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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 1966 HAMMER REMAKE HAS EXCELLENT DINOSAURS AND RAQUEL
After the commercial failure of FIRST MEN IN THE MOON, Ray Harryhausen and Charles Schneer briefly parted ways. Schneer made HALF A SIXPENCE; Harryhausen was hired by Hammer Films to do the effects in a proposed remake of the film that inspired his career, KING KONG. Unfortunately, this feature was never made because the rights could not be secured at that time from...
Published on December 19, 1999 by Roy P. Webber

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344 of 351 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware! DVD Is Edited!
Before you order this DVD, make sure you are aware that this is the shortened, U.S. release version! Fox issued the complete film several years ago on laserdisc in a gorgeous widescreen transfer, so naturally everyone expected that they would do the same for the DVD. No such luck -- Fox has decided this time out to go with the notorious truncated version, which runs a...
Published on March 3, 2004 by cameron-vale


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344 of 351 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware! DVD Is Edited!, March 3, 2004
This review is from: One Million Years B.C. (DVD)
Before you order this DVD, make sure you are aware that this is the shortened, U.S. release version! Fox issued the complete film several years ago on laserdisc in a gorgeous widescreen transfer, so naturally everyone expected that they would do the same for the DVD. No such luck -- Fox has decided this time out to go with the notorious truncated version, which runs a full nine minutes shorter than the original British release. Ray Harryhausen fans should be particularly outraged, as the edited film snips away some of his special effects footage. This has to rank as the first major DVD disappointment of 2004.
I love this movie, but I won't be purchasing the U.S. DVD. Immediately upon finding out the bad news, I placed an order through Amazon.co.uk for the complete film on R2 DVD, which, in addition to being uncensored, also features some extras (including reportedly lengthy interviews with Raquel Welch and Ray Harryhausen) that will not be included on the R1 disc. If you are a fan of this richly atmospheric, goofily entertaining dinosaur epic, I recommend you do the same.
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89 of 95 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Widescreen Lovers Beware!, September 20, 2008
By 
This review is from: One Million Years B.C. (DVD)
This is the best cavemen-and-dinosaurs movie ever made! The acting is superb, and, yes, there is a lot of scope for acting in this movie. The plot isn't very subtle, but it concerns the most powerful of all dramatic themes -- survival -- and it is utterly gripping. The scenery is magnificent, and magnificently filmed. The animation by Ray Harryhausen is brilliant and realistic. The score by Mario Nascimbene is awe-inspiring and perfectly appropriate to the action. No, the movie is not scientifically accurate, but that doesn't matter. The movie is fantasy, and should be viewed as a picture, not of the world we live in as it was long ago, but of another world, which might have existed if things had gone differently.

There are some people who laugh at the scene where Tumak is chased by the giant blue iguana, but Ray Harryhausen may have the last laugh, as this is the most realistic part of the movie. In Australia 50,000 years ago, there really were gigantic carnivorous lizards, and there can be no doubt that on some occasions they really did chase down, kill, and eat the ancestors of the Australian aborigines. The lizard is called Megalania today, and it was 30 feet long and 7 feet high in the middle of the back. Its small relative the Komodo dragon is a known man-eater. Of course, Megalania did not look exactly like an iguana, and the shot would have been more realistic with a real Komodo dragon, but a real Komodo dragon would try to eat the cast and crew, and its bite is almost as dangerous as a cobra's. In addition to venom glands which run the whole length of its lower jaw, it harbors a host of nasty bacteria in its mouth. One of these is Yersinia Multocida, which translates roughly as "the bubonic plague relative that kills everything". Iguanas are harmless.

By now you're wondering why I gave the movie one star instead of five.

A close comparison between the DVD version (Region 1) and a full-screen version shown on television reveals that, contrary to the advertising, this is not a widescreen version of the movie. It was made by cutting off the top and bottom of the fullscreen version.

Nor was it made by a careful pan-and-scan process, like the one used to convert movies filmed in Cinemascope into fullscreen versions for television, which tries to ensure that the most important parts of the picture remain centered on the visible screen. Instead, they seem to have cut off the same parts of the picture without regard to what was being shown. Heads and legs of people and dinosaurs are cut off. Spectacular mountain peaks are cut off, leaving a dull brown scene without distinguishing landmarks. In extreme close-ups, people's foreheads and chins are cut off.

