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Quest for Fire (1981)
"La guerre du feu" (original title)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 14,302 users  
Reviews: 91 user | 47 critic

This story takes place in prehistoric time when three prehistoric tribesmen search for a new fire source.

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(screenplay), (based on the novel by)
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Title: Quest for Fire (1981)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Nicholas Kadi ...
Gaw (as Nameer El-Kadi)
...
Ika
...
Rouka - The Ulam Tribe
Naseer El-Kadi ...
Nam - The Ulam Tribe
Franck-Olivier Bonnet ...
Aghoo - The Ulam Tribe (as Frank Olivier Bonnet)
Jean-Michel Kindt ...
Lakar - The Ulam Tribe
Kurt Schiegl ...
Faum - The Ulam Tribe
Brian Gill ...
Modoc - The Ulam Tribe
Terry Fitt ...
Hourk - The Ulam Tribe
Bibi Caspari ...
Gammla - The Ulam Tribe
...
Mikr - The Ulam Tribe
Michelle Leduc ...
Matr - The Ulam Tribe
...
Tsor - The Ulam Tribe
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Storyline

Anthony Burgess created the primitive language for the early humans in this prehistoric adventure about a trio of warriors who travel the savanna, encountering sabre-toothed tigers, mammoths and cannibalistic tribes in search of a flame that would replace the fire their tribe has lost. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Science Fantasy Adventure.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Release Date:

12 February 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Quest for Fire  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The language used by the cavemen, which comprises all of the spoken dialogue, was created by Anthony Burgess. Burgess is best known as the author of the novel and film A Clockwork Orange (1971), and creator of the language, Nadsat, used in it. See more »

Goofs

In one shot the mastodons' faces are completely covered in hair, but in the next shot the hair is gone. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Title Card: 80,000 years ago, man's survival in a vast uncharted land depended on the possession of fire. / For those early humans, fire was an object of great mystery, since no one had mastered its creation. Fire had to be stolen from nature, it had to be kept alive - sheltered from wind and rain, guarded from rival tribes. / Fire was a symbol of power and a means of survival. The tribe who possessed fire, possessed life.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ice Age (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Creation Of Fire
Conductor - Peter Knight
Orchestra - The London Symphony Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

In Search Of The Past
30 January 2007 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Raw and at times brutal, this story follows three primitive warriors who make a cross-country journey in search of that most precious of natural elements ... fire. In prehistoric times, having fire meant survival from the cold and protection from predators.

In this film, facial gestures, hand movements, general body language and mannerisms of the characters are all consistent with conclusions about early man, as a result of thorough anthropological research. In lieu of modern language the film's dialogue consists of some 350 invented words and sounds, also based on research. In addition, an important part of the film is attention to detail in costumes and makeup, for which the film won several awards. All of these technical cinematic elements combine to create a reasonably accurate visual and audio impression of mankind as it existed some 80,000 years ago.

As you would expect, the film is shot entirely in rugged, remote locations, resulting in landscapes that are stunningly beautiful. Background music is generally low-key and ethereal, like what you might hear in a sci-fi film. There's lots of flute sounds, which reinforce the simplicity of the time period.

For all its technical achievements, this film's main weakness may be the screenplay. When you take away the artifacts of modern life, you're very limited in the kind of story you can tell. And that clearly is the case here, with a plot that drones on with a monotony and repetition that can be tedious, and at times difficult for some viewers.

Although the story's entertainment value may be marginal, "Quest For Fire", with its low tech cinematic style, is interesting not only for its technical elements but also for its over arching theme of modern human's continuity with prehistoric man, based on the element of fire.


24 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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