One Million Years B.C.
is a 1966
(released in the United States
in 1967) adventure film
starring Raquel Welch
set - loosely - in the time of cavemen
. The film was made by UK's Hammer Film Productions
, and was a remake of the 1940 Hollywood
film One Million B.C.
. It is marketed with the tagline "Travel back through time and space to the edge of man's beginnings...discover a savage world whose only law was lust!
The film is largely ahistorical. It portrays dinosaurs and man living together, whereas dinosaurs died out some 64 million years prior to the date at which the film is set. Also, a million years ago the closest thing to a modern human being was Homo erectus. Harryhausen has stated in a commentary of the unfinished film, Creation, shown on the King Kong 1933 DVD, that he did not make One Million Years B.C. for "professors" who in his opinion "probably don't go to the cinema anyway."
Tumak, a caveman from the Rock tribe, is banished to the harsh desert because of a fight with his father, Akoba, the tribal leader. After surviving many dangers, such as a giant lizard and a giant spider, he collapses on a remote beach, where he is spotted by "Loana the Fair One" and her fellow fisherwomen of the Shell Tribe. They are about to help him when an Archelon
(which is three times the size of the actual prehistoric Archelon
) makes its way to the beach. After the men of the Shell Tribe fend the giant turtle away, they take Tumak to their village, where Loana tends to him. The Shell Tribe are much more advanced and civilized than the Rock Tribe.
When Loana and some men are fishing, an Allosaurus attacks and Loana is trapped. After saving her from the Allosaurus, the men fight the Allosaurus. Several of the men are killed before Tumak impales the Allosaurus with a spear and kills it. After Tumak attempts to steal a spear from one of the people of the Shell Tribe, the Shell Tribe casts him out. However, Ahot, one of the tribe, gives Tumak a spear in recognition for what he did for them. Meanwhile, Tumak's brother, Sakana, tries to kill their father in order to take power; while Akoba survives, Sakana is the new leader. As this happens, the twice exiled Tumak and Loana go on a journey and encounter a Ceratosaurus, which fights a Triceratops in a battle. Tumak watches the Triceratops gore the Ceratosaurus to death.
The outcasts wander back into the Rock tribe's territory and Loana meets the tribe, but again there are altercations. Chief among them is the fight that ensues between Tumak's current love interest, Loana, and his old girlfriend, "Nupondi the Wild One". While she is bathing one day, Loana gets snatched into the air by a female Pteranodon, who drops her bleeding into the sea after he is attacked by a male Eudimorphodon. Tumak believes her dead, but she has survived the ordeal. The Rock tribe, jealous of the advanced Shell Tribe, goes to war and fights until the whole land is engulfed by a volcanic eruption. As the film ends, Tumak, Loana, and the surviving members of the tribes set off to find a new home.
- As the Shell People are attacked by a giant turtle, the women call it "Archelon" which is the real scientific name for the animal.
- Robert Brown (Akhoba) wears makeup similar to that worn by Lon Chaney Jr. in the same role in the 1940 version One Million B.C.
- The exterior scenes were filmed at Lanzarote and Tenerife in the Canary Islands in the middle of winter.
- This was touted as the 100th production of Hammer Film Productions (which it wasn't).
- The film uses two live creatures: a Green iguana and a tarantula. Ray Harryhausen has been asked repeatedly about these two un-animated creatures and he confesses that they were his idea. At the time he felt that the use of real creatures would convince the audience that all of what they were about to see was indeed real.
- As there were no active volcanoes in the Canary Islands they had to construct an 6-7 foot high volcano on the ABPC studio back lot. The eruption lava explosions and lava flows were composed of a mixture of wallpaper paste, oatmeal, dry ice and red dye.
- The publicity shot of Welch from the movie became more famous than the movie itself, becoming a best-selling poster and somewhat of a cultural phenomenon. The image can be recognized by people around the world, even among those who are not familiar with the film. Many noted photographers had been flown to Tenerife by 20th Century Fox on a publicity junket, but the iconic pose of Welch was taken by the unit still photographer, who never made anything more than his weekly salary for his world-famous work. It was the last poster on the wall of Andy's cell in The Shawshank Redemption. The warden refers to her as "Miss Fuzzybritches".
- Roughly nine minutes were cut from the American print, including a provocitave dance from Martine Beswick and a gruesome end to one of the ape-men in the cave.