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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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Before Luke Skywalker, there was Doug McClure... His John Dark-Kevin Connor fantasy adventures were a mainstay of Summer holiday movies in the days before Star Wars: they weren't masterpieces, they didn't boast state-of-the-art special effects, but they were exactly what an audience of kids wanted from a film back in the mid 70s.

The poster for The Land That Time Forgot made it look like this was going to be the greatest film ever made when I was a kid - dinosaurs, U-boats, cavemen, erupting volcanoes and Doug McClure: how could it NOT be great? Well, this being the mid-70s, the crummy special effects in the form of Roger Dicken's prehistoric puppets don't exactly give Jurassic Park a run for its money. But still, this low-budget adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' terrific adventure novel does have some good ideas in its script as well as dinosaurs, U-boats, cavemen, erupting volcanoes and Doug McClure, so it's not a total wash, and compared to the incredibly poor sequel, The People That Time Forgot, which threw away all that was best about the premise, it's still fun, if somewhat muted. And it has a really great poster.

Cinema Club's original UK DVD boasted a decent but not outstanding widescreen transfer with UK theatrical trailer, stills gallery and an original featurette on the making of the film from its first release. StudioCanal's 2012 re-release seems to keeps the same transfer but replaces the extras with new interviews with director Kevin Connor and co-star Susan Penhaligon.
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on 22 June 2011

World War I.The survivors of a torpedoed British Merchant ship launch a daring raid on a German U-Boat, taking over command following a vicious hand-to-hand fight. Following various attempts at revolution and counter revolution on board the cramped boat, the German and British survivors form an uneasy truce when they discover the lost world of Caprona, a place of prehistoric beasts, tribes of primitive humans and also a place where evolution has been thrown out of the window as creatures from different time periods live side by side. There is also the very real threat of a volcano close to eruption. Can the fragile truce between the men hold out long enough for them to escape from the land that time forgot?
Much is made of the poor quality special effects in this film. In fact, many critical reviews use this as a reason to lambast the film as a whole. This is entirely unfair as 'The Land That Time Forgot', an adaptation of an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel, is a lot more than just a Boys Own adventure.
Okay, the dinosaurs on display may look like they have come out of a cereal packet, but I find the rather primitive models just add to the charm of the film. This is especially the case with the two Tyrannosaur's who resemble Waldorf and Statler from the Muppet Show as they wobble and gurn in front of the astounded humans.
However, whilst the dinosaur puppets could be considered a failure, the world of Caprona is designed and imagined very successfully. The various human tribes are also well realised.
Of the actors, John Mcenery, despite being dubbed by German actor Anton Diffring, is very likeable as measured Captain Von Schoenvorts, while a pre-Doctor Who Anthony Ainley also does well as the treacherous Dietz. Doug Mclure is well, Doug Mclure, perfectly adequate as the rugged leading man Bowen Tyler, though Susan Penhaligon is rather bland as the sole female survivor. The rest of the cast is made up by a whos-who of 70's British character actors.
The interesting script by British fantasy author Michael Moorcock throws many fascinating concepts into the mix, but in the end it's Bowen Tyler's fists that do the talking, as the survivors desperately try to leave Caprona before the volcano spews its deadly contents onto the fragile earth.
The success of The Land That Time Forgot led to a sequel, The People That Time Forgot, and a brief but lucrative foray into the fantasy genre by Amicus films. I love every minute of the film, wobbly dinosaurs and all, as it was a childhood favourite of mine, and I feel it holds up extremely well nearly forty years after it was made.
As for the dvd, it has a decent picture and sound quality, the main extra being a rather grainy 'making of' featurette. 5 out of 5.
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on 26 August 2012
Okay, it`s the The Land that time forgot, from 1975, so, you probably won`t be expecting a Spielberg-esque extravaganza (even if the fantastic DVD cover suggests otherwise). Still, TLTTF is nice, nostalgic (for those of a certain age), entertaining monster movie from a pre-CGI age. My main gripe is with the sound quailty on this particular DVD; the music soundtrack sounds terrible. I don`t remember the strings and brass sounding so wobbly and "jittery" and the voice parts occasionally sound like the actors are delivering their lines in a phonebox. The picture quality itself isn`t that great either, but I`m putting that down to the age of the movie (although, I am sure I have seen better quality versions of this movie on other DVD versions).
This particular DVD comes with two bonus feature interviews; one with actress, Susan Penhaligon, and director, Kevin Connor, and that`s about it.
Okay, rubbery hand puppet monsters aside, TLTTF offers cheesy, 70s entertaining, Saturday afternoon fun (maybe not for very young children); it`s just a pity the DVD quality is a bit of a let down.
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on 2 June 2008
I enjoyed the initial cinematic release of this in SUMMER 1975, and appreciate it all the more now, having discovered some facts of it's production history. Basically, this had an allocated budget of £750,000....a modest amount even in 1974, and remarkable considering the minor miracles the production team conjured up in retrospect.

To put this into perspective, the DINO DE LAURENTIS 'KING KONG' of 18 months later cost a staggering 24, 000,000 dollars in comparison, and there is no way that DINO'S 'KONG' delivered thrill-value per dollar in comparison to what this UK AMICUS production achieved.

DOUG McCLURE and SUSAN PENHALIGON serve as the usual anchors to the splendidly atmospheric, evocative mythical lost plateau-world of CAPRONA, ---brilliantly realized via scenic mountainous matte-paintings, tastefully-lit, lush miniature jungle settings, with ice-bound, craggy terrains an added bonus.
Most of this is highly successfully reproduced by intricately-constructed, character-filled miniature sets, usually filmed in high-speed [read:'slow-motion'] photography to increase the sense of mass.

