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3.9 out of 5 stars87
3.9 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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VINE VOICEon 14 March 2006
This film is truly awful! I am a great fan of Jean M. Auel, she must cringe every time someone mentions the film to her. It does the book NO justice at all.
The only thing it gets right is that Daryl Hannah does look like Ayla, but not worth watching the film for,
Sorry to disappoint, but believe me, you will be more disappointed if you sit through the film.
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on 15 December 2009
If you've read the book, you'll be slightly disappointed that some elements of the story were changed - but let's face it, emulating J M Auel's story in cine in its entirety would be more than one dvd's worth!
Immerse yourself instead in the marvellous scenery and cinematography of the struggle (daily) for life in this marvellous interpretation of one girl's story of adoption by (almost) animals and re-learning social and life skills vital to survival. Put yourself in the place of the subject and wonder how you would cope amid the dangers and the practical problems the modern world never challenges us with any more.
Thoroughly enjoyable. I had the VHS tape of this beforehand, and wondered whether I'd ever get a replacement when DVDs came out and my VHS player gave up the ghost. Will be treasured as long as I live.
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on 3 October 2014
I enjoyed the film very much and glad i bought it despite the negative reviews. There is only so much of an Epic novel you can fit in one film and i think it was done to the best effect possible. Yes the book is fantastic and amazing, but if you want an easy evening doing nothing then the film is great too.
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on 27 February 2011
I have all Jean Auel's books and have read them over and over, she tells a great story of Ayla the young woman who faced and overcame terrible challenges and discovered amazing innovations in her quest for acceptance. This film attempts to follow the first book in which Ayla, losing her family in an earthquake at 5 years old, is found by a Neanderthal tribe called the Clan and her experiences growing up in a tribe fundamentally different to her own lost people. Unfortunately the film fails miserably in its attempt to capture the book. There are so many faults it would be hard to list them all. For a start the make up artist should get the sack - the so-called Neanderthals just looked like modern man with lots of eyebrow pencil wearing Tina Turner wigs and animal furs. They didn't even attempt to find actors who were especailly hairy, let alone primitive looking. The sign language, which in the book was beautiful, subtle and rich with nuances of gesture and posture, was portrayed as extremely primitive, the body language was gross and many incidents portrayed inaccurately (eg when Ayla fights Broud at the end of the film, they're tussling in the dirt, but in the book she just stands and shouts at him and he just raises his arm as if to strike her). There is no attempt made to show the rich cultural heritage and spiritual life of the Clan as told in the book. And what about the bit in the book where Ayla finds a mate for her infant son at the Caln gathering, where did that go then? I could go on and on.
Ayla was supposed to be eleven when she gave birth to her son (who was supposed to look half Neanderthal but no attempt made there), so they should have had the young girl actress-Ayla play that part, rather than Daryl Hannah. (OK, maybe child protection may have played a part in having Daryl play the rape scene). In the book she was only 14 when she left the Clan; well Daryl is clearly a good choice of actress for the part, leggy, blonde and good at playing this type of character, but she no way looks 14. There is an awful lot glossed over or missed out that was in the book, such as the months Ayla spent training herself with the sling and getting jumped by a lynx. They have a truly lame narrative voice-over which they could have just read from the book and it would have been so much better, but instead they chose to make it up and totally depart from the text, almost creating a whole other story, a simplified nursery version that insults the viewer.
On the plus side, the scenery was nice......
I consider this a lame, shoddy, cheap effort and will be selling my copy back to Amazon. I await a better version, it could so easily be a blockbuster if someone invested and researched enough to make a six-film series of all the books!
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on 24 October 2009
I've wanted to see this film ever since I read the book and heard a film had been made from it. Now that I have seen it, I can understand why it's taken me about 20 years to find a copy to watch.

There are many films which fail to capture the depth (or, in some cases, even the plots) of the books they're based on, but this is the first one I've ever seen which, in my opinion, is detrimental to the book. It's as if, having realised that the depth of the book was too great for a film to encapsulate, the director decided not even to bother trying. I can't imagine anyone who, being unfamiliar with Jean M. Auel's books, would watch this film and be inspired to get the book. In fact, I can't imagine anyone who is unfamiliar with the book even understanding the story. Most of the exposition of the plot was incomprehensible even to me, and I've read the book five times or more. Even the ending was a flat anticlimax, rather than the emotionally-charged cliff-hanger that leads on to "Valley of Horses". There could certainly never be a rational sequel from this film, as it deprived the story of all of the hooks on which "Valley of Horses" was based.

If you've never seen this film, don't bother. Read the book instead.
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on 12 June 2006
I agree with the first reviewer, I adore the books but this film was truly awful. I saw it when it released at the cinema which is some years ago now and the only memorable thing was how dreadful it was.
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on 31 October 2009
When I first saw this film I thought it was ok, not the best acted or indeed the best directed film in the world, but it had one important role. It got me reading the earth children series and for that I believe it has really done a good job, for I left the film wanting to know more.
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on 11 January 2004
This is a unique story that is beautifully written. The acting is also quite good. However, if you are a big fan of the books it is harder to enjoy becuase of many changes made. I would recomend that you watch it but that you should understand before you do that it is quite different and many people who like the books do not like the movie.
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on 6 April 2015
I loved this film. I read all of the books in the series and really enjoyed them. this film ended a bit abruptly; like they intended to make more films to carry on the series but then never did. What a shame. Brilliant way the characters spoke with gestures and you got the subtitles to show what it meant. When I saw the film had subtitles I thought it meant the commentary/narration but they wasn't so; only the gestures and grunts of the language were subtitled.
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on 31 October 2014
I read the books and I still found it hard to follow the storyline. I gave up part way through. The books were very good.
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