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Film / The Land That Time Forgot
aka: The People That Time Forgot

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The Land That Time Forgot is a 1975 fantasy/adventure film produced by Britain's Amicus Productions, based on the novel of the same name by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Directed by Kevin Connor. Screenplay by Michael Moorcock. The cast included Doug McClure, John McEnery, Keith Barron, Susan Penhaligon, Anthony Ainley and Declan Muholland.

During World War I, a group of people that consists of a German submarine crew and the survivors of a ship they torpedoed are stranded together on an uncharted continent where surviving dinosaurs co-exist with primitive humans. Their only chance of getting the submarine back in working order and returning to civilization is to work together, something more easily said than done.

Followed in 1977 by a sequel, The People That Time Forgot. Both films were distributed by American International Pictures in the United States.

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This film was riffed in season 11 of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Tropes pertaining to that episode can be found here.


The 1975 film The Land That Time Forgot provides examples of:

  • Adapted Out: Bowen's dog, Nobs.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • In direct contrast to how he is portrayed in the novel, Captain von Schoenvorts is a thoughtful U-Boat officer who treats his men fairly, forbids the killing of survivors after sinking the British ship, and works loyally and faithfully alongside Tyler and Bradley in Caprona. All his villainous traits are ported over to the character of Dietz.
    • A more minor example is Benson. In the novel, Benson has a grudge against the Tyler family, and doublecrosses Bowen aboard the sub early on before being killed. In the film, he's just one of the British crew and a definite good guy who gets killed in a fight with some Sto-Lu warriors.
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  • Bodyguard Betrayal: Von Schoenvorts' second in command Dietz betrays him - and everyone else - at the end.
  • Cool, Clear Water: Zig-Zagged. Von Schoenvorts and Clayton analyze a sample of Caprona's waters at one point, discover it to be filled with microbes, and declare it unsafe to drink. The problems with this are as follows: 1) The two of them act surprised that the water is in this state, even though literally any drop of water on earth would be host to an entire internal ecosystem of microbes. 2) All they'd have to do to resolve the problem is boil it.
  • Cool Guns: The Luger Artillery Model is the standard sidearm of most characters. Olson also uses a Bergmann MP18 machine pistol.
  • Covers Always Lie: The 1975 movie poster is used as a video/DVD cover for this film and about half the things it depicts, like the electric ray and the tethered bathysphere (which would have been Anachronism Stew had it made it into the film), aren't seen in the movie.
  • Death by Adaptation: Pretty much everyone, but particularly Bradley, Whiteley, Sinclair, and Plesser.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation: Other characters such as von Schoenvorts, Dietz and Benson die differently and at different points than they do in the novel, and under entirely different circumstances.
  • Finale Title Drop: The final line of the narration that ends the film:
    Tyler: However, we are determined to move ever northward, ever forward, toward the greater mysteries that lie ahead, of this land that time forgot.
  • Frazetta Man: Ahm and the Sto-Lu are generic, Neanderthal-esque natives.
  • Headgear Headstone: The sailors killed by the dinosaurs, whether British or German, all have their graves marked with a pole driven into the ground with their sailors' cap hung from the top of it.
  • Hollywood Costuming: The ribbed turtlenecks worn by most of the cast in the 1916 scenes didn't really exist until the 1960s and 1970s. Turtlenecks at the time were either a fluffy material, or were just excess neck fabric folded in layers by the wearer whenever donned.
  • Island of Mystery: An uncharted island filled with prehistoric wildlife.
  • Jerkass: Dietz, making him a Composite Character of himself and Von Schoenvorts from the novel. By contrast, the film's version of Von Schoenvorts is a Reasonable Authority Figure.
  • Lost World: The uncharted Land of the title.
  • Message in a Bottle: In a Framing Device, a bottle is found in the ocean containing Tyler's account of his adventures.
  • More Dakka: How Olson solves the problem of the plesiosaurus attacking the sub. In fact, this is generally how the characters solve any dinosaur-related problem.
  • Mud Wrestling: A Rare Male Example — Dietz and Olson fight in an oily swamp.
  • Prehistoric Monster: Many of the creatures on the island.
  • The Radio Dies First: After Bowen and the British sailors capture the sub, one of the German officers smashes the radio so they cannot signal any Allied shipping.
  • Taking You with Me: The dying Bradley blows Dietz away as his last act.
  • The Von Trope Family: Captain von Schoenvorts is militaristic, though honorable.
  • Would Not Shoot a Civilian: Captain von Schoenvorts refuses to allow the killing of civilian survivors of a ship his U-Boat just torpedoed.

The 1977 film The People That Time Forgot provides examples of:

  • Appease the Volcano God: The Naga throw into the volcano next to their skull fortress to as sacrifices to their god Nagoromata.
  • Bad with the Bone: During the scene where male heroes escape their skull-adorned cell by overpowering the guards, Dr. Norfolk beats one up with a bone that picked up from the floor.
  • Bus Crash: Bowen tells Ben and Dr. Norfolk that the Naga killed the tribe that he and Lisa became part of, and Lisa herself was sacrificed to the Naga's volcano god Nagoromata.
  • Canon Foreigner: Pretty much the entire cast, except for Bowen and Ajor. Ben McBride is sort of analogous to Tom Billings, but the other characters are all written in just for the movie.
  • Chandelier Swing: One is performed during the battle at the sacrificial altar.
  • Death by Adaptation: Lisa dies off-screen between films, and Bowen suffers a fatal arrow wound in the final battle, whereas in the book both of them survive and get married.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Lisa's death at the hands of the Naga put Bowen over it.
    Bowen: Back when we were kids Ben, I always wanted to play The Hero... only then, heroes aren't real. I told you, there's no escape...
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Bowen, Ben and Dr. Norfolk dress up in the Nagas' armor to interrupt the sacrifice.
  • Dragon Their Feet: Chung-Shah outlives Sabbala by a good few minutes.
  • Driven to Suicide: Bolum throws himself into the volcano after his master Sabbala dies.
  • Flare Gun: Ben carries one as a signaling device to Hogan, who has been left behind to fix the amphibian plane. Late he and company come across two cavemen from the friendly Ga-Lu tribe being chased by the savage Band-Lu tribe. Ben tries to save the two by firing several shots from his flare gun at the savages, but is unable to save them.
  • Lava Is Boiling Kool-Aid: The pit of boiling lava featured at the climax behaves just like water. (It is, in fact, just water plus red lighting.)
  • Load-Bearing Boss: For some reason, throwing Sabbala in the volcano causes it to erupt.
  • Navel-Deep Neckline: Ajor's outfit has a plunging neckline that goes down to her abdomen.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The Naga are a caveman tribe that inexplicably has its mooks dressed and armed like Samurai.
  • Ptero Soarer: Our heroes are attacked by one as they are flying towards the prehistoric valley.
  • Screaming Warrior: A lot of the cavemen.
  • Sword Cane: Dr. Norfolk's cane is revealed to be one during the sacrificial altar battle inside Naga's skull fortress. He even manages to kill the big executioner with it.

Alternative Title(s): The People That Time Forgot

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