If they had advertised this version as a fullscreen version cut down to fit a widescreen TV, that would be truthful and I would have no complaint. But to advertise it as a "widescreen" version, "preserving the original theatrical aspect ratio", is deceptive and misleading.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 1966 HAMMER REMAKE HAS EXCELLENT DINOSAURS AND RAQUEL, December 19, 1999
By 
Roy P. Webber (Escanaba, Michigan) - See all my reviews
After the commercial failure of FIRST MEN IN THE MOON, Ray Harryhausen and Charles Schneer briefly parted ways. Schneer made HALF A SIXPENCE; Harryhausen was hired by Hammer Films to do the effects in a proposed remake of the film that inspired his career, KING KONG. Unfortunately, this feature was never made because the rights could not be secured at that time from the estate of Merian C. Cooper. So Ray suggested they remake a 1940 movie that starred Carole Landis and Victor Mature, and included a multitude of lizards that were photographically enlarged to stand-in as the prehistoric fauna. He felt he could do better here.
The saurians of ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. are expertly crafted in this picture. He collaborated with Arthur Hayward, a preparator at the British Museum of Natural History to design these monsters. Indeed, they are a quantum leap over the previous dinosaurs he animated in the film ANIMAL WORLD ( which has never been released on video ). Oddly enough, Ray did include an iguana optically blown-up as one of the prehistorics; many criticized this move but now it seems more like an homage to the original offering.
Included in the Mesozoic menagerie is a large sea turtle called an Archelon that lumbers its way to the sea in a torpid manner; a battle between a gigantic Ceratosaurus ( scaled to T. Rex proportions ) and a huge Triceratops, and a fight between Pterosaurs while Ms. Welch is clutched in one's talons. The highlight of the stop-motion ensemble is the small Allosaurus that reeks havoc in the Shell Tribe's camp. This creature is almost a carbon copy of a carnosaur he did many years earlier in 16mm footage. It is killed in an excellent coup de grace, impaled on a pole that is a marvel of miniature rear-projection work.
Starring Raquel Welch ( not her first movie role ) and John Richardson as the lovers Loana and Tumak, they represent the "beautiful people" of eons past. The storyline is almost nonexistent here: Tumak is ostracized from the Rock Tribe and wanders the wilderness until he is taken in by the Shell Tribe. Booted out after nearly killing one of its members, he wanders again with Loana in tow. After many encounters with human and animal perils they arrive at the Rock Tribe's camp to attack Tumak's evil brother ( who deposed his dad in a brutal manner ). As the attack is underway, a nearby volcano violently erupts and utterly destroys the landscape.
Martine Beswick and Percy Herbert co-star in this feature. Directed by Don Chaffy, who worked with Harryhausen earlier on JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS. The movie was shot on the Canary Island of Lanzarote and on sets back in England. In spite of the superficial story and the use of contrived "words" as a pigeon language, ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. is an exciting film with plenty of Mesozoic menances and Raquel to please the eyes. Only unsuitable for very young children ( < 5 yrs. of age ).
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular Dinosaur epic with excellent Harryhausen effects, December 3, 2002
By 
Simon Davis (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
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"One Million Years B.C." is always simply dismissed as Raquel Welch in the world's first fur bikini and historically inaccurate in having cave men fighting dinosaurs when the two never shared the earth at anytime. This film is certainly more than that and while no acting masterpiece it is, as an earlier reviewer stated "a classic of sorts". Certainly the Dinosaur animation is top notch and some of the best of its kind and these sequences really make this film a great viewing experience.

The brilliant Ray Harryhausen, long a veteran of stop motion monster animation works his usual magic in this production and comes up with some of his greatest achievements. Produced by Hammer Studios in England here Harryhausen is allowed the full spectrum of dinosaur types and comes up with some creatures that have gone into dinosaur movie folklore. His Pterodactyl which carries Miss Welch off to its rocky nest, the giant turtle and best of all the savage killer Allosaurus and Triceratops are well known images of this production and really create the main interest in this film. Certainly they may not be a spectacular as those of Jurassic Park but in my opinion they are just as brilliant and show a genius's work at his most creative.Being a dinosaur fan I think this is a great film to introduce yourself to this period of evolution.

