The Clan of the Cave Bear (film)

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The Clan of the Cave Bear
Clan Of Cave Bear post.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMichael Chapman
Produced byGerald Isenberg
Written byJohn Sayles
Based onThe Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel
Narrated bySalome Jens
Music byAlan Silvestri
CinematographyJan de Bont
Edited byWendy Greene Bricmont
Producers Sales Organization
The Guber-Peters Company
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • January 17, 1986 (1986-01-17)
Running time
98 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$18 million[1]
Box office$2 million (United States)

The Clan of the Cave Bear is a 1986 American adventure film directed by Michael Chapman[2][3] and based on book of the same name by Jean M. Auel. The film stars Daryl Hannah, Pamela Reed, James Remar, and Thomas G. Waites.

Dialogue is conducted mostly through a form of sign language which is translated for the audience with subtitles.


A young Cro-Magnon woman named Ayla (Daryl Hannah) is separated from her family and orphaned during an earthquake. She is found by a group of Neanderthals and raised as one of their own. Unfortunately, as the years went by, her intelligence causes disaster for the entire tribe, especially its future chief, Broud (Thomas G. Waites)



It was filmed in the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, a precursor to the many Hollywood productions that would film in Canada soon after (see Hollywood North and Cinema of Canada). The score was composed by Alan Silvestri. The movie is one of Bart the Bear's earliest roles. The muskox hunt was filmed just outside Hughenden, Alberta.

Box office and reception[edit]

Because the film cost US $15 million to produce and brought in only US$1.9 million domestically, it is considered a box office flop. The film was nominated for an Oscar in 1987 for Best Makeup (Michael Westmore and Michèle Burke).[4] The film currently holds a 10% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 10 reviews.[5] However, The Encyclopedia of Fantasy claims: "It is hard to see why TCOTCB has drawn such critical contempt, unless for its tacit Feminism: although the narration is overexpository and the equation of mental versatility with leggy blonde Cro-Magnons, as opposed to shabby Neanderthals, is a cliché, the movie is beautifully shot, well scripted and finely acted."[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The 12th Annual Grosses Gloss Thompson, Anne. Film Comment; New York Vol. 23, Iss. 2, (Mar 1987): 62-64,66-69.
  2. ^ Janet Maslin (1986-01-17). "'Clan Of The Cave Bear'". The New York Times.
  3. ^ Janet Maslin (1989-02-05). "Is January The Cruelest Month?". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Nominees & Winners for the 59th Academy Awards (1987)
  5. ^
  6. ^ The Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997): Clan of the Cave Bear, The

External links[edit]