The Land that Time Forgot (1975)

Article #1765 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-13-2006
Posting Date: 6-12-2006
Directed by Kevin Connor
Featuring Doug McClure, John McEnery, Susan Penhaligon

A small boat of survivors of a sunken British ship manage to capture a German U-Boat, but in the ensuing power struggle, they get lost in the ocean. They manage to find a previously undiscovered prehistoric world called Caprona.

This was the first of four adventure movies directed by Kevin Connor and starring Doug McClure that were made in the mid-to-late seventies; I’ve already covered the last one, WARLORDS OF ATLANTIS for this series. Though none of them are very good, there seems to be a certain amount of affection for the series, and even I, who never warmed to them, feel reluctant to dwell on their flaws. I think it might be because I admire these movies for the modesty of their goals and their lack of pretension. At heart, they were trying to revive an old-fashioned type of adventure story that had almost vanished in cinema at that time, and even if I don’t warm to the movies themselves, I warm to the concept. Yes, the special effects are often less than convincing, but they’re not so bad that they merely become laughable, and I would imagine that anyone who came to these movies for the sole purpose of having a good time would find them acceptable. In fact, there were certain elements of this movie I really liked; the concept that as you go further north in Caprona, the evolutionary level progresses, and my favorite moment is the one where the primitive caveman Ahm leaves his new companions and joins another tribe as he moves up the ladder of evolution himself. Still, I wish the movie really did more with the concept. My favorite character is probably that of the U-Boat commander, Captin Von Shoenvorts, and I was about to praise the performance of John McEnery, but I just discovered that his voice was dubbed by Anton Diffring in this movie, so both actors merit a mention in this regard. The cast also includes Anthony Ainley, who would take over the role of The Master on “Doctor Who” in a few years.

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