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A Journey to the Beginning of Time (1955)

Cesta do praveku (original title)
Youngest of four boys one day finds a fossil of trilobite. So his older friend take him on journey through prehistory, up to beginning of time, to see real live trilobites.

Director:

Karel Zeman

Writers:

William Cayton (USA version), J.A. Novotný | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Vladimír Bejval ... Jirka / Jo-Jo
Petr Herrman Petr Herrman ... Toník / Tony
Zdenek Hustak Zdenek Hustak ... Jenda / Ben
Josef Lukás Josef Lukás ... Petr / Doc
James Lucas James Lucas ... Doc (US version) (as James Lukas)
Victor Betral Victor Betral ... Joe / Jo-Jo (US version)
Charles Goldsmith Charles Goldsmith ... Ben (US version)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Petr Herrmann Petr Herrmann
Kerry Mark Joels Kerry Mark Joels ... Doc (voice)
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Storyline

Four young boys visit a dinosaur exhibit at the New York city Museum of Natural History. They then row out onto Central Park Lake where they find a secret cave and paddle into a wondrous prehistoric world filled with the very dinosaurs they had just seen. Written by Ørnås

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Four boys living the excitement every boy dreams about in the most fantastic adventure of any age!


Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Czechoslovakia

Language:

Czech

Release Date:

1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Journey to the Beginning of Time See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Most of the prehistoric animal reconstructions have been modeled after the artwork of renowned Czech painter Zdenek Burian. This is perhaps most apparent on the Brontosaurus, which is standing in almost the exact same pose as in Burian's famous piece and has the exact same detailing on its body. Strangely, the prominently-featured Stegosaurus and Ceratosaurus were not based on Burian's art, even though he has painted both animals, including the promotional paintings for this very film. See more »

Goofs

Jo Jo retrieves the diary and stows it on his chest under his shirt, thereby soaking his shirt. As he's then returning to the other three boys, his shirt is dry. See more »

Alternate Versions

This Czech film was updated by William Cayton a decade later with sequences involving American boys in New York who looked sufficiently like the Czech originals. See more »

Connections

Edited into Garfield Goose and Friends (1952) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A movie to excite your imagination
21 May 2005 | by pachlSee all my reviews

The irony of movie-making is that the supposedly "amazing" modern special effects often seem to rob movies of their potential charm. By trying to dazzle us with all their computer magic, too many contemporary films fail to stir our imaginations. It is like comparing prose with poetry. When special effects were more primitive, they had to be a bit more "poetic" and less literal in their presentations. The result was that these older movies stirred our imaginations better than many current ones.

This little gem of a movie is proof that limitations inspire creativity, and that the inability to graphically show anything you conceive forces the filmmaker to be more resourceful and clever with his choice of material. Nowadays, many people seem to be bored, rather than dazzled, with the flawless special effects that dominate some movies.

"Journey to the Beginning of Time" makes great use of the somewhat modest visual tools they had to work with at the time. Just as a novel like Ray Bradbury's "The Martian Chronicles" is a pleasure to read, "Journey to the Beginning of Time" is great fun, and something you'll always fondly remember.

I originally watched this movie in short segments on the "Garfield Goose" TV show (mid 1960s). Each week, I could hardly wait to see another of these brief episodes. Since TV back then had poorer screen resolution, and reception was often a bit grainy, I never noticed that the actors' mouths were out of synch with the dialogue. Only after looking up this movie on the IMDb.com website did I discover that this movie was not American. It was produced in Czechoslovakia in 1955.

This movie has so much warmth and charm that it overcomes the technical limitations of the day. I just purchased a copy of this movie, and will surely watch it over and over.


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