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The Ugly Little Boy (1977)

TV Movie  -   -  Sci-Fi  -  1977 (Canada)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 46 users  
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A nurse grows attached to a young Neanderthal child that was snatched from his time as part of a time travel experiment.

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Sci-Fi

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Cast overview:
...
Nurse Edyth L. Fellows
Barry Morse ...
Dr. Hoskins
Guy Big ...
The Boy
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Edyth Fellows is a nurse recruited for an research project with a time travel device that can snatch any being from any time and bring it to the present. The first such test brings an Neanderthal child to the project and Fellows is responsible for his care for the interim. As she manages this task, Fellows is increasingly revolted at how the scientists dismiss him as little more than an animal, especially when his real intelligence shows. This growing moral dilemma comes to a head when Fellows realizes what they plan to do with him and she cannot stand by and let it happen. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

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User Reviews

 
A real short-film gem
11 February 2008 | by (The Armory, Ape City) – See all my reviews

This short film has haunted my memory all these years since I first saw it back in the late 1970s. I finally had the chance to see it again and was surprised to find not only how well I remembered this film, but how well it stood up to my expectations.

The concept is solid, and is based on one of Isaac Asimov's best-remembered short stories. The Ugly Little Boy plays out much like an episode of any of the Twilight Zone series or Outer Limits, and would have been preserved better had it belonged to one of those programs. As it is, this is a rare film with a good SF concept, quality acting, and a touching story that moves one's conscience. Asimov was an influential writer, but so little of his work has been committed to film, or done so well as this caring short story of a nurse's concern for a Neanderthal child wrested from his time into the future.

Also of note is this rarity among Canadian science fiction. In the 1970s, Canada had produced the much-maligned (but occasionally solid) science fiction series The Starlost (1973), and The Shape of Things to Come (1979). None of these are stellar productions. All of them, interestingly enough, starred Anglo-Canadian actor Barry Morse (The Fugitive, Space: 1999). Starlost fans will also notice the cameo by William Osler as Prof. Adamnevsky (protecting his ancient rock specimen!). Osler played the computer interface on Earthship Ark in The Starlost (1973).

Hopefully, this will be re-released some day and made available to a wider audience.


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