The Clan of the Cave Bear - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Clan of the Cave Bear Reviews

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March 12, 2018
While an attempt is made to be faithful to the source material and tone of the author, Chapman is unable to adequately translate the internal dialogue of the characters to the screen. Needless to say, this is a most challenging task for the best of directors. It's difficult to see how anyone would do an adequate job with this, as the Auel's novel is primarily internal dialogue driven, with characters speaking in subtle hand signals. It's possible that a more in-depth attempt could be made in 2018, with many pieces of literature being treated more richly through several episode Netflix binges.

In such a case, characters would have to appear more emotional, narration more expansive, and perhaps more in-depth translation for hand signals. Even in this example, narrative to visual would be challenging.

Given those constraints and that the adaptation is 1986, Chapman's work isn't a bad try. Many of the negative reviews are correct in saying that the characters generally don't connect well. They did for the reader because internal dialogue made them seem more relatable. The characters in the film, on the other hand, don't exactly seem detached, but they can never seem to adequatley communicate the emotion of the original author.

Take away the time that it takes for the author to build up the crises, and the film becomes a detached retelling of a diminished plot of the novel.

Maybe someone else will try to do this again.
March 13, 2017
love the earth children series...
April 30, 2016
interesting note: this movie has 3 directors or future directors but only 1 directs the other 2 sayles (lone star) is the writer and jan dudont (speed twister) is director of photography.
April 17, 2016
I think the film adaptation of Jane Auel's first novel wasn't as bad as the critics said. It only suffered for being what I'd assume was a relatively low budget. Daryl Hannah took up probably three-quarters of the entire budget of the movie. Nevertheless, it still had its moments; and I believe there were several parts that conveyed the emotions that Ms. Auel was trying to portray.
September 9, 2015
YO motha fuckas clean out yo ears. This was a good movie.
April 24, 2015
Considering the movie is based on a well written book, and the time in which the movie was produced and its budget; I was impressed with this film. I struggle to decide whether it should be re done with 21st century CGI and a larger production budget because I think the original plays such a wonderful ode to how far Hollywood has come in the last two decades. But I also think that enhances cinematography would allow for more accurate scenes both historically based and book base. Overall, this movie is a cult classic, much like Rocky Horror, and I love to watch it over and over again.
June 20, 2014
kinda ho hum... lots of changes from the source material
May 10, 2014
A blonde Neanderthal woman is ostracised from her tribe for rebelling against the male superiority and adopted by a dark-haired clan, who consider her ugly.
Aside from a decent performance from Daryl Hannah and some impressive makeup effects, this is a rather lacklustre and boring film with characters it's difficult to connect with. It tries to make some sort of point against male chauvinism, but it doesn't really work when all the characters communicate with sign language and grunts.
½ April 14, 2014
This movie was nothing like the book and the places things take place were so out of whack. i am glad jean m auel got the rights back now lets see the new one made!!
Super Reviewer
November 1, 2013
I've seen some bad reviews of this and even the author of the book, Jean M. Auel, on which the movie is based evidently didn't like it. I did like it though. The make-up work rivals that of The Planet of the Apes. I thought the minimal use of spoken dialogue and consistent primitive sign language was well done. The subtitles did not distract: they helped because the characters do not use a known language. I identified with the theme of Ayla having to walk alone in the end because she questioned the ways of the clan too much. Critic Roger Ebert says, "[The movie] never quite makes them seem frightened and ignorant and vulnerable and bewildered." In a way the clan is subject to nature and these qualities, especially Brun who's primary fault is the way in which he deals with the feelings that Ebert mentions by being close-minded and macho. But I don't think Ebert has a legitimate critique because most cultures won't show these traits because they think they have it all figured out. The series of books are all about how ancient peoples who lived in caves are not so primitive as we might assume. And so, their culture just like ours and every one in between has a certain pride in their own customs and norms that help them avoid those scary feelings. Ebert also sees the fact that "every one of these people has motives that are instantly recognizable and predictable" as a fault. He misses the point by coming to the movie with expectations that it would perhaps be more like One Million Years B.C.. I think the point of the story is that the books were bestsellers because they are about how human motives have always been the same.
September 8, 2013
It needs at least to be commended for attempting something very brave. Not a lick of dialogue uttered which can be understood, replaced by grunts and groans. It's ambitious to say the least. But where it falls down is that it cast surely the most card board of any of the starlets of the 80s, Daryl Hannah. She is utterly bland. Additionally, the premise wears thin very quickly. Probably best avoided unless you're a fan of oddities.
July 24, 2013
An under rated movie.
July 11, 2013
Well, it's a better movie than Battlefield Earth.... uh, it stars the mermaid from Splash as a human woman growing up amid the neanderthals. It's also a movie that takes itself way too seriously, nary an intended chuckle, and falls flat on its face.
June 16, 2013
Okay film about the caveman time, but since no one speaks any English yet, the film can drag on with little dialogue used. In fact most communication is sign language with subtitles.

I guess the main point of this film was to show that even in the beginning, man treated women and anyone different like garbage? Windows from THE THING remake is a nasty douche in this, trying to put Hannah down whenever he can.

I don't know what else to say. Nothing much happens. Every few minutes a narrator comes on to tell us why things are happening, and while Hannah and Remar are very good here, it just wasn't a very interesting film.

Kudos for the early Nicole Eggert casting as a younger Hannah.
March 30, 2013
It is unfortunate that the film took such a wide turn from the book. From what I have seen, there was far too much detail left out. On the other hand, if someone were to re-do this into a proper film, it would have to be very long
January 30, 2013
Not that the book was an amazing piece of literature, but this movie wasn't even close to a decent adaptation. I know it's not every day that someone makes a movie about a story which is little more than caveman porno, but they could've done at least a little better. Booger is totally wasted...
½ January 7, 2013
I haven't read the book, but I hope it's a lot better than this movie. Slow, dull, poorly acted, with a horrible script and direction. It tries to be faithful to the book, and a mixture between a documentary and a fantasy film, but ends up being nothing, a boring nothing. I just hope I don't have the oportunity to see this again.
September 28, 2012
Fantastic movie. Period.
July 10, 2012
At least they didn't have any lines to memorize. This was pretty dumb. I guess getting mammoths would have been out of its budget. Instead we see bears and lions. The story was kind of touching though.
June 20, 2012
Compared to its caveman predecessors, this is closer to the Hammer prehistoric classics than the more serious "Quest for Fire". Cinematography, locations, and Oscar-nominated makeup are this movie's best assets. On the downside it doesn't hold a candle to "Quest for Fire" in terms of storytelling, characters, and entertainment value. "Clan" works as a guilty pleasure and nothing more- as long as you're okay with that, you should enjoy it.
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