One Million Years B.C.
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Brand New 4K Restoration! In this vivid view of prehistoric life, a man from the vicious Rock People, Tumak (John Richardson, Black Sunday) is banished from his home, but soon finds himself living among the kind, gentle Shell People. There, he falls in love with the beautiful Loana (Raquel Welch, 100 Rifles, Fuzz, Fathom), in the role that made her an international sex symbol and a major star. The two decide to strike out on their own, living by their wits in a deadly land of treacherous beasts and unknown dangers, leading to a thrilling climax by the edge of an angry volcano. The stunning primeval creatures were created by the legendary special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen (The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms). One Million Years B.C., a true science-fiction classic, was directed by Don Chaffey (Jason and the Argonauts) and featured a strong supporting cast that included Martine Beswick (Thunderball), Robert Brown (The Living Daylights), Percy Herbert (Too Late the Hero) and Yvonne Horner (Prehistoric Women). The 100-minute international cut and the 91-minute U.S. cut are both included on this Blu-ray.
Special Features: 4K Restoration of the "91-minute U.S. Cut" | Audio Commentary by Film Historian Tim Lucas | In the Valley of the Dinosaurs: Interview with Star Raquel Welch | An Interview with SFX Legend Ray Harryhausen | Interview with Actress Martine Beswick | Animated Montage of Posters and Images | Trailers
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One Million Years B.C. is one of the odder Harryhausen films, there is little dialogue except in the narrative. The creatures in the film are mostly actual dinosaurs that lived at one time and the film just has a different feel with its melodramatic overtones.
The story of Tumak the cave man and his adventures, discovering new cultures and life threatening obstacles is both fun and humorous at times. It's easy to laugh at cavemen grunting and using only the simplest forms of communication. We know this, cave men like meat, they like women, are very competitive and don't give a Rat's A$$ about the weak or elderly.
The real reason to enjoy this film is to marvel over Ray Harryhausen's wonderful special effects. I've been a fan of Ray's since I was a small child in the early 60's watching his early black and white films on TV. I was lucky enough to see many of his early color films on the big screen at Saturday Matinees in my local theater. Yes, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (double billed with Jack the Giant Killer), Jason and the Argonauts and One Million Years B.C. were among the many to shape my youth and love for stop motion effects. It wouldn't be until The Golden Voyage of Sinbad that I would see a Ray Harryhausen film first run in a theater and actually go to see it because it was a Ray Harryhausen film.
This new 2 disc blu ray release is near perfect, first and for most we get both the U.S. and original U.K. versions of the film looking their best ever. Each version of the film gets it's own disc with a few nice bonus features. The features include commentary on the U.K. version, U.K trailer (rough looking but it's here) and a poster and stills gallery On the U.S. version disc we get a 12 interview with RH himself, an 8 minute one with Raquel Welch and a 16 minute one with Martine Beswick (one of the cave women, who shares some candid stories) and the U.S. trailer (also rough looking, but not as bad as the U.K. version) It would have been nice to include a featurette on the film, but if you own any of Harryhausen's documentaries you already have all that has been said about this extraordinary artist.
The new 4K transfer for both films looks beautiful and identical with the exception of the added scenes. The U.K. cut, (which I do not believe I have seen before) is the superior version, fleshing out some scenes that seemed insignificant in the U.S. cut. The dinosaur scenes have some extra time and both intro and ending of the film are different, not so much as to change the story, but the way they are presented.
I'm pleased they included both versions because they do have a little different feel to them. I grew up watching the U.S. version so it will save some shelf space to be able to discard my old DVD copy.
If you're a fan of this film or Ray's work, this is a no brainer, I doubt we will see a better release of this film. the transfer looks virtually flawless with only a few shots of the landscape where the film appears soft. This is one of the best treatments of one of Mr. Harryhausen's films on blu ray and a must buy for fans.
THE STORY: The film chronicles the daily struggle for life during prehistoric times between the savage, single-minded Stone People & the more advanced, enlightened Seashell Tribe. Meanwhile, rumbling volcanoes blow up while bloodthirsty dinosaurs prowl the landscape and soar through the skies, terrorizing everything & everyone in site.
THOUGHTS: Perhaps the greatest combination to ever grace a motion picture are featured in ONE MILLION YEARS B.C., as legendary stop-motion F/X artist extraordinaire Ray Harryhausen teams his considerable talents with Raquel Welch's tanned, oil-slathered breasts - two talents which are pretty considerable on their own. Seriously though, has there ever been a more luscious, stunning woman than Raquel in this film?? Undoubtedly responsible for launching many a young boy headlong into puberty, Raquel Welch is just about the sexiest thing ever here. Ray's stop-mo dinos are among his best work too, with the blood-soaked battle between John Richardson & a rampaging Allosaurus being a real standout. Impressive locations accentuated by excellent cinematography really help sell the picture's barren prehistory look while an arresting orchestral score & inventive sound effects design by composer Mario Nascimbene add aural flavor to the stone-age proceedings.
THE BLU-RAY: Kino Lorber brings us this classic Saturday creature feature staple in glorious hi-def. The U.S. cut received a full 4k restoration; a really superb upgrade of both video & audio quality, well worth double dipping - if you already own the DVD. A bevy of rock solid bonus features make this purchase a no-brainer for fans & collectors. Among them are interviews with stars Raquel Welch & Martine Bestwick, a vintage interview with the late Ray Harryhausen, an interesting full-length audio commentary from film historian Tim Lucas, photo galleries, trailers, and more. Don't wait one million years to buy this one! Highly, highly recommended.
++++++ Five Stars
Rachel Welch. Lots of Thrills! This movie is a lot like 'Clan Of The Cave Bear' with Darrell Hannah but I think it is better.