The storyline of "One Million Years B.C." is an extremely simple one. It depicts the harsh lives of two different types of tribes; the Rock people who are distinguished by their darker features and brutal manner, and the shell people who are fairer and very peaceful. John Richardson plays a member of the rock tribe who is cast out and seeks protection with the shell people who spend their days collecting fruit and fish and growing vegetables. A romance develops between Richardson and Raquel Welch who is the beautiful member of the shell people. The film chronicles their struggles to survive, fight off savage dinosaurs and win acceptance of the tribes. Don't look for detailed character development or insightful dialogue here as the verbal exchanges are made up of assorted grunts and gestures but somehow in this film it works well and the action moves along at a great pace so the attention doesn't lag at all. Certainly this appearance, whatever its acting merits, was the star making role for Raquel Welch and the image of her in the famous fur two piece bikini is one of the visual icons of the 1960's in much the same way as Jane Fonda's outfit in the cult film "Barberella".

"One Million years B.C." benefits greatly from its superb visual qualities first and foremost being the wonderful location photography which was done on the Canary Islands. The sparse, bare landscapes, Volcanic mountain ranges and picturesque ocean vistas really add to the atmosphere of the film and give an eerie feeling of actually being back in a stone age setting. The studio work based around the shell peoples campsite is excellently integrated into this footage and indeed is one of the film's standout points.

Put aside any qualms you have about historical chronology and enjoy some of the best dinosaur animation from the 1960's. I am still amazed today (even in this time of computer generated special effects) by the superbly presented fight sequences between some of the warring dinosaurs so expert is the animation employed. For a beautiful looking film that doesn't pretend to be an academic look at our planet's early life "One Million Years B.C." will be an enjoyable couple of hours viewing.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars RUN AWAY (from this version), May 18, 2007
This review is from: One Million Years B.C. (DVD)
I completely concur with cameron-vale's and shonner's reviews : this version is : 1/ edited and 2/ mutilated at top and bottom of screen to make it look widescreen. Among the edited pieces (I can tell because I have both DVDs, though I do plan to get rid of this one...) : Tumak's erring through the desert ; the feast/dance/ceremony at the tribe's cave ; the fight between two apemen and impaling of the loser's skull ; and quite a lot of isolated shots either shortened or deleted. Worse (if at all possible) : top and bottom of screen missing entirely, which is made all the worse yet by the bonus about the restoration process, that compares an admittedly badly scratched but full screen 1993 film version with the truncated 1996 laserdisc version used for this DVD (as regards the 2002 "restored film version" and "restored video version", I can see absolutely no difference between the two). And to make things complete and irrevocable, there is a bad technical problem : on my player and projector at least, I keep getting blurred lines every couple of frames (every time someone moves, actually...). What is "better" about this version, then ? Well, maybe the fact that you get a couple more languages and a lot of subtitles for the 3 or 4 only sentences of the film (at the very beginning) - including the "English for hearing impaired" that is actually quite fun : "HISSES", "ROAR", that kind of thing all the time ! Or the short demonstration of the restoration process (including its shortcomings, then...). This stops mighty short of being worth the buy. So sorry for the extra bucks, folks, but if you do plan to buy this film (if, like me, you are a Ray Harryhausen fan, for instance, and want to own every picture he ever made - which is now possible at relatively low cost -), go by all means for the British version on amazon.co.uk while it lasts, I promise it's worth every extra penny.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Of Monsters and Fur Bikinis., June 19, 2002
By 
Robert S. Clay Jr. (St. Louis, MO., USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Raquel Welch was a familiar pop-culture, poster icon in the '60s because her astonishing super structure clad in a fur bikini is the stuff of dreams. The story of Loana (Welch) of the peaceful Shell people and Tumak (John Richardson) of the warlike Rock people fails to engage the viewer completely. The stop-motion animation of Ray Harryhausen covers a multitude of sins, however. The special effects carry the movie. Although the first "dinosaur" we see is merely an iquana with rubber fins, blown up to fantastic proportions. This ersatz monster may be typical of Irwin Allen or Bert I. Gordon, but not the superior Ray Harryhausen. A cost conscious producer must have overruled RH on this one. The grim story of stone-age survival and primitive struggle lumbers along until the volcanic conclusion. One problem is the lack of intelligible dialogue and the bewildering use of gestures and grunts that serve as communication. Character development is minimal. The color photography is crisp and clear in the VHS transfer. A distinctive music score adds to the primeval atmosphere. The individual parts of this movie are better than its whole. Oddly, this is a Hammer Films production. It is a definite change of pace from Dracula style horror flicks. Determined sci-fi fans should be pleased. Others should tread carefully. ;-)
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most accurate representation of early human settlers, December 19, 2008
This review is from: One Million Years B.C. (DVD)
This movie is without a doubt the most accurate portrayal of early human civilization I have ever seen. When I think of all the thousands of dollars I wasted on a solid education, I get mad at the fact that all I had to do was spend about 6.99 plus shipping and handling, and I'll get the best history lesson of all.

