The Land That Time Forgot (1975 film)

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This article is about the 1975 Amicus Productions film. For the 2009 Asylum film, see The Land That Time Forgot (2009 film).
The Land That Time Forgot
Directed by Kevin Connor
Produced by John Dark
Max Rosenberg
Written by Michael Moorcock
James Cawthorn
Based on Novel:
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Starring Doug McClure
John McEnery
Susan Penhaligon
Keith Barron
Narrated by Doug McClure
Music by Douglas Gamley
Cinematography Alan Hume
Edited by John Ireland
Distributed by American International Pictures
Release date
  • 13 August 1975 (1975-08-13)
Running time
91 min.
Country United Kingdom
United States[1]
Language English
Budget over $1 million[2]
Box office 1,908,872 admissions (France)[3]

The Land That Time Forgot is a 1975 fantasy/adventure film based upon the 1924 novel The Land That Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The screenplay was written by Michael Moorcock and directed by Kevin Connor. The cast included Doug McClure, John McEnery, Keith Barron, Susan Penhaligon, Anthony Ainley and Declan Mulholland.


The movie begins with Doug McClure as Bowen Tyler narrating the events, much as we see in many Edgar Rice Burroughs novels. A sailor throws a bottle with a written manuscript inside it into the sea, hoping for it to be discovered later.

The story is set during World War I and involves the survivors of the sinking of a British merchant ship who are taken on board a German U-boat.

Bowen Tyler and Lisa Clayton (Susan Penhaligon) are passengers on the ship torpedoed by Captain von Schoenvorts (John McEnery). Along with a few surviving British officers, Tyler convinces the other men to take over the surfacing submarine, this being their only chance for survival. After confronting the Germans on the deck, a fight ensues and they seize the German U-boat. Tyler takes command hoping to sail to a British port. Von Schoenvorts has his crew steer toward a safe sea port. But German officer Dietz (Anthony Ainley) gets loose and smashes the sub's radio.

Off course and running out of fuel in the South Atlantic, the U-boat and its crew happen across an uncharted sub-continent called Caprona, a fantastical land of lush vegetation where dinosaurs still roam, co-existing with primitive man. There are also reserves of oil which, if the Germans and British can work together, can be refined and enable their escape from the island.

Tyler discovers the secret of Caprona: individuals evolve not through natural selection, but by migrating northward across the island. With the submarine working again, and a sudden outbreak of volcanic eruptions across the island, Deitz abandons Tyler and Clayton in Caprona and attempts to escape, but the U-Boat cannot function in the boiling waters and sinks. Tyler and Clayton are stranded, and forced to move northwards. The movie ends with Tyler throwing the bottle, with the manuscript inside it, as seen in the beginning of the movie.



Amicus originally wanted to cast Doug McClure in the lead but he refused so they signed Stuart Whitman. Then Samuel Z. Arkoff of American International Pictures came on board as co-financers, providing the bulk of the budget, but would only make the film if McClure was cast. He changed his mind and agreed to do the film.[4]

Shooting began February 1974 and went for 16 weeks.

The U-boat and ships were models and the dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals were puppets, hand-held or on strings rather than stop motion. The speaking part of Von Schoenvorts was later dubbed in post-production by German-born actor Anton Diffring.

Amicus was to make two more Burroughs adaptations, The People That Time Forgot (1977), a direct sequel to this film starring Patrick Wayne, Sarah Douglas and McClure in an appearance midway to towards the end and At the Earth's Core (1976), with McClure (in a different role), Peter Cushing, and Caroline Munro. All three films were distributed in the United States by American International Pictures


The Land That Time Forgot was met with mixed reviews from critics and audiences, earning a Rotten Tomatoes approval rating of 50%.

The New York Times noted the film is "an initially agreeable picture about the discovery of a mystery realm where various stages of evolution coexist," but "the early virtues of "Land" collapse once the island is reached and the traffic jam in artificial monsters develops."[4][5]

The film was the 14th biggest hit at the British box office in 1975.[2]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Land That Time Forgot". American Film Institute. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Ed. Allan Bryce, Amicus: The Studio That Dripped Blood, Stray Cat Publishing, 2000 p 144-150
  3. ^ Box office in France 1976 at Box Office Story
  4. ^ a b Mark McGee, Faster and Furiouser: The Revised and Fattened Fable of American International Pictures, McFarland, 1996 p. 293
  5. ^ Anon (August 14, 1975). "The Land That Time Forgot", The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-11-27.

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