THE PEOPLE THAT TIME FORGOT (1977) Reviews and overview

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The People That Time Forgot is a 1977 British fantasy/adventure monster film based on the novel The People That Time Forgot and Out of Time’s Abyss by Edgar Rice Burroughs. It was produced by Amicus Productions and directed by Kevin Connor (Motel Hell).

As with Connor’s other two Burroughs-derived films, The Land That Time Forgot and At the Earth’s Core, the film was distributed in the United States by American International Pictures (AIP). It stars Patrick Wayne and Doug McClure (Humanoids from the Deep, The House Where Evil Dwells).

Major Ben McBride (Wayne) organises a mission to the Antarctic wastes to search for his friend Bowen Tyler (McClure) who has been missing for several years. A British naval survey ship takes McBride’s party: the paleontologist Norfolk (Thorley Walters), gunner Hogan (Shane Rimmer, Warlords of Atlantis) and photographer Lady Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Cunningham (Sarah Douglas) fly to Caprona in an amphibious aircraft, but are attacked by a pterodactyl and forced down.

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They find themselves in a world populated by primitive warriors and terrifying prehistoric creatures, all of whom they must evade in order to get back safely to their ship. They meet a cave-girl, Ajor (Dana Gillespie), who leads them to the land of a race of samurai-like warriors called the Nargas…

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Reviews:

“The monsters are all unconvincing puppets with the exception of the pterodactyl, which comes off rather well despite barely ever flapping its wings. (It’s very adept at riding those Capronan air currents, apparently.) Model work is spotty, too; shots involving miniatures of the airplane range from very good to laughable.” Eccentric Cinema

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” … sports a fine cast and well drawn characters that help enliven the action. There are less monsters on display here which should be a given considering the title. One of the creatures is borrowed from At the Earth’s Core (1976). Most of them are trotted out during the conclusion as the heroes are being “chased” by the volcano.” Cool Ass Cinema

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“The effects are still more endearing than actually special but that’s a big part of the charm and a reason why these movies still have their fans. The script by Patrick Tilley is exactly what it should be and the direction from Kevin Connor keeps everything moving along nicely in between moments that put the main characters in peril or take time to show one of the many stop-motion creatures.” FlickFeast

” … duplicates the damning structural flaw that so damaged its predecessor— putting the exciting part of the movie first, and ending with the dull part. It still comes out very slightly ahead of The Land that Time Forgot, in that the changeover from excitement to boredom happens significantly later in the film…” 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting

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Main cast and characters:

  • Patrick Wayne … Ben McBride
  • Doug McClure … Bowen Tyler
  • Sarah Douglas … Charly
  • Dana Gillespie … Ajor
  • Thorley Walters … Norfolk
  • Shane Rimmer … Hogan
  • Tony Britton … Captain Lawton
  • John Hallam … Chung-Sha
  • David Prowse … Executioner (as Dave Prowse)
  • Milton Reid … Sabbala
  • Kiran Shah … Bolum
  • Richard LeParmentier … Lt. Whitby (as Richard Parmentier)
  • Jimmy Ray … Lt. Graham
  • Tony McHale … Telegraphist

We are grateful to Cool Ass Cinema for some images.

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