AN AMAZING, UNFORGETTABLE JOURNEY OF HUMANITY.
During an arctic expedition, the body of a man who was frozen in a block of ice 40,000 years ago is found; when scientists thaw the ice they learn that the man is alive. The concept of this touching movie is undeniably thrilling and what makes it work is the intelligent, often fact-based approach to the material as well as a genuine interest in and concern for the person who has essentially traveled in time. What is he like, what is his culture and how does he communicate? John Lone’s outstanding performance as the Neanderthal is credible all the way and Bruce Smeaton’s score adds a haunting quality.
1984-U.S. 99 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Norman Jewison, Patrick Palmer. Directed by Fred Schepisi. Screenplay: John Drimmer, Chip Proser. Music: Bruce Smeaton. Cast: Timothy Hutton (Stanley Shephard), Lindsay Crouse (Diane Brady), John Lone (Charlie), Josef Sommer, David Strathairn, Danny Glover.
Trivia: Schepisi was allegedly fired by the studio near the end of the shoot.
Last word: “I saw a lot of prospect in it. I thought it could be a thought-provoking but also commercially successful picture, full of pace and energy. I thought this film could have – as Nabokov said – ‘the precision of poetry and the intuition of science’. But I have to be careful; I don’t want it to be too poetic. What I’m searching for is the perfect balance: a good picture that people will bloody go and see”. (Schepisi, “Fred Schepisi: Interviews”)