The People That Time Forgot (film)

The People That Time Forgot is a 1977 Technicolor fantasy/adventure film based on the novel The People That Time Forgot (1918) and Out of Time's Abyss (1918) by Edgar Rice Burroughs. It was produced by Britain's Amicus Productions and directed by Kevin Connor. Like Connor's other two Burroughs-derived films, The Land That Time Forgot and At the Earth's Core, the film was distributed in the United States by American International Pictures.

The People That Time Forgot
US theatrical poster
Directed byKevin Connor
Produced byMax Rosenberg
Screenplay byPatrick Tilley
Based onThe People That Time Forgot
1918 novel
by Edgar Rice Burroughs
StarringPatrick Wayne
Doug McClure
Sarah Douglas
Dana Gillespie
Thorley Walters
Shane Rimmer
Milton Reid
David Prowse
Music byJohn Scott
CinematographyAlan Hume
Edited byJohn Ireland
Barry Peters
Distributed byAmerican International Pictures
Release date
  • 27 August 1977 (1977-08-27)
Running time
91 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom[1]
United States[1]

The film is a direct sequel to The Land That Time Forgot, which initiated the series in 1975. The story follows a rescue expedition, led by Patrick Wayne in search of his friend, played by Doug McClure, who had vanished many years before. The expedition lands on Caprona, the same fantastic prehistoric land where dinosaurs and barbarian tribes of men coexist.


Major Ben McBride (Patrick Wayne) organises a mission to the Antarctic wastes to search for his friend Bowen Tyler (Doug McClure) who has been missing in the region for several years. A British naval survey ship takes them to Caprona. McBride's party: the paleontologist Norfolk (Thorley Walters), gunner and mechanic Hogan (Shane Rimmer) and photographer Lady Charlotte 'Charlie' Cunningham (Sarah Douglas) fly over the mountain wall of Caprona in an amphibious aircraft, but are attacked by a pterodactyl and forced down.

They find themselves in a world populated by primitive warriors and terrifying prehistoric creatures, all of whom they must evade in order to get back safely to their ship. They meet a cave-girl, Ajor (Dana Gillespie), who can speak English (she was taught by Tyler); she leads them to the land of a race of samurai-like warriors called the Nargas, who are keeping Tyler prisoner. When the volcano that the Nargas worship erupts, they must escape the cataclysm engulfing the land. Tyler sacrifices himself to cover their retreat.



According to Kevin Connor, Amicus Productions wanted to follow At the Earth's Core with an adaptation of the John Carter stories but could not afford the rights so they made this sequel instead.[3]

Although the film was made by Amicus Productions, the company folded before it was released meaning AIP took sole credit.[4]


The film makes some notable changes from the book:

  • The lost world is a "polar continent" rather than the interior of a polar island.
  • Bowen dies in the film and Lisa (Lys in the novels) is already dead during the events of the film while they both survive in the novel.
  • In the book, the ship's crew scale the mountains to come to the rescue.
  • The book ends with two marriages; the film, none.


Critical reception

Time Out thought the film "A lame sequel to Connor's earlier Edgar Rice Burroughs adaptation, The Land That Time Forgot, which was at least occasionally lively";[5] the Radio Times called it an "OK sequel," but a "constipated confection" with "ludicrous mechanised dinosaurs and hopeless acting from an interesting cast." The reviewer however, found that "A few shots, composed around celebrated fantasy illustrations, compensate for all the film's shortcomings";[6] and critic Derek Winnert similarly opined "the monsters and special effects are below par," but "there are effective moments, and there is some curiosity value in seeing singer Dana Gillespie playing Ajor";[7] while thought the film "may not be the most polished effort around, but there's fun to be had with its crazy dino encounters."[8]


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