In this age of over-produced CGI [which once stunned and amazed]the DINOSAUR effects on display here,---- essentially elaborate rod-puppets by ROGER DICKENS, augmented by sections of full-scale mock-ups------belong in a wholly seperate category to the frame-by-frame animated models of the O'BRIEN/HARRYHAUSEN school. Some commentaters detract from the DINO-effects on display here, but I personally find them a welcome and refreshing change, and they interact with actual flames and miniature foilage in a way that other MONSTER effects simply can't---[There are also a couple of shots that appear to reference shots of stricken DINOS from the 1933 KONG].

An actual WW1 U-boat was used in this production, to great effect.

This gem of a monster-flick happily takes rightful place in my monster-MOVIE DVD COLLECTION,alongside the '33 and 2005 KONGS, as well as HARRYHAUSEN'S works.

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The Land That Time Forgot is directed by Kevin Connor and adapted to screenplay by Michael Moorcock & James Cawthorn from the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel of the same name. It stars Doug McClure, Keith Barron, John McEnery, Susan Penhaligon, Anthony Ainley and Declan Mulholland. Music is by Douglas Gamley and cinematography by Alan Hume. It is the first of four feature films featuring the pairing of director Kevin Connor and actor Doug McClure. Story is set during World War I and sees an uneasy alliance formed between enemies on board a German U-Boat after it drifts for miles and lands in a lost world of dinosaurs and cavemen.

Rationale goes out the window, as does any hope of quality thesping, in the sort of cheese laden creature feature that thrilled many a child back in the mid to late 1970's. Film was enough of a success that it spawned three more films of the same ilk; At the Earth's Core (1976), The People That Time Forgot (1977) and Warlords of Atlantis (1978). Of the four, this is the one that arguably has the most about it in terms of plotting and character development. Certainly it's the biggest budgeted of the four. In fact for the first third of the picture it's distinctly un-child friendly, as story focuses on characters from opposite sides of the war clashing on board the U-Boat after the torpedoing of the ship housing the allies. But once the boat reaches arctic climes and wades thru to the sunnier "other side", it's all prehistoric puppets, fisticuffs and square jawed heroics from McClure. Ultimately a fun boys own adventure without sensible trappings.

Not as outrageously fun as At the Earth's Core, but a decent launching pad for the 70's creature feature niche created by Connor and McClure. 6.5/10
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on 28 December 2015
This is a favorite of mine from childhood. Based on Edgar Rice Burrough's novel (with remarkable improvements to the story by screenwriter Michael Moorcock). The film looks quite grainy and has a faded look to it, though I don't find myself bothered too much by this. There's a neat little documentary about the making of the film and an interview with a grandson of Burroughs included on this disc.
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on 18 June 2007
The land that time forgot is surely the jurassic park of the 70's.

A Movie with action and suspense which will take your breath away.

Of-course the effects are not saying much and the dinos look fake but still are great considering the fact that we are talking about a movie which was made 33 years ago.

I Remember watching this movie in a theater in the 70's and i will never forget the final scene with the submarine to go down through the flaming waters.

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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 1 February 2014
I used to watch this with my friends when it was on TV in the eighties. I’d seen a fair few war films and, back then, the prospect of Germans and Allied forces teaming up seemed pretty freaky and intriguing to me.

The Land That Time Forgot follows the exploits of a German U-boat crew who get overpowered by a lifeboat full of civilians who they actually just sank (no, seriously they do… just go with it – it’s worth it). Anyway, the U-boat gets lost and ends up in a secret land of dinosaurs and cavemen. There, they must work together to escape.

I’d forgotten how much of the film actually takes place before they arrive on the island. Maybe I only watched the second half with the dinosaurs? But it doesn’t matter. It sets the scene perfectly – displaying the tensions between the two crews.

Then they get to the island and generally ravaged by dinosaurs. Only they’re not really dinosaurs, they’re large rubbery monsters. Hey, it was pre-CGI and Jurassic Park – what do you expect? But, again, don’t let that put you off. If you can get past the dodgy special effects and just immerse yourself in the story, you’ll find that it’s actually quite a tight and tense little number.

What with all the films of the seventies being remade and Hollywood working its way through the latter end of the eighties and even into the nineties, I’m surprised this one never got the remake treatment. It’s probably ripe for one, but, once again, that’s not a detraction from the original. If you have a couple of hours to kill and can forgive a little bit of ham, just go with it. There’s worse about, even with realistic dinosaurs!
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on 13 October 2008
The Land That Time Forgot [1974]

It is very easy for the shallow Star Wars generation to dismiss films like these as poor, mainly because they cannot see beyond the set dressing. Yes, the effects are ropey by today's standards. They were not that hot in their day compared with the work of Ray Harryhausen. But try looking beyond this and you will see a well plotted and nicely constructed movie boasting an intelligent script (co written by Michael Moorcock). The theme of the lost world being some kind of giant womb (where its species go through various stages of evolution) give it an innovative touch over other dinosaur flicks. And it is not badly acted either, even if John McCenery had to be dubbed by Anton Differing to cover up his initial "Cardboard German" performance. Ignore the trendy negatives. Grab and enjoy as gold old fashioned Saturday matinnee entertaiment.
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on 15 October 2014
this movie is another old time Jurassic park job. we see plastic dinosaurs and rubber lizards doing their business.
but despite all this the film is a joy to watch. a scientifically thought provoking film about evolution of life all shown on this long lost volcanic island. many ideas can be drawn from this film. such as English and german officers forgetting their war differences in the wake of such a discovery of a natural marvel.
a film with aspects of 1million years b.c and Jurassic park lost world that shows the comparisons between stone age and modern men. a scientifically topical film I recommend to topically minded viewers.
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