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.
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.
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
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.