The Clan of the Cave Bear (1986)
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.