8 November 2005 | xerses13
Always a Halloween Favorite
My brother and I first saw ONE MILLION B.C. in the 1960's. It was always shown in our area as part of a one (1) week Halloween celebration on the local channel. We liked it then and I still think highly of it now. This is a fun and for its subject matter gentle film and find it more enjoyable then the technically superior Ray Harryhausen remake. It is very easy on the eyes in B&W compared to the rather harsh color of ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. It also boasts a very enjoyable and sentimental musical score.
The acting is credibly done to the level of the subject matter. Mr. Chaney, Mature and Ms. Landis are not performing RICHARD III. We believe in their characterizations because they are sincere and not over the top. The Special Visual Effects of course could have used Willis O'Brien (yes, we knew they were lizards even back then in the 60s) but there are several convincing scenes. The drift down the river with various creatures in the background, the march through the jungle pursued by what appears to be a Armadillo, duel of the dinosaurs in the desert and finally the Volcano and the saving of the Shell People. All are well mounted and succeeded in their intent which we don't believe was to scare the audience but to involve them in the story line. You wanted these characters to succeed against nature and each other.
So take a chance on this one (1). In fact watch both versions and I bet you will come back with a better appreciation of what the Hal Roach Studio presented. Hopefully they will reissue (restored) on DVD. It needs it badly since like KING KONG it suffered much in re-releases and sale to television and bits and pieces that have been grafted into so many 1950's horror/sci-fi films. Like THINGS TO COME it would be nice to see it in its original premier release.