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The Clan of the Cave Bear (1986)

Director:
Michael Chapman
COUNTRY
USA
GENRE
Adventure/Drama
NORWEGIAN TITLE
Hulebjørnens klan
RUNNING TIME
98 minutes
Producer:
Gerald Isenberg
Screenwriter (based on the novel by Jean M. Auel):
John Sayles


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Ayla Daryl Hannah
Iza Pamela Reed
Creb James Remar ½
Broud Thomas G. Waites ½
Brun John Doolittle
Goov Curtis Armstrong
Middle Ayla Nicole Eggert
Young Ayla Emma Floria

 

Review

Good intentions and a fairly faithful adaptation of Jean M. Auel's novel help keep this forgotten 1980s adventure on an almost watchable level, despite some obvious shortcomings. One of these is director Michael Chapman's oblivious attention to detail and anthropological observations - which was the very basis for the success of Auel's book. Another is the lack of nerve and intensity in the storytelling. As the story is portrayed here, the characters' actions and lives don't feel as relevant and defining as they should and as Auel intended them to be. Her Ayla may seem like a superbeing, but she's not only a lovable character, she's also used as a vanguard for human development by Auel - something Chapman fails to communicate completely. The result is that The Clan of the Cave Bear lacks the facets and layers of the novel. Instead Chapman seems content with launching Daryl Hannah (who is right for the part, incidentally) as a rebellious feminist cavewoman. In line with 1980s action conventions, yes, but sadly flat for a story of these proportions.

 

Copyright © 26.10.2011 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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