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Tumak, member of the prehistoric Rock tribe, is exiled and makes his way to the more peaceful Shell tribe, where he is taken in and taught manners by the lovely Loana. Forced to leave the Shell tribe for fighting, Tumak, along with Loana, return to the Rock tribe, where Loana shows them the error of their brutal ways - until the volcano erupts! Written by
Doug Sederberg <email@example.com>
According to an article in the New York Times on 21 April 1940, D.W. Griffith, who worked as producer on the film, had his name removed from the credits because of a disagreement with Hal Roach. He said "Mr. Roach did not feel that it was necessary to give the characters as much individuality as I thought was needed, and so I did not wish to appear responsible for the picture by having my name on it." See more »
Conrad Nagel is in the opening credits as "Narrator," but not in the comprehensive end credits. Because of this, the opening credits are used first in the IMDb listing and the rest of the cast is filled in with the end credits. See more »
Prehistoric man strives to elevate himself above the bestial in ONE MILLION B.C.
Hal Roach Studios produced this vivid and exciting film which ambitiously takes on nothing less than presenting the Birth of Civilization and the Beginning of Civility. That it does so without seeming pedantic or foolish is due in large measure to fine performances and special effects which still look good many decades later. The viewer knows the exploding volcano is a fraud and the dinosaurs are actually magnified lizards, but somehow it does not matter. The entertainment value is real and the sentiments presented by the actors still ring true.
Victor Mature & Carole Landis do quite well in roles which demanded speaking little more than nonsense words and grunts and using a significant amount of pantomime. They have no difficulty in conveying their thoughts and emotions to the audience. Their characters' efforts just to survive in an exceedingly harsh environment elicit the viewer's interest and respect.
Lon Chaney Jr, in a role his father would have relished, plays the brutal chief of the Rock People. Silent film actor Nigel De Brulier portrays the Shell People's gentle patriarch. Another star from silent days, Conrad Nagel, appears in the movie's opening sequence as the slightly obsessed scientist who interprets the cave paintings which tell the film's tale.
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