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During World War I, a German U-boat sinks a British ship and takes the survivors on board. After it takes a wrong turn, the submarine takes them to the unknown land of Caprona, where they find dinosaurs and neanderthals. Written by
Paul White <email@example.com>
Amicus cast Stuart Whitman in the lead but AIP refused to finance the film if Whitman starred. so he was fired. See more »
In the opening scene with the U-boat, Captain Von Schoenvorts uses the designation SS in describing the ship he sees through the periscope. If it is a British passenger liner, the designation should be RMS; if it's supposed to be a British military ship, the designation should be HMS. See more »
Caprona has damn little respect for guns, Mr. Tyler.
Captain Von Schoenvorts:
No, there's nothing wrong with our shooting, gentlemen. In primitive nervous systems like this allosaurus, even a fatal wound might register in the brain with a delayed action. As your saying would have it, this "chap" was late for his own funeral.
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I loved this movie as a kid. Can't recall how many times I watched it on the late show in my early teens, but it was more than a few. I hadn't seen it since about 1982 and was pleased TCM ran it recently, so I recorded it and watched it last night.
The scenes came back to me by rote though I definitely needed the refresher after all these years. Seeing it now at 40, it of course has become a little more quaint in the wake of the Jurassic Park series, but it still held my interest as it WAS a very good effort in 1975 with limited resources at bringing to the screen an intelligent Sci/fi adventure with old fashioned heroics reminiscent of King Kong etc.
The script, though certainly not as good as it could have been, stays true to itself, and even though the SFX at times look primitive (they still kick the snot out of the FX in Logan's Run}, the story is poorly paced after the U-Boat reaches Caprona, and the Neanderthals and the obligatory volcanic eruption are more than forced, the film never becomes kitschy or laughable, or outright uninteresting like dozens of other films like this made on the cheap. My only wish is it would have been a bit longer and included more thoughtful dialogue about nature and evolution and survival to give the story and characters more depth. And Ray Harryhausen could have done much more with the dinosaurs in the technical department.
As far as leading men go, Doug McClure is good in this and will always get my sympathy as that likable, two fisted action star who had the misfortune of looking too much like Lee Marvin and sounding too much like Glenn Ford to ever get the kind of roles he deserved in bigger pictures. He was good in these Kevin Connor adventure flicks in the 70's, and is eternally one of my favorite actors as a result.
Lots of details about the U-Boat and what not are probably inaccurate, and the story itself is more than too similar to Verne's Mysterious Island with shades of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, but overall, while I wouldn't call it great or even good, it is definitely worth a look and still a nifty little piece of entertainment for the budget it had. Surprising a remake hasn't appeared in this age of CGI. Could be a dandy. Are you listening, Peter Jackson?
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