The movie is all about the hardship our great grandparents had to endure. Giant iguanas, giant sea turtles, and did I mention giant iguanas? I get the pure satisfaction knowing that I come from a long line of giant iguana fighters. It's safe to know that embedded in my dna is the ability to fight large iguanas. But that's not all our great grandparents had to endure. No sir. In fact, every day men had to go out and hunt wild bores. Then the men brought gifts of bore tooth back to their cave wives who wore bikinis and made sea shell necklaces. Little did I know men soon realize hey, instead of using sticks why not put sharp pointing rocks at the end to actually pierce things. After soon discovering this, our great grandparents followed bikini women to swim in a lake only to be captured by a giant dinosaur bird. But that's not all the hardship our great grandmothers had to face. No sir, they had every day disputes which includes someone else touching the other girl's bore tooth and then getting in a hot, sweaty bikini fight for all to watch. We learn that our great grandparents survived in an ever changing world where volcano explodes and people stabbing people and picking up their hot wives in bikini. It appears our grandparents celebrated marriage by picking up their bikini wives and hauling them around like luggage. But that's not all, our grand parents learned that fighting is not an acceptable way of life. I mean when women are running around in bikinis, all the fighting just isn't worth it.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars one million years BC, October 10, 2005
By 
Ben S. Aoyagi "baoyagi" (West Valley City, UT USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Raquel Welch is amazing and just seeing her again is delightful but the story line seems to be edited. There are parts missing in the movie that I remember.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just look at the cover., January 14, 2002
The cover will tell you if you are interested in this movie or not. Raquel Welch in 1967 (it could be 1997 for all I care) running around in a fur bikini in cavemen times. Except for the grunting and screaming there is no dialog, but if you see the cover and want the movie, than dialog doesn't concern you anyway.
Yes it is scientifically inaccurate. Preschoolers know that mankind didn't exist during the dinosaur age. Grade schoolers know that pteradachdils weren't as big as a house. High schoolers should know that there were no set 'stone tribes' and 'shell tribes'. But at this point, after another look at the cover, you don't care.
You want this movie for Raquel obviously. You will not be disappointed. I can't believe they were actually able to develop the celluloid. She's so hot I'm surprised it didn't melt in the process. Her sexuallity is so obvious that any man would love to live in a cave for awhile and eat raw boar with her. Of course her tribe lived at the beach and except for giant turtles, they really had no problems. So be a man and be not ashamed to run right out and order or buy this flick. She made it for you, so by all means enjoy it!
After seeing this, you'll wonder why Bo Derek made the movie '10'. The answer is that Raquel rates an 11 and maybe the world isn't ready for that movie yet.
Raquel Welch? Hubba hubba.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars YIKES! FULL SCREEN MADE TO LOOK LIKE WIDESCREEN!, October 3, 2007
This review is from: One Million Years B.C. (DVD)
gee whiz another classic movie chopped up and whats worse its the short version as well!! one million years bc is the better of the caveman movies released in 1967 with special effects master ray harryhausen.great performances by raquel welch and ralph richardson.this is a full screen print and the top and bottom were hacked off and also this is a shorter version with many scenes deleted,i have to give this superb movie a one star not because of the movie but for the company who hacked this version up.the best advice i can give you is STAY AWAY FROM THIS PRINT and wait for a decent complete version with correct aspect ratio hopefully either anchor bay or criterion would pick this up.........
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One Million Years B.C.
One Million Years B.C. by Don Chaffey (DVD - 2004)
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