The Land That Time Forgot is an British 1974 science fanasy film produced by Britain's Amicus Productions. It was directed by Kevin Connor and starred Doug McClure, John McEnery, and Susan Penhaligon. It was filmed in Technicolor, and is based on the fantasy novel The Land The Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The screenplay was written by James Cawthorn and Michael Moorcock. The original music score was composed by Douglas Gamley. The film premiered in America on the 13th of August 1975.
The movie begins with a bottle with a written manuscript inside it being thrown into the sea, hoping for it to be discovered later. Floating to coast of England, a sailor discovers the bottle and opens to read the manuscript as Bowen Tyler narrates the events.
The story is set during World War I and involves the survivors of the sinking of a British merchant ship who are taken on board a German U-boat.
Bowen Tyler and Lisa Clayton are passengers on the ship torpedoed by Captain von Schoenvorts. Along with a few surviving British officers, Tyler convinces the other men to take over the surfacing submarine, this being their only chance for survival. After confronting the Germans on the deck, a fight ensues and they seize the German U-boat. Tyler takes command hoping to sail to a British port. Von Schoenvorts has his crew steer toward a safe sea port. But German officer Dietz gets loose and smashes the sub's radio.
Off course and running out of fuel in the South Atlantic, the U-boat and its crew happen across an uncharted sub-continent called Caprona, a fantastical land of lush vegetation where dinosaurs still roam, co-existing with primitive man. There are also reserves of oil which, if the Germans and British can work together, can be refined and enable their escape from the island.
Tyler discovers the secret of Caprona: individuals evolve not through natural selection, but by migrating northward across the island. With the submarine working again but a sudden outbreak of volcanic eruptions across the island, Dietz starts a mutiny and shoots Captain von Schoenvorts to take command. Dietz abandons Tyler and Clayton in Caprona in an attempt to escape, but the U-Boat cannot function in the boiling waters and the crew is killed as it sinks. Tyler and Clayton are stranded and being the only survivors of their group, they are forced to move northwards. The movie ends with Tyler throwing the bottle, with the manuscript inside it, as seen in the beginning of the movie.
- John McEnery
- Doug McClure
- Susan Penhaligon
- Keith Barron
- Bobby Parr
- Declan Mulholland
- Anthony Ainley
- Godfrey James
- Director Kevin Connor and actor Doug McClure later worked together on 1976's At the Earth's Core, which was used in Experiment #1114. Some of the supporting cast also appear in that later film. Connor and McClure would reunite in 1977 for The People That Time Forgot, a sequel to this film.
- The cast also includes an actor named Colin Farrell (born in 1938). This is not the same person as the Irish actor Colin Farrell (born in 1976) who appeared in such films as Daredevil, SWAT, and In Bruges.
- Ostensibly set in the 1910s (the same timeframe in which the novel was published), it may be worthwhile to note that the German U-Boat crew are not Nazis.
- Burroughs' novel was adapted into a another film (produced by The Asylum) in 2009.
- The discussion that takes place between Captain Von Schoenvorts and Lisa Clayton is the same debate about the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, a British ocean liner that a German submarine sank during World War I. The German government claimed that the sinking was justified because the Lusitania was carrying supplies that could be used in the war effort (in addition to the many civilians on board).