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ONE MILLION YEARS BC

Review by Chastity Campbell

Starring: Raquel Welch, John Richardson
Director: Don Chaffey
Video: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Features: See Review
Length:  91 Minutes
Release Date: March 9, 2004

Film ***

Well, I can say one thing about this movie right off…picking a mate has certainly gotten easier over the last One Million, Two Thousand, and Four years.   I always wondered what people did before the internet, and now I know!

John Richardson, and Raquel Welch star in this wonderful look back to a time when dinosaurs ruled the earth and humans were on the low end of the food chain.

The Rock People are a rough and tumble bunch.  Fighting is in their blood, whether it be over who leads the clan, or who gets to kill the latest hunting prize.  When the tribal leader’s son gets a bit too big for his loin cloth, daddy shows him the cave door and says don’t let it hit you in the butt on the way out! 

Traversing the land, John Richardson’s character meets up with some deadly foes:  a giant lizard looking for a human lollipop, a turtle who thinks he’s found a nice little snack, and some ancestors who haven’t quite made it up to the next rung on the evolutionary ladder.

Near death, Richardson falls literally into the arms of the beautiful and elegant Raquel Welch.  Welch comes from a clan called The Shell People.   They are gentled and peace loving, taking only what they need, and living life to the fullest. 

Well, it’s love at first sight, and what follows is the struggle that faces the happy couple as they set out on their own to try and beat the odds and create a new life for themselves, blending both cultures into one. 

I loved this movie!  So much can be said in a film without saying anything at all as long as the photography and music beds are descriptive.  This film was running over with symbolism, wonderful camera shots, landscapes and great music beds. 

One Million Years B.C. was filmed in a time before people like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg opened up the mind’s eye to what special effects could be.  However, even without high budget special effects’ this movie manages to get it done, and quite well I might add.

John Richardson proves that actions most definitely speak louder than grunts, groans, and general aggression in this film.  Mr. Richardson should be commended for the amount of depth he gave to his character.  It’s very hard to be an actor and/or actress when you are given limited dialogue to work with.   Both leading actors prove beyond doubt that they have what it takes.

Raquel Welch…ah yes one of Hollywood’s most beautiful leading ladies.  Welch has the total package:  beautiful smile, great body, and real honest to goodness acting ability.  Now guys, I know this will be hard, but you have to look past the leather bikini to the method behind her skills.  She’s an artist, and class act all the way, whether in an evening gown or gator skin. 

Both of these people did a tremendous job with the direction they were given, and both managed to bring these two characters vividly to life through facial expressions and gentle touches.  

If you have never seen this movie, you have to pick it up on DVD.  No film education can be considered complete until you have taken this trip back in time.  And as a bonus for you, DVD is loaded with extras that will educate as well as entertain.

So stop sitting around waiting for Fred Flintstone’s limo service to show up and take you to the Dino Drive Inn.  Just press play, and get prehistoric man!  Una Bunga!   

Video ***

20th Century Fox pulled out all of the stops when it came to this DVD’s video quality.  They even give you an opportunity in the Extra Features to view the film before and after the cleaning process.   It’s amazing how much of the dirt and graininess they were able to remove during clean up.  

The colors have been slightly muted, and the lighting is darker, however you cannot deny the entire look and feel of this film was improved the moment it was transferred to the digital realm!

Audio ***

I was extremely impressed by the work that went into restoring this print’s audio.  There were, as I expected dropouts, and fluctuations in the audio levels.  The music beds were balanced against the sound effects evenly, and even though the dialogue itself was limited, you didn’t miss it because all of the other audio was so well rounded.  

Features **

This film is pretty old, and I wasn’t expecting much in the way of extras…however, I was pleasantly surprised to find a nice little batch waiting for me when I pushed play.

First off you get the standard English, and Spanish language options, as well as English and Spanish subtitles.   Scene selection is also included for those of you who know this film and wish to watch certain scenes, over and over again (guys watching girls at the waterfall, etc.).

The best extra on this DVD was the Restoration Comparison.  This was an actual split screen of the film before and after cleanup.   When you have the opportunity to see an actual comparison before and after, it really brings home the amount of work it takes to restore these old prints.  You will definitely agree that the results in a film like this prove it is well worth the time and effort.   

Ten movie trailers for various Fox Flix are also available for you to view.

Summary:

With updated video and audio, you don’t have to wait one million years to have a great DVD to watch.  Just pick up One Million Years B.C. and take it for a spin.  Everything else will seem prehistoric in comparison.