The Tribe (1974)

THE TRIBE (1974)
aka Cro-Magnon
Article 3794 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-24-2011
Posting Date: 1-3-2012
Directed by Richard A. Colla
Featuring Victor French, Warren Vanders, Henry Wilcoxon
Country: USA
What it is: Prehistoric drama

When their leader is seriously injured in a hunting accident, a tribe of Cro-Magnons has to decide whether to leave him behind or stay with him and face starvation.

Whenever I watch a TV movie anymore, the question that is always gnawing at the back of my mind is – was this an intended pilot for a TV series? If IMDB is correct, that’s exactly what this was. To be perfectly honest, I don’t think the idea of a TV series bent on following the exploits of a tribe of Cro-Magnons is inherently unworkable; it would, however, require some real creative strategies to make it work. Under the circumstances, it was probably wise that the makers of this one jettisoned the idea of trying to give the tribe its own language and just let them speak in English. Still, one of the pitfalls here is that they can’t give them much in the way of interesting dialogue, and they felt compelled to keep the dialogue to a minimum. Unfortunately, they failed to take the next logical step, which was to realize that the story would have to rely on action to hold the attention, and that is just what this movie lacked. Instead, we have endless scenes of Cro-Magnons walking around, and that’s simply not interesting. No wonder the TV series didn’t sell; the movie pilot was an utter bore. And though it’s nice that I managed to save this from my “ones-that-got-away” list, I wouldn’t recommend anyone else go through the effort.

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