One Million Years BC (Hammer 1966, Racquel Welch, John Richardson)

One Million Years BC

Director Don Chaffey teamed up with special-effects star Ray Harryhausen again to rework the 1940 screenplay One Million BC, creating a prehistoric world populated by earthquakes and dinosaurs in which (curiously) man doesn’t quite rule the earth. It is an inhospitable landscape populated by two tribes – the Rock People and the Shell People. As the names imply, the Rock People are aggressive and ferocious while the Shell People are a gentle, dare-one-say more intelligent group.

When Tumak (John Richardson) is banished from the Rock People following a fight with his father, he wanders the land to do battle with roaming dinosaurs before teaming up with Loana of the Shell People (Raquel Welch in her now-iconic fur bikini).

After the requisite number of battles against Harryhausen’s superbly-animated monsters, the pair head off into the sunset to face up to new hazards. This was Hammer’s biggest box-office hit for years (and their 100th film) and inspired a cycle of similar films, none of which could match the peerless effects and dinosaur wrestling of this one.

UK / Hammer / 100 minutes / 1966

Writer: Michael Carreras / Cinematography: Wilkie Cooper / Music: Mario Nascimbene / Producer: Michael Carreras / Director: Don Chaffey

Cast: Raquel Welch, John Richardson, Percy Herbert, Robert Brown, Martine Beswick