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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Video Beaverhausen: One Million BC vs One Million Years BC

My grandmother loved sitting with me, as a child, watching old movies on our tv. She saw many of these at the Paterson, NJ movie houses originally. While not really a fan of the horror or fantasy genres, she loved the 1940 classic One Million B.C.

I think she had a crush on the young Victor Mature. And she was a fan of Carol Landis, his co-star in this film. They certainly were well-groomed cave people. And pretty sexy, too!

The film was produced and directed by Hal Roach (Little Rascals). It featured lizards as dinosaurs (with prosthetic fins and horns) and I'm sure some animal cruelty may have been afoot back in the day.

My grandmother's favorite moment was that in which a woman pushes a child out of the way of hot, molten lava running down the mountainside, only to be trapped under it herself. I must say, the f/x are still pretty impressive in that scene. That self-sacrificing moment, I'm sure, really appealed to my grandma. It was so Mildred Pierce, so Stella Dallas in a prehistoric way.

In 1966, I saw the remake with the grammatically correct title, One Million Years B.C. It had sexy cave people, too, in still scantier outfits. I had the poster on my bedroom wall. The film, probably Hammer films' most ambitious ever, had special f/x by Ray Harryhausen, so that was a major improvement.

The highlight in this film is a pterodactyl carrying Raquel off to feed her to its young.

Factually, both titles are historically inaccurate, and at no moment, of course, did humans, pterodactyls and wooly mammoths live on this planet at the same time. Pipe dreams that must drive Neil Degrasse nuts. Perfect  pictures for science deniers!

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