The first in a kitsch series of British movies made by director Kevin Connor in the seventies and starring Doug McClure (the others are At the Earth’s Core, The People That Time Forgot and Warlords of Atlantis), this is based on an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel set during World War I. When a German U-boat sinks an American submarine, the Yanks manage to sneak onto the enemy ship. After a few onboard confrontations, the Germans and Americans agree to a truce until they can reach land… but they somehow take a wrong turn at sea and end up in a land named Caprona (actually the Canary Islands and Pinewood Studios) where dinosaurs and cavemen have survived.
Yes, the dinosaurs aren’t exactly of Jurassic Park standard, the dialogue is ropey and it’s all a bit silly. But men who were boys back in the seventies when this first came out loved it, and boys nowadays will still get a thrill as the U-boat passengers first glimpse the strange volcanic land. The People That Time Forgot is a sequel to this film – sadly the third book in Burroughs’s ‘Caprona’ trilogy, Out of Time’s Abyss, was never filmed. Older kids who enjoy this will no doubt love The Planet of the Apes and its sequels (though they aren’t thought of as family/kids films due to dark themes and Charlton Heston’s disturbingly greased-up naked torso).
Is The Land That Time Forgot suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
None – the dinosaurs look too fake to be scary!