One Million B.C. (1940) - Reviewed by: Jason S. Lockard
Hal Roach was the comedy king producing many of the great short films of all time. But in 1940 he took a huge gamble to make a full length adventure feature film set in the year "100 Million B.C.". Now the fine folks at The Sprocket Vault have given this 1940's classic a blu-ray release. Let's check it out!
The film starts off in modern-day 1940, when a group of hikers caught in a storm seek shelter in a cave. They encounter an anthropologist (Conrad Nagel) who interprets prehistoric carvings that introduce the story of a young caveman.
The film than goes back 100 million years to tell the story of two cave tribes the uncivilized Rock tribe and the peaceful Shell tribe. Tumak played by Victor Mature is the son of Rock tribe leader Akhoba played by Lon Chaney Jr. There is a struggle between father and son as Tumak wants to be taken seriously as a warrior.
Tumak after the struggle and a horrific fall finds himself in the midst of the Shell tribe. Tumak tries to adjust to the different lifestyle of the peaceful Shell tribe, he soon falls in love with Shell tribe leader's daughter Loana played by Carol Landis. No matter how hard he tries he just can not seem to fit in with the Shell tribe. After an altercation he is banished by the Shell tribe leader. So Tumak and Loana break out onto there own. This is when the adventure truly begins. Will Tumak and Loana survive? You got to check out the film to find out.
The film was written by Mickell Novack, George Baker and Joseph Fricket and directed by Hal Roach and Hal Roach Jr. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards for its special effects and musical score. Between the erupting volcano and it's destruction and the stop motion effects of the dinosaurs this movie is something special. I am a sucker for that kind of monster effects. The stop motion dinosaurs are great no wonder they were nominated for the special effects.
This blu-ray release features the full 80 minute film in aspect ratio 1:37:1 and audio mono. The bonus features on this blu-ray includes a commentary track by film expert Toby Roam, which is a nice bonus giving us insight into the film and there is a bonus photo gallery featuring stills and movie posters.
So the transfer of the movie is really nice. Granted it's a full screen version so you have the black bars on the side of your high definition TV. But that is because the film was shot in full screen so there is not really much you can do about that!
I really enjoyed this film many of you may have only seen the 1966 remake of this film starring Raquel Welch. Well, I think it's time you check out the original! The 1940 version. It's a pretty good little classic.
So if your a fan of classic adventure films this is one who have to check out. Head over to www.amazon.com and get your copy today! Also don't forget to check out more great releases from The Sprocket Vault at: www.thesprocketvault.com.
Moral Rating: mild violence
Genre: action adventure
Length: 80 Minutes
Blu-ray Released: 2017