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One Million Years B.C. was made in 1966 when film makers could get away with showing dinosaurs naturally coexisting with humans. In 1966, you could also get away with using a real lizard, composited to appear the size of a Mack truck, to represent an actual dinosaur, not to mention basing a movie around a sexy actress who only says three lines in the whole movie.
Ray Harryhausen, who earlier on in life was inspired by stop motion master Willis O’Brien of King Kong fame, animated the prehistoric animals in the movie with the exception of the real lizard appearing as a prehistoric creature. Stop motion was the state of the art as far as animating creatures until 3D animation took over around the time Jurassic Park came out. In fact, Jurassic Park’s dinosaurs were initially to be stop motion animated until the last moment when they realized they could get the results they desired from computer animation. Stop motion in 1993, the year of Jurassic Park’s release had developed to the point that it was much smoother than in the 1960s and 70s but it was no match for the onslaught of 3D animation that almost completely took over and continues to look more and more realistic. Harryhausen died in 2013 at the age of 92 and his stop motion work inspired film makers such as Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and many others.
Hammer Films along with Seven Arts made One Million Years B.C. which was a remake of the 1940 version. Hammer Films was established in 1934 and is known for their gothic horror movies starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. They’re having a bit of a revival today with movies like The Resident starring Hillary Swank and The Woman in Black starring Daniel Radcliffe.
Raquel Welch started getting the public’s attention in 1966’s Fantastic Voyage and B.C. was an immediate follow up that cemented her star status. One Million Years B.C. is worth a watch for Raquel Welch, the stop motion animation, and the the giant lizard. Watch the trailer here.