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The Primitive Man (1914)

Brute Force (original title)
A primitive tribe are attacked by apemen and menaced by various prehistoric monsters.


D.W. Griffith


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Credited cast:
Robert Harron ... Harry Faulkner (Prologue) / Weakhands (The Old Days)
Mae Marsh ... Lillywhite
William J. Butler William J. Butler ... Priscilla's Father (Prologue)
Wilfred Lucas ... Brute Force
Edwin Curglot Edwin Curglot ... Caveman
Alfred Paget ... In Club (Prologue) / Tribesman (The Old Days)
Jennie Lee Jennie Lee ... Cavewoman
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Edwin August
Lionel Barrymore
Harry Carey ... In Womanless Tribe (The Old Days)
John T. Dillon John T. Dillon ... In Club (Prologue)
Frank Evans Frank Evans ... In Club (Prologue) / Tribesman (The Old Days)
Harry Hyde Harry Hyde ... In Club (Prologue)
J. Jiquel Lanoe J. Jiquel Lanoe ... In Club (Prologue) / Tribesman (The Old Days)
Elmo Lincoln ... In Club (Prologue) / Tribesman (The Old Days)


A gent in formal wear, amid a club or party, dozes off reading a book about primitive man; we see the dream enacted. Weakhands loses his girlfriend to Bruteforce, but chances upon a design for a weapon to vanquish his rival and win her back. His tribe sees this and sets him up as their leader. With the club, he fends off various creatures (a winged lizard, a snake, a dinosaur) and a rival tribe led by Monkeywalk. The women even manage to repel an attack. But the rivals discover the secret of the club themselves, and capture the women. Weakhands, sitting in despair, chances upon a new weapon: the bow and arrow. With this tool, he slays the rival tribe and restores domestic tranquility. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Adventure | Drama







Release Date:

25 April 1914 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Primitive Man See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Biograph Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Perhaps the earliest live-action film to feature dinosaurs and humans. An herbivorous Ceratosaurus is briefly featured in the film. See more »


The Ceratosaurus featured is eating vegetation, while the dinosaur was actually a carnivore. See more »


Features Man's Genesis (1912) See more »

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User Reviews

Victory for brains
30 July 2018 | by deickemeyerSee all my reviews

This primitive picture in two parts illustrates that the struggle between brute force and brains has always resulted in victory for brains. The young man dreams he is the primitive leader of the stone club men. His tribe eventually faces annihilation at the hands of the low cave men who have found the secret of his power, the stone club. Then the inventive brain is stimulated and gives birth to a new idea. - The Moving Picture World, May 9, 1914

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