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The Land That Time Forgot

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The Land That Time Forgot (1974) starring Doug McClure, Susan Penhaligon, John McEnery
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The Land That Time Forgot (1974) starring Doug McClure, Susan Penhaligon, John McEnery

Synopsis of The Land That Time Forgot

Bowen Tyler (Doug McClure) is among a small group of survivors taken in by a German submarine after it sunk their ship. The cast-aways end up marooned on a mysterious uncharted island which is inhabited by giant prehistoric creatures.  Will they survive? Or escape? Or discover the secret of the island?

Review of The Land That Time Forgot

The Land That Time Forgot is an exciting, enjoyable adventure movie, based on the novel of the same name as Edgar Rice Burroughs.  The first third of the movie is truly engrossing.  It takes place on a U-boat during World War I …

The American and English protagonists have their ship sunk by a German U-boat.  So, the Germans are the villains, right?  Not really.  As the captain of the U-boat points out, their ship was illegally transporting ammunition.  So, it’s more complicated than good guys vs. bad guys.  And the Americans & English take over the U-boat.  And the Germans do quiet sabotage.  A I say, this part of the movie is quite riveting.  An then the submarine, low on fuel, tumbles across an unknown island.

The only actual complaint I have about the movie, in fact, has to do with the dinosaurs they find there.  They’re so obviously puppets.  Badly-done puppets.  Which is a crying shame.  It takes the audience out of the movie.


Besides the puppet dinosaurs, there are other conflicts. The Germans, English, and Americans must put aside their mutual distrust, in order to survive. And, there’s an oil deposit on the island. If they can obtain some, and crudely refine it, they might have the fuel they need to escape. And then, there’s the nature of the island itself.

Dinosaurs aren’t the only prehistoric creatures on the island. Hostile cavemen tribes live there as well. One is taken captive, and becomes part of the group. And he has the bizarre idea that, as they move further north, he’ll mutate or evolve into a higher life form. Oddly enough, that’s exactly what starts happening. But the “higher” cavemen don’t want any competition …

Cast of characters

  • Doug McClure (At the Earth’s Core) … Bowen Tyler. The male protagonist. Engineer, taken captive by the German U-boat after they blow his ship out of the water. Then he leads the other survivors in a successful attempt to take over the U-boat! But the Germans don’t give up so easily.
  • John McEnery (Romeo and Juliet 1968) … Captain Von Schoenvorts. An honorable adversary. Very well done. An intelligent, educated man. His word is his bond. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for all of his crew.
  • Susan Penhaligon (The Uncanny) … Lisa Clayton. The female protagonist. She’s intelligent and resourceful. And eventually becomes Bowen’s love interest. The end of the movie, with them walking off together, is surprisingly sweet.
  • Anthony Ainley (Doctor Who: Logopolis) … Dietz. The German officer, who breaks the radio, to prevent the English from using it. And later, leads a mutiny against the Captain, dooming most of them.
  • Keith Barron (Doctor Who: Enlightenment) … Bradley. Captain of the scuttled boat.

Additional Cast

  • Godfrey James … Borg
  • Bobby Parr … Ahm
  • Declan Mulholland (Doctor Who: The Androids of Tara) … Olson
  • Colin Farrell (A Bridge Too Far) … Whiteley
  • Ben Howard (Doctor Who: The Green Death) … Benson
  • Roy Holder (Robin Hood 2010) … Plesser
  • Andrew McCulloch (Cry of the Banshee) … Sinclair
  • Ron Pember (The Invisible Man 1984) … Jones
  • Grahame Mallard … Deusett
  • Andrew Lodge (Cosmic Princess)… Reuther
  • Brian Hall … Schwartz
  • Stanley McGeagh (Doctor Who: The Sea Devils) … Hiller
  • Peter Sproule … Hindle
  • Steve James … First Sto-Lu

Editorial review of The Land That Time Forgot courtesy of

Rediscover The Land That Time Forgot, a lost world with Dinosaurs, hostile tribes and deadly wildlife in this much loved Sci-Fi Classic. When a German U-Boat torpedoes a British supply ship, the survivors manage to swim to the surfacing German vessel. Among the survivors are Bowen Tyler (Hollywood superstar Doug McClure) a young allied soldier and a young biologist Lisa Clayton (Susan Penhaligon). They manage to force their way onto the ship and overpower the German crew. Despite sending signals to an allied ship that they have commandeered the German vessel, they are depth charged and forced to allow the German crew to steer the vessel to rendezvous with a German supply boat.

They drift off course and find a strange island. Whilst investigating what the island has to offer the crew are attacked by a huge prehistoric monster and a tribe of primitive humans. Lisa is kidnapped in the fight and Bowen rushes after the tribe to rescue her. When a huge volcano erupts Bowen’s plight to rescue Lisa becomes even more desperate. Can he save them and get back to the submarine before they are killed by the oncoming lava?

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