A million years BC

One Million Years BC ( One Million Years BC ) is a British film directed by Don Chaffey , released in 1966 . The technique of the animation in volume is used in this film (as in all the films where Ray Harryhausen officiated).


Tumak, a troglodyte from the Cave Tribe, is hunted in a horrible desert after quarreling with his father, Akoba, the chief of the tribe. After escaping a number of dangers, such as a giant lizard and a giant spider, he collapses on a distant beach, where he is spotted by “Loana la Belle” and other women of the Sea Tribe who accompany to fishing. They are about to help him when an archelon (who is three times taller than the real prehistoric archon) advances towards the beach. The men of the Sea Tribe arrive and it seems that they repel the giant tortoise with their spears. (Although in reality we have the impression that the turtle was content to take a ride out of the sea where she had anyway from the beginning the

We take Tumak to the village where Loana is taking care of him. The following scenes emphasize that the Sea Tribe is more advanced and more civilized than the Cave Tribe. We know about cave paintings, music, precious jewelery made from shells, and we have a rudimentary language – all things that Tumak does not seem to have ever encountered before.

While the women of the tribe are fishing, an allosaur attacks them and kills a man. The tribe flees to their cave, but in panic, we abandon a little girl who is trapped on top of a tree. Tumak seized the spear of Ahot, one of the men of the tribe, and rushed forward to defend it. Emboldened by this example, Loana does her best to keep the child safe while other men help Tumak; one of them is killed before Tumak finally manages to kill the dinosaur. Ahot then takes his spear.

The result is a funeral rite for burying the dead – another habit that Tumak seems not to know. Having abandoned the ceremony prematurely, he enters the cave again and apparently tries to steal Ahot’s spear. Ahot arrives and, angered by this flight attempt, fights to keep his spear. The commotion that ensues attracts the rest of the tribe, who unite to drive Tumak away. Loana leaves with him, and Ahot gives him a spear.

Meanwhile, Tumak’s brother, Sakana, tries to kill their father to take power. Akoba survives, but Sakana is the new leader. During these events, Tumak and Loana witness a battle between a ceratosaurus and a triceratops , finally won by the latter who fatally deadens his opponent.

The banished return to the territory of the Cave Tribe and Loana meets the tribe, but again altercations occur. First, Sakana and Tumak clash and the second lack of piercing his spear first but Loana prevents it. Later, a fight arises between the one that Tumak now loves, Loana, and his former companion, “Nupondi the Savage”. Loana wins, but she refuses to take the death knell, although other members of the tribe encourage her.

Later, Tumak teaches the men of his tribe to make spears like the men of the tribe of the sea, then a group of men go hunting, while Sakana and his followers follow them. Meanwhile, the village women and a friend of Tumak go to the sea to swim – apparently for the first time following the example of Loana – but they are quickly attacked by a female pteranodon . In the confusion, Loana is seized and carried in the air by the creature, who drops it all bloody in the sea when a second pterosaur intervenes.

First Tumak thinks she’s dead, but she survived this ordeal. Loana manages to go to her village, Ahot and several men of the tribe propose to accompany Loana to find Tumak. Meanwhile, Sakana and his followers joined the group of hunters of the rock tribe and all go camping for the night, hoping to dislodge Tumak and Akoba in their cave.

As Loana, Ahot and the sea tribe find Tumak in the early morning, a young from the rock tribe joins them and warns Tumak of Sakana’s intentions, Tumak asked for help from the Loana tribe who accepts and follows him for go and fight against Sakana and her men. Upon arriving, they discover Sakana’s men surrounding the entrance to the rock tribe cave to ambush Akoba and Tumak, while the first spell of the cave is hit by two men, the rest enters the cave. cave to bring out the members of the tribe, while the group of Tumak launches the assault, a violent fight then commits.

In the midst of a wild hand-to-hand fight, a volcano suddenly (and symbolically?) Erupts: the entire region is hit by earthquakes and landslides that overwhelm the belligerents, many fall into crevasses or are crushed by rocks falling, Akoba and the elders of the village remain inside the village and are buried.

As the film ends, Tumak, Loana and the survivors find themselves in a landscape of ruins, almost lunar. All leave – now united – to find a new homeland, surely to join the rest of the tribe of the sea.

Technical sheet

  • Title: A Million Years BC
  • Original title: One Million Years BC
  • Director: Don Chaffey
  • Production: Michael Carreras , Hal Roach and Aida Young
  • Scenario: Michael Carreras after Mickell Novack , George Baker and Joseph Frickert and a Grover Jones story for Hammer Film Productions and Seven Arts Productions
  • Music: Mario Nascimbene
  • Photography: Wilkie Cooper
  • Artistic direction: Robert Jones
  • Costumes: Carl Toms and Ivy Baker
  • Editing: Tom Simpson
  • Special Effects: George Blackwell
  • Country of origin: United Kingdom
  • Format: Color (DeLuxe) – Sound: Mono (RCA Sound Recording)
  • Genre: Prehistoric Adventures , Fantasy
  • Duration: 80 minutes
  • Release date: December 30, 1966 (USA)


  • Raquel Welch : Loana
  • John Richardson : Tumak
  • Percy Herbert : Sakana
  • Robert Brown : Akhoba
  • Martine Beswick : Nupondi
  • Jean Wladon : Ahot
  • Lisa Thomas : Sura
  • Malya Nappi : Tohana
  • Richard James : Mountain Man
  • William Lyon Brown : Payto

Around the film

  • The outdoor scenes were shot during the winter in the Canary Islands , Lanzarote and Tenerife .
  • The film uses two living creatures: a green iguana and a tarantula. Ray Harryhausen felt that the use of real creatures would convince the public that everything they were about to see was indeed real.
  • During the scene where the seafaring people have to fight an archelon , the size of this creature has been exaggerated.
  • The movie poster with Raquel Welch is at the heart of Frank Darabont’s Les Évadés (1994) , starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman .
  • The film depicts totally anachronistic situations , where dinosaurs and men coexist, while about 65 million years separate the disappearance of the first from the appearance of the latter. In addition, modern man had not appeared a million years ago.

Translation reference

  • (In) This article is partially or entirely from the article in English entitled ” One Million Years BC ” ( see the list of authors ) .

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