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Iceman 1984

3.3 out of 5 stars (7) IMDb 6.1/10

Academy Award winner Timothy Hutton and John Lone star along with Lindsay Crouse in this suspenseful drama about a team of Arctic researchers who find a 40,000 year-old man frozen in ice and bring him back to life. When the Iceman becomes part of their lives, the results are both moving and emotionally shattering.

Starring:
Timothy Hutton, Lindsay Crouse
Runtime:
1 hour, 40 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Crime
Director Fred Schepisi
Starring Timothy Hutton, Lindsay Crouse
Supporting actors John Lone, Josef Sommer, David Strathairn, Philip Akin, Danny Glover, Amelia Hall, Richard Monette, James Tolkan, Stephen E. Miller, David Petersen, Judith Berlin, Paul Batten, Lovie Eli, Stephen Nemeth, Réal Andrews, Bob Reimer, Blair Anderson, Dave Ryder
Studio Universal Pictures
BBFC rating Parental Guidance
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
...this has to be one of the best 'caveman' films ever made. it has dated in a few places - notably 'computer game' entertainment (but hey it is set in a base in antartica, maybe they're a bit behind!!) but otherwise it stands up very solidly. Fred Schepisi directs it incredibly well with awesum photography and pace. The real win is Hutton and Lone - their performances are (i think) the best of both their careers! John Lone's make up is on the Neandertal side of cro magnon but realistic and captivating, only enhancing an electric performance. Timothy Hutton is brilliant as the misunderstood anthropologist and the cast around them is outstanding.

Overall a great example of what to expect should we ever discover an iced iceman: scientific arguements, trivial executive powerplays, moral ethics vs medical ethics, privacy abuses, and political/social mindgames! very reminiscent of the situation with Otzi the 'real iceman' whos frozen body was found in the swiss/french Alps.

A thought provoking film that hits its target - i recommend for all interested in our paleo history and our regression as a forward thinking civilization. top marks.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Despite its schlock premise, Fred Schepisi's Iceman is a different kettle of fish altogether, a big-budget attempt to look at what might really happen if a Neanderthal were discovered preserved in a block of ice and somehow brought back to life. Not that that's the original intention when scientists at a Canadian Arctic mining station start a dissection that suddenly turns into a resuscitation in a scene that varies between the unexpected, intriguing and achingly drawn out in a way that sets the tone for the rest of the film's strengths and weaknesses.

In many ways it feels more like a Peter Weir film than an Schepisi one, as if producers Norman Jewison and Patrick Palmer accidentally hired the wrong Aussie. The emphasis is on the conflict between pure science (represented by Lindsay Crouse) and a more spiritual approach to unlocking the iceman's secrets (represented by anthropologist Timothy Hutton) because "Maybe his spirit can teach us more than his flesh," with John Lone's confused living fossil trying to make sense of the new world he finds himself while others argue over his fate and whether he's a human being or merely a laboratory specimen. Unfortunately the film never quite manages to be as compelling as it could, with the emphasis on realism often translating into long slow patches that make it a film that's often easier to approve of than really enjoy. Flitting between failure and success, and often for the same reasons, it's a film that's easier to appreciate after you've seen it than while you're watching it, but its still a worthwhile one.

At times it plays almost like a benign version of The Thing with a lower body count (there is one violent escape attempt that's handled surprisingly credibly even if it does feel it was added purely to add a bit of excitement).
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Format: DVD
A group of scientists stumble upon a fully frozen Neanderthal, whose cells seem to have miraculous not been ravaged by the subzero temperatures and long term prison. It is these cells the scientists wish to harvest and study as a means of advancing cryogenics. Little do they know that their attempts revitalize the Neanderthal and in turn lead to an even bigger scientific, and personal, feat.

While it doesn't drastically stray from the 'fish out of water/unlikely friends' tropes, the usually comic Fred Schepsi actually pulls in a fairly decent sci-fi drama. Sure, some of the science here is a fairly sizeable stretch, but John Lone's outstanding and sympathetic performance as Charlie the Neanderthal easily carries to film. His simian movements, expressionistic grunting and the incredible make up utterly sell him in the role, and he completely vanishes into it. The rest of the cast include the likes of Timothy Bottoms, Lindsay Crouse, David Strathairn and Danny Glover as the various scientists, though Bottoms plays the main one who bonds with Charlie, and he does fine, being the typical 'nerd with a good heart' but Lone eclipses him.

The film also does a good job capturing the frigid and lonely landscapes of the Arctic region, with plenty of snow covered vistas, wide chasms and pastel blue skies, very much contrasting an ancient natural world with the tech of the science base. The score by Bruce Smeaton also captures a similar vibe, going for a very ethnic/tribal sound with plenty of woodwind, and comes off as both touching yet also complementary, and never too obnoxious or grand to upstage the story or the actual emotions. In fact, it actually reminded me a lot of Jerry Goldsmith's work.
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Format: Amazon Video
Although dated by the background music and some overly dramatic and staged scenes the performance of the title role was very convincing and drew an empathic reaction.
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