A tribe of cavedwellers battle for survival against the dangers of a prehistoric world.


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Cast overview:
Tefft Johnson ...


Aleric, making his way across the mountains with his young daughter, Chloe, suddenly loses his foothold and drops to his death upon the rocks below. Dagban and Eric, two brothers, find the girl and take her to their cave. Dagban claims her as his own by right of might. Eric wins her with his gentleness and love. Else, the boys' mother, looks upon Chloe as a trouble-maker. Dagban threatens to do her bodily harm unless she accedes to his attentions. Eric protects Chloe; a violent quarrel follows in which Eric strikes Dagban to the ground. To avoid conflict and lest he be a further obstacle to his brother's desire for Chloe, he leaves his home. After Eric has gone, Chloe follows, declares her love for him and he for her. Together they continue their journey, seeking happiness in the land beyond the horizon, which joins earth with heaven. Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Plot Keywords:

prehistoric times | caveman | See All (2) »


Short | Drama





Release Date:

16 April 1912 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Cave Man; or, Before a Book Was Written  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Followed by The Serpents (1912) See more »

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User Reviews

The human figures in this living picture would delight a Michelangelo
4 November 2016 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

This is, indeed, a most wonderful picture. It tells a story of men and women in the days when their clothing were furs, spoils of leopards and deer. They were stalwart, beautiful men and women. Their weapons were crude, flint-headed axes, helved with hickory, and rough bows and arrows; but we see in them folk who could rob the white bear of his skin. They can grapple and leap and run. Their arms are bare and their well-knit sinews ripple as they move in grace and strength. The beauty of humanity transcends all other beauty; and the human figures in this living picture would delight a Michelangelo. The camera work is perfect, and the backgrounds were so well chosen that they seem to breathe with the story. It is winter; there is snow on the earth and the rocks and on every twig and fork where it could lodge. The place is full of briers and tangles; no garden, but wild. These backgrounds give to the picture a vitality as real as the stinging north wind. It is also spring; and the quickening wave of new life wells up the rough hillside, from the south. It wakens joy, need of freedom and love; but it also demands labor; the fields have to be tilled. This is a human picture; there is work in it as well as love and jealousy and struggle. The struggle is both spiritual and physical. It seems as though no cast could be better for this picture than the one that plays it. Miss Edith Story, Miss Rose Tapley, Mr. Teft Johnson, Mr. Harry Northrup and Mr. Ralph Ince play it. Here, in truth, is a feature picture. - The Moving Picture World, May 4, 1912

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