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The Neanderthal Man (1953)

 -  Horror | Sci-Fi  -  19 June 1953 (USA)
4.6
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Ratings: 4.6/10 from 202 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 20 critic

Professor Groves, an expert in prehistoric life, proves his theories with an extract that'll regress a cat to a saber-tooth tiger and man to a Neanderthal.

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(as E.A. Dupont)
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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Shayne ...
Prof. Clifford Groves (as Robert Shane)
Joyce Terry ...
Jan Groves (as Joy Terry)
Richard Crane ...
Dr. Ross Harkness
Doris Merrick ...
Ruth Marshall
...
Nola Mason - waitress
Robert Long ...
George Oakes
Tandra Quinn ...
Celia - housekeeper (as Jeanette Quinn)
Lee Morgan ...
Charlie Webb
Eric Colmar ...
Buck Hastings
Dick Rich ...
Sheriff Andy Andrews
...
Danny - townsman
Frank Gerstle ...
Mr. Wheeler - hunter
Anthony Jochim ...
Skeptical Naturalist
Marshall Bradford ...
Conference Chairman
William Fawcett ...
Dr. Fairchild
Edit

Storyline

Wheeler, a tourist-hunter in the California High Sierras, is not believed by the patrons of Webb's Cafe when he claims to have run across a live tiger with tusks. Among the scoffers is game-warden Oakes - until he is driving home later that night and the critter hops on the hood of his car. Oakes convinces a skeptical Dr. Harkness, state university zoologist, to come to the small town to investigate. At Webbs', Harkness meets Ruth, fiancée of Prof. Groves who maintains his home and lab outside the town, and thru her meets Groves' daughter, Jan. Groves himself is down in the city, angrily trying to convince the Naturalists' Society of the truth of his theory that the size of skull and brain equate with intelligence, and therefore Neanderthal man was equal, if not superior, to Homo sapiens. He is rejected, and by the time he returns home, seems completely unhinged, rejecting his fiancée and secluding himself in his lab. There, he has developed a serum with which he is experimenting. ... Written by Rich Wannen <RichWannen@worldnet.att.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

HALF MAN...HALF BEAST...He held them all in the grip of deadly terror...nothing could keep him from this woman he claimed as his own! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 June 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Homem Fera  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Ryder Sound Services)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Goofs

The saber-toothed tiger's long fangs aren't shown as it's walking around, but does show when he jumps on a car and in other scenes. See more »

Quotes

State Police Chief: [after shooting at the monster] Winged him! It's a big country but too small for that bird!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Even though he has top billing, Robert Shayne's name is misspelled as "Robert Shane." See more »

Connections

Featured in Svengoolie: The Neanderthal Man (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Your Average 1950s Horror Film
10 October 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Wheeler (Frank Gerstle), a tourist-hunter in the California High Sierras, is not believed by the patrons of Webb's Cafe when he claims to have run across a live tiger with tusks. Among the scoffers is game-warden George Oakes -- until he is driving home later that night and the critter hops on the hood of his car.

The general idea of this film is pretty standard -- you have a mad scientist who wants to turn people into Neanderthals and cats into saber-toothed tigers. There are plenty of scientific arguments that can be made against this being possible, but let us just ignore that...

He gets especially upset when his theories are presented to the local natural history society and they scoff at him. Interestingly, he includes Piltdown Man as part of the evolutionary chain of man -- a fossil that was determined to be a hoax in November 1953, around the same time as this film came out...

What could be considered really sad about this film is that it comes from director E. A. Dupont, who used to be somebody. Once upon a time, he was a big name in the world of German silent cinema, writing and directing "Variete" starring Emil Jannings and with Karl Freund operating the camera. A classic film. And now, at this point, he is directing cheesy science fiction with cheesy makeup and no real directorial flair. This is your average science fiction film of the 1950s, with almost no notable names (besides Dupont). He could have done better...

The one possibly notable name is Beverly Garland, who played the waitress. Although not A-list, she did go on to appear in multiple Roger Corman films and continued acting up through the 2000s on shows such as "7th Heaven". Some could say Robert Shayne was notable, but aside from bit parts in "North By Northwest" and "Invaders From Mars" he hardly left his mark.

Although perhaps talking this movie down, I am not saying you should avoid this film, but just be prepared for the average 1950s flick, probably not something you will tell your friends about. For those who really must see it, Scream Factory has released a nice blu-ray of the film, with a fairly decent transfer (though no special features).


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