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At a time in prehistory when Neanderthals shared the Earth with early Homo sapiens, a band of cave-dwellers adopt blond and blue-eyed Ayla, a child of the "Others". As Ayla matures into a young woman of spirit and courage (unlike other women of the clan), she must fight for survival against the jealous bigotry of Broud, who will one day be clan leader. Based on Jean M. Auel's popular book, there is minimal narration; subtitles translate the Neanderthal gestures and primitive spoken language. Written by
And we thought that cavemen yelled "yabba dabba doo!"
This is one of the films that I grew up watching, and even now, I love it and admire its beauty as much as I ever did.
First of all, comparing movies to their books isn't something we should do, because they are two different forms of entertainment, and can take different liabilities. What is important is if the movie still tells the basic story, and in the case of the Clan of the Cave Bear, it stuck to the original story in a very suitable fashion. I must admit that when I first saw this movie, I did not know that this was from a book. It wasn't until 15 years later that I read the book, and it confirmed my statement that the movie kept the story intact.
As far as the acting was concerned, I have to admire a cast that had to convey throughout an entire script in a totally different language, and manage to keep it consistent. Watching the film, you can see that certain gestures always mean the same thing, as well as certain grunts and sounds. Folks, that is the result of a lot of hard work, and to put down that part of the film is like looking at the Empire State Building as just the result of an erector set.
The basic story of the movie is to show prejudice against what is new and not understood. Ayla's presence is meant to show the Clan what the future holds, which is the underlying reason why they fear and hate her, though they are unaware of the reasons. Ayla endures many trials throughout the movie in order to gain their trust and approval, which ultimately prepare her for a journey into the world without the Clan.
A movie worth watching again and again. The book is great also, by the way, so I recommend them both.
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