Crossroads / Dawn of Humanity / Man vs Nature / Natural Selection

Top Ten Movies about Prehistoric Man

When I published Against All Odds, Book 3 in the Crossroads trilogy, fellow author Alex Cavanaugh hosted me on his wonderful writer’s blog, home of #IWSG. Because Alex is not only a sci fi writer (author of the acclaimed Cassa series) but a movie aficionado, my topic was the most popular prehistoric man movies. This was more challenging than I expected. Yes, there are a lot of prehistory movies but most take place in a non-fact-based fictionalized world. Since the prehistoric fiction I write never strays from known facts, I settled for the popular ones.

If you didn’t read it a year ago, here’s my list:

The Clan of the Cave Bear

A young Cro-Magnon woman is separated from her family and rescued by Neanderthals who then raise her as their own. This movie was based on Jean Auel’s wildly popular and well-researched novel, Clan of the Cave Bear. Readers loved her vision of early man and devoured everything in her series, Earth’s Children.

1 Million BC

Tumak is banished from his tribe and meets Loana (Raquel Welch) who belongs to a different tribe and must fight others to win her favor. Little about this tale is based on fact but it’s a typical boy-meets-girl sort of love story.

10,000 BC

When warriors in what we now call the Ural Mountains capture the mate of a powerful mammoth hunter, he with his tribe embark on an odyssey to save her. Though not well grounded in fact and panned by critics, the audience loved it.

Quest for Fire

Three Neanderthal tribesmen search for a new fire source. Though Quest for Fire often lacks a factual foundation, it does attempt to present early man in a respectful light and was well accepted by the movie industry.

Ice Age

Set during the Ice Age, this computer-animated film tells the story (in a humorous way) of a sabertooth tiger, a sloth, and a woolly mammoth who find a lost human infant and try to return him to his tribe.


A Neolithic clan is attacked while their leader is away hunting. He returns to find most of his tribe dead, including his family, and wants revenge. This is based on a true story of the mummy called Iceman, one of the best known frozen humans in the world.

Ao, the Last Hunter

When his Neanderthal clan, including his wife and baby girl, are massacred, Ao leaves the North to join his twin brother. On his long and adventurous journey, he meets Aki, a Homo sapiens woman.

Walking with Cavemen

A BBC docudrama that portrays the life of early man.


Truth, I couldn’t find a #10. Some movies made other people’s Top Ten lists–His Prehistoric Past (directed by Charley Chaplin), Three Ages (directed by Buster Keaton), Early Man (directed by Nick Park)–but these focused more on humor and entertainment than a portrayal of man’s far past. If you liked these, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.


That’s it! If you love fact-based prehistoric fiction, check out my upcoming novel, Laws of Nature. Here’s the tagline:

A boy blinded by fire. A woman raised by wolves. An avowed enemy offers help.

More on Prehistoric Fiction

Love Prehistoric Fiction? Here are two not to miss

2 More Prehistoric Fiction I Loved

Genres–Paleohistoric Fiction

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Summer 2021.


72 thoughts on “Top Ten Movies about Prehistoric Man

  1. Hi Jacqui – I hate to say it I’ve never seen any of these! But I love reading about eras that add to my knowledge of life … and you’ve done an amazing job with ‘Against All Odds’ … so am looking forward to reading more – all the best as ‘Dawn of Humanity’ comes to fruition – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I saw 10,000 BC years ago. I haven’t watched any of the others, but I’ll definitely look for Icemand and the BBC one. I’d love to see your books in film!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I confess I haven’t seen any of these movies, but the theme brings to mind for me some aspects of the movie Cloud Atlas, although the tribe in that movie is actually post-apocalyptic.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think I must have seen 1 Million BC when I was in Jr. High… I remember Rachel Welch and every boy had a crush on her. I think she was also in a movie about going in a miniature submarine shrunk to fit inside blood vessels of a person–things doctors do regularly now with miniature cameras.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The hubster really liked 1 Million BC (haha, probably because of Raquel Welch!), but I liked Quest for Fire better. I thought Clan the book was better than Clan the movie, but I’m generally that way with movie adaptations.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for sharing!!… I have seen some of the movies you have listed, especially Ice Age, where not only enjoyable to watch but found my hero, Scrat, the saber tooth squirrel!… 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May your day be touched
    by a bit of Irish luck,
    Brightened by a song
    in your heart,
    And warmed by the smiles
    of people you love.
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh you did, Alex. I’m not that into movies–nothing like you are. I have to say, I rely on your monthly post to tell me what is coming up I should pay attention to at the threatres.


  7. Pingback: Top Ten Movies about Prehistoric Man – Inspirational life Lessons

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