From 'King Kong' to 'Journey to the Center of the Earth' to 'Jurassic Park,' audiences have flocked to era-bending flicks for decades, no doubt inspired by every child's desire to see living dinosaurs. Fitting in with that desire is 'The Land That Time Forgot,' our free movie of the day.
The idea of dinosaurs and primitives walking among modern man, as penned by Edgar Rice Burroughs in 'The Land That Time Forgot,' has proved a hugely appealing theme for filmmakers since the book's 1918 publication.
From 'King Kong' to 'Journey to the Center of the Earth' to 'Jurassic Park,' audiences have flocked to era-bending flicks for decades, no doubt inspired by every child's desire to see living dinosaurs.
In 1975, British film company Amicus Productions brought Burroughs' novel to life working with a screenplay by Michael Moorcock and the directorial hand of Kevin Connor. The plot involves a group of British and German castaways forced by circumstance to share a wayward U-boat during WWI. Lost and in need of food, water and fuel, they chance into an underground river on the "lost continent" of Caprona, and end up fighting for their survival in a land that is home to myriad plants, creatures and humans from various stages of pre-history. Dinos and cavemen and sailors, oh my!
Doug McClure plays Bowen Tyler, the film's narrator and protagonist. As one of only a handful of people to survive the torpedoing of a British freighter by the German U-boat, he orchestrates its takeover and leads a band of would-be enemies as they fight all manner of giant reptile puppets and prosthetically-enhanced stuntman. John McEnery is Captain von Schoenvorts who, while initially intent on killing Tyler, ends up embracing his inner scientist as he's confronted with things he'd only read about in textbooks. Susan Penhaligon is biologist Lisa Clayton whose character is uncharacteristically (for such a film) competent. No mere eye candy, she not only saves Tyler's life but does most of the caveman talk translations for the crew.
From the goofy allosaurs to the model subs and ships, even to the tone of the film, the whole movie has the look and feel of something made a decade or two prior to its 1975 release. The acting, however, is solid all around and once the action moves off the submarine the pacing is pretty quick. Plus, there are some pretty cool fight scenes between man and dino that are worth the price of admission -- which is free as 'The Land That Time Forgot' is our free movie of the day.