards disguised as Mesozoic creatures. This wasn't intended as a homage to the original version (which DID use lizards as dinosaur stand-ins), but a budgetary necessity.

One Million Years B.C. was filmed in the Canary Islands though the dinosaurs were the work of animation master Ray Harryhausen (The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, 1958). Holding this all together was director Don Chaffey, who cut his teeth on TV's The Avengers and such films as Jason and the Argonauts (1963). He later specialized in TV series, contributing to Fantasy Island and T. J. Hooker among others. The music - an unusual score utilizing rocks, bell sticks and other percussive sounds - was by Mario Nascimbene, a busy Italian composer who was perhaps best-known for The Barefoot Contessa (1954).

Cult horror fans especially love this movie for another reason - Martine Beswick, who has a prominent role as Raquel's rival, Nupondi. She kicked off her career in a couple of Bond films (From Russia With Love [1963], Thunderball [1965]) before subsisting on a thin but steady stream of B-movies like Oliver Stone's first film Seizure (1974), Dr. Jekyll & Sister Hyde (1971) and The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood (1980). Beswick admirers should also check out some of her work in other Hammer Films like Prehistoric Women (1967) where the budget was so cheap that they reused the same set pieces and costumes from One Million Years B.C.. And yes, there's yet another James Bond connection in the form of Robert Brown (Akhoba) who played gadgetmaster M in the series from 1983's Octopussy to 1989's License to Kill.

Hammer studios was quite wise in capitalizing on Ms. Welch's natural attributes for this epic and even went so far as to send out over 10,000 Christmas cards of the practically naked Raquel in her fur bikini to several theater owners all over Europe and the U.S. The ploy obviously worked; the film's international take at the box-office was over $9 million, not bad for a film where the actors' chief line of dialogue was "ugh!"

So if your Time Machine is broken you can tune into TCM for a trip to One Million Years B.C. with the assurance that you won't be squished between some T. Rex's toes. Now that's progress.

Director: Don Chaffey
Producer: Michael Carreras
Screenplay: Michael Carreras, based on the 1940 screenplay by George Baker
Editing: Tom Simpson
Art Direction: Robert Jones
Cinematography: Wilkie Cooper
Music: Mario Nascimbene
Special Effects: George Blackwell, Ray Harryhausen
Cast: Raquel Welch (Loana), John Richardson (Tumak), Percy Herbert (Sakana), Martine Beswick (Nupondi), Robert Brown (Akhoba), Jean Wladon (Ahot), William Lyon Brown (Payto), Lisa Thomas (Sura).
C-100m.

by Lang Thompson
One Million Years B.c. (1966) - One Million Years B.c.

One Million Years B.C. (1966) - One Million Years B.C.

Those of you who get a little light-headed thinking about Wilma Flintstone will have to get a cold compress when viewing One Million Years B.C. (1966). Raquel Welch in a fur bikini? Words fail us. Did we mention dinosaurs as well? Now a happy death awaits. One Million Years B.C. was Hammer Studios' attempt to cash in on the short-lived (mercifully?) dinosaur exploitation trend, which thrived despite ASPCA complaints and the scientific impossibility of humans co-existing with dinosaurs. You know how these films went: big lizards, scantily clad cave folk and lots o' rocks. Told in pantomime with no spoken dialogue (except for occasional grunts), the fun in this film is catching all of the anachronisms from the cave peoples' sophisticated hairstyles and flawless make-up to their perfect teeth. In the future, this type of film would lead to the various pretensions of Quest for Fire (1981) and Jurassic Park (1993) but at the time One Million Years B.C. was drive-in fodder and we were darn proud to get it. As the film opens, we get to meet our caveperson hero, John Richardson (from the horror classic Black Sunday [1960] though we're still wondering about 1975's Duck in Orange Sauce on his filmography). He fights with his father and gets kicked out of the Rock People tribe. He wanders a bit before discovering the Shell People with Ms. Welch attached. The two youngsters fall in love while eventually a war ignites between the different tribes, making this perhaps a cave-dwelling Romeo and Juliet. (Officially it's a remake of the 1940 One Million B.C. which starred Victor Mature, a one-time matinee idol whose bust could rival Ms. Welch's!) Particularly memorable is the sequence where Raquel emerges from a lake and is promptly snatched up and carried away by a flying reptile. While it is true that most of the creatures are animated models, there is one fight sequence featuring two live lizards disguised as Mesozoic creatures. This wasn't intended as a homage to the original version (which DID use lizards as dinosaur stand-ins), but a budgetary necessity. One Million Years B.C. was filmed in the Canary Islands though the dinosaurs were the work of animation master Ray Harryhausen (The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, 1958). Holding this all together was director Don Chaffey, who cut his teeth on TV's The Avengers and such films as Jason and the Argonauts (1963). He later specialized in TV series, contributing to Fantasy Island and T. J. Hooker among others. The music - an unusual score utilizing rocks, bell sticks and other percussive sounds - was by Mario Nascimbene, a busy Italian composer who was perhaps best-known for The Barefoot Contessa (1954). Cult horror fans especially love this movie for another reason - Martine Beswick, who has a prominent role as Raquel's rival, Nupondi. She kicked off her career in a couple of Bond films (From Russia With Love [1963], Thunderball [1965]) before subsisting on a thin but steady stream of B-movies like Oliver Stone's first film Seizure (1974), Dr. Jekyll & Sister Hyde (1971) and The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood (1980). Beswick admirers should also check out some of her work in other Hammer Films like Prehistoric Women (1967) where the budget was so cheap that they reused the same set pieces and costumes from One Million Years B.C.. And yes, there's yet another James Bond connection in the form of Robert Brown (Akhoba) who played gadgetmaster M in the series from 1983's Octopussy to 1989's License to Kill. Hammer studios was quite wise in capitalizing on Ms. Welch's natural attributes for this epic and even went so far as to send out over 10,000 Christmas cards of the practically naked Raquel in her fur bikini to several theater owners all over Europe and the U.S. The ploy obviously worked; the film's international take at the box-office was over $9 million, not bad for a film where the actors' chief line of dialogue was "ugh!" So if your Time Machine is broken you can tune into TCM for a trip to One Million Years B.C. with the assurance that you won't be squished between some T. Rex's toes. Now that's progress. Director: Don Chaffey Producer: Michael Carreras Screenplay: Michael Carreras, based on the 1940 screenplay by George Baker Editing: Tom Simpson Art Direction: Robert Jones Cinematography: Wilkie Cooper Music: Mario Nascimbene Special Effects: George Blackwell, Ray Harryhausen Cast: Raquel Welch (Loana), John Richardson (Tumak), Percy Herbert (Sakana), Martine Beswick (Nupondi), Robert Brown (Akhoba), Jean Wladon (Ahot), William Lyon Brown (Payto), Lisa Thomas (Sura). C-100m. by Lang Thompson

Quotes

Trivia

As the Shell People are attacked by a giant turtle, the women call it "Achelon" which is the real scientific name for the animal.

Robert Brown (Akhoba) wears makeup identical to that worn by Lon Chaney Jr. wore in the same role in the 1940 version (One Million B.C. (1940)).

The exterior scenes were filmed in the Canary Islands in the middle of winter.

Notes

Location scenes filmed on the Canary Islands. Released in Great Britain in Technicolor in December 1966 (100 min). This film is a remake of the 1940 United Artists release One Million B. C., which was directed by Hal Roach and starring Victor Mature and Carole Landis (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40).

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Winter December 31, 1966

Remake of "One Million B.C." (1940)

Released in United States Winter December 31, 1966