Film: One Million Years BC
The better-known 1966 remake of 1940's One Million BC
, which was the Trope Namer
for the One Million BC
image of cavemen, dinosaurs, ape-men and other real and made-up creatures of the past duking it out in a volcano-scarred landscape. The film provided a showcase for Ray Harryhausen
's stop-motion effects, as well as Raquel Welch's physique in her iconic Fur Bikini
The story begins with the brutish Rock Tribe, where Tumak (John Richardson) makes a failed attempt at displacing his father, Akhoba (Robert Brown) as alpha male and is banished into the wilderness as a result. After escaping various predators and collapsing from exhaustion, he's rescued by Loana (Welch), whose Shell Tribe is somewhat more civilized and technologically advanced. Tumak's culture clash with the Shell Tribe eventually drives him and Loana back to his own people, where he has to contend with his jealous brother for leadership.
One Million Years BC contains examples of:
- Absolute Cleavage: Probably some of the best-known of its era.
- All Flyers Are Birds: The pterosaur acts just like a bird, complete with enormous nest.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Despite his violent behavior, Loana is so stuck on Tumak that she follows him into exile.
- Anachronism Stew: The film pulls off the remarkable feat of including no creature who actually lived in one million B.C. — not even the charismatic ones, like saber-toothed cats and terror birds. Apart from the ape-men, they're all Mesozoic or (frequently enlarged) modern animals.
- Artistic License – Biology: Though the Anachronism Stew is the most obvious use of the license, another curious feature of the ecosystem as that it seems to be almost totally missing the bottom 90% of the food chain. The barren landscape (filmed in the Canary Islands) contains almost no plants or small animals, just one large predator after another.
- Artistic License – History: Even by the 1960s, the dog-eat-dog image of Paleolithic society was dated.
- Artistic License – Paleontology: And how.
- Behemoth Battle: Carnosaur vs. ceratopsian, and pterosaur vs. pterosaur. This is a Harryhausen movie, after all.
- Behind the Black: The humans don't seem to notice predators until they're practically on top of them, even though the predators are huge and there isn't much for them to hide behind.
- Bowdlerize: As you might expect from Hammer Film Productions, the original British version had some pretty violent scenes, including one showing a new head being added to the ape-men's collection. Some of these were trimmed off for the American release, as the distributor did not want to drive off the obvious demographic for a dinosaur movie.
- Cain and Abel: Inasmuch as the movie has a villain (which is a bit of a stretch since it doesn't really have a morality), it's Tumak's jealous brother, Sakana.
- Cataclysm Climax: The climactic fight between Tumak's and Sakana's factions is ended by a volcanic eruption, which kills most of the antagonists.
- Cat Fight: Loana gets into one with a female member of the Rock Tribe, while the rest of the tribe (presumably standing in for much of the audience) stands around and cheers them on.
- Con Lang: What little dialogue there is in the movie is invented (and untranslated) caveman speech. Though given the general standards of the movie, this is probably more a case of As Long as It Sounds Foreign.
- Culture Clash: The Shell Tribe's civilized ways initially mystify Tumak. He wins their goodwill by killing an attacking carnosaur, then promptly torches it by walking out on the funeral of a casualty to try to steal a spear. Basically, he's a Hero with an F in Good.
- Damsel in Distress: Our heroes must rescue Loana after a pterosaur catches her and tries to feed her to its chicks.
- Dead Guy on Display: The ape-men's cave displays skulls on pikes.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Most of the women in the Shell Tribe (particularly the younger, nubile ones)go barefoot, though Loana conveniently has a pair of fur boots on when she leaves with Tumak.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Which is presumably the reason you're watching this movie.
- Fanservice: Presumably the other reason you're watching this movie. Not just Raquel Welch but everyone is scantily clad.
- Frazetta Man: The ape-men are like this, though we only get a brief glimpse of them.
- Fur Bikini: Perhaps the most famous example.
- Giant Spider: One appears briefly.
- Hammer Space: Loana blows a conch shell to summon the others when a giant turtle appears. Good luck figuring out where she stowed it in her bikini.
- Infant Immortality: Predator attacks menace children more than once, but the children are rescued. The adults aren't always so lucky.
- Klingon Promotion: Sakana achieves this by knocking his father off a cliff. He turns out not to be dead, but he's too crippled to regain his position.
- Language Barrier: Tumak and the Shell Tribe speak different languages, but neither is terribly verbal anyway.
- Might Makes Right: The reigning principle of the Rock Tribe.
- Ms. Fanservice: Note Raquel's full-body image dominating the poster above, as it dominates practically every publicity photo from the film.
- Nature Is Not Nice: Boy, is it ever not. Just about all the creatures you'll meet will try to kill you, when they aren't trying to kill each other. The animals don't even get Infant Immortality, as we see in one disturbing scene.
- Not Quite Dead: Sakana believes he's killed Akhoba, but the old man was merely crippled.
- Nubile Savage: Look who's in that trope's page image, after all.
- One Million BC: As it says on the tin.
- Opening Narration: A narrator introduces us to the setting and main characters, and then disappears from the movie.
- Patricide: An occupational hazard for a Rock Tribe patriarch, it seems.
- Prehistoric Monster: Almost every animal fits this trope, even a sea turtle (which is, admittedly, the size of a house).
- Ptero Soarer
- Rule of Cool: The only rule that really matters.
- Stock Dinosaurs: Allosaurus, Ceratosaurus, Triceratops, and what was then called Brontosaurus all put in appearances.
- Stone Punk
- Villainous Rescue: More than once, a predator is distracted from attacking people by an attack from another one.