The Land That Time Forgot [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray ALL - Australia - Umbrella Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: James-Masaki Ryan (25th February 2018).
The Film

"The Land That Time Forgot" (1974)

Taking place in 1916, Bowen Tyler (played by Doug McClure) and Lisa Clayton (played by Susan Penhaligon) are survivors adrift on a lifeboat in the middle of the sea. Luckily a small group of British sailors who also survived the shipwreck find them, but their luck comes to a stop when the German submarine that sank them takes the survivors aboard as prisoners. Commanded by Captain Von Schoenvorts (played by John McEnery), the submarine that is low on supplies drifts down south where they find an uncharted land that inhabits the unbelievable. Dinosaurs roam the land and fly in the air, monstrous animals crawl through the swamps and jungles, and in addition to that, primitive natives hunt for survival. Will the men be able to return home, or will they becomes victims to the mysterious land? Or will the struggle and lack of trust between the men be the ultimate downfall?

Based on the book of the same title by Edgar Rice Burroughs from 1918, this adaptation from Amicus Productions in 1974 was a special effects showcase for the British company. Unfortunately the $1 million budgeted film had some setbacks. While a lot of effort was put into the special effects sequences with the animatronic dinosaurs and other creatures, there were cost cutting measures placed which made many of the effects look cheaper and simpler that they were supposed to be. Granted there are a few scenes that are wondrous with the monster effects, it almost seemed too primitive and simplified as compared to the work done in past science fiction adventure films. From the Ray Harryhausen produced stop motion animation or the lavish effects of George Pal's productions from a decade or two ago, the work done on "The Land That Time Forgot" seems to invoke the spirit of B-productions from the 1950s in both effects work and in subject matter.

Another part of the production that has its highs and lows are the characters and the actors portraying them. Famed television actor Doug McClure does an admirable job as the hero Tyler trying to take matters into his own hands for the greater good of survival, but much of it does seem slightly one dimensional in terms of emotional scale. The scenes between him and John McEnery as the German captain are some of the more enjoyable moments in the "human" sections of the film, though it is unfortunate that McEnery's dialogue was dubbed by Anton Diffring to suit a better German accent for the character. Most will not notice the dubbing and actually comes off nicely. The other characters on the other hand are very limited in their roles. Most of the sailors are generic characters that follow orders or get eaten one by one, and as for Susan Penhaligon as Lisa, her character seems more of a placement by the production company to lure a possible female audience as well as men to ogle. Granted she was not originally a character in the novel and was added to the film version, it doesn't work as well as one would hope. Her character would also be written out completely from the sequel film "The People That Time Forgot" made in 1977 and also based on Burrough's story of the same title. One character that gets the bigger attention is that of the native Ahm played by Bobby Parr who performs with body language and simple voice expressions to help the stranded men. Unlike many science fiction films where the protagonists go to an unknown land where everyone unsurprisingly speak perfect English, the land of Caprona's natives do not, giving a slight sense of realism in a fantastical story.

While there may be quite a few negatives, there is much to be liked about the film. Director Kevin Connor was able to keep coherence and use the extremely limited resources to the advantage, and the pace of the film is always kept on edge, with the characters discovering new places and creatures, the dramatic tension between the humans, as well as not being too serious in many cases. It is a fantasy film that can be enjoyed by kids as well as adults and in those terms, the film succeeds. Amicus Productions continued by adapting Burroughs' "At the Earth's Core" in 1976 and continuing the story of "The Land That Time Forgot" with the direct follow-up "The People That Time Forgot" in 1977. Unfortunately that would be the final production by Amicus Productions as they shut their doors in 1977. Due to this, the third story by Burroughs in the trilogy "Out of Time's Abyss" was never made into a film.

"The Land That Time Forgot" may have been an average production. But it went on to become a cult favorite with video and television broadcasts over the years in various countries. The 90 minute film was theatrically released first in the UK on November 29th 1974, followed by a US release nearly a year later on August 13th 1975. It was screened throughout the world including across Europe, in Japan, and elsewhere through the year and 1976. According to IMDB and even mentioned in the audio commentary found on the disc, the Japanese release was nearly 12 minutes longer than the theatrical release. It seems this is false information, as it seems the Japanese theatrical release was shorter at 83 minutes long according to multiple sources. The Japanese DVD that was issued in 2000 by Pioneer was based on the 90 minute theatrical release, though it was a fullscreen transfer from a PAL source, with the runtime being 87 minutes. The film was released on DVD in other territories including the United States and the United Kingdom with widescreen transfers, and has had a healthy life in the DVD era. In 2015 Kino Lorber in the US issued the film on Blu-ray for the first time in the world, and now Umbrella Entertainment has followed it with an Australian Blu-ray release in 2018.

Note this is a region ALL Blu-ray which can be played back on any Blu-ray player worldwide


Umbrella Entertainment presents the film in 1080p in the AVC MPEG-4 codec, in the original theatrical 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The transfer seems identical to the MGM licensed high definition master used by Kino Lorber for their US Blu-ray from 2015, and that is a good thing as the materials used and the HD master is in quite good shape. Colors seem fairly accurate in terms of skin tones and similarly themed productions of the time, with some great colorful shots seem at the arrival of Caprona. Stability is very good and the transfer is quite clean with most damage and defects removed. Although there are some minor scratches and specs seem especially in end reel sections. The shots such as the opening credits sequence and the scenes using screen projections can become very grainy due to the special optical effects sources, and this is not the fault of the transfer. For the most part grain is left intact and looks like a genuine film transfer. Possibly because of the clarity, the obvious faults are much more pronounced in the HD transfer - wires hanging the pterodactyls, the details of the models and matte paintings are almost too obvious. But that becomes part of seeing how the movie was made at the time and that's the enhanced charm.

The film's runtime including the MGM logo is 91:22.


English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
The original mono track has also been restored and given a lossless treatment. Dialogue is always clear and easy to understand, with effects and music fairly balanced. Being a monaural track from the 70s there is a bit of flatness to it overall, but again it is faithful to the source with no artificial remixed upgrades. There are no issues of hisses or pops in the track, sounding very clean.

There are no subtitles available for the film.


Audio Commentary by director Kevin Connor moderated by Brian Trenchard-Smith
Filmmaker and fan Brian Trenchard-Smith has a lengthy chat with the director of the film Kevin Connor, as they discuss about a variety of topics. They discuss many of the production details, about the actors, the different types of models used, Anton Diffring having to dub John McEnery's lines, the supposedly longer Japanese version (which doesn't seem to be true, and even the flaws in the film. The latter portions does have a few moments of blank as the two seem to run out of stories to tell, but it is still a fascinating commentary to hear. The commentary was previously recorded for the Kino Lorber US Blu-ray from 2015. Strangely on the Umbrella press release, this commentary was not mentioned. The rear case of the Blu-ray also makes no mention of it. The only way to access it is to press the audio key on the remote once the film starts. Almost an easter egg of sorts.
in English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 with no subtitles

There are no other extras available on the disc. The Kino Lorber Blu-ray from the US includes the above commentary plus a 1974 behind the scenes featurette and the theatrical trailer. Sadly Umbrella Entertainment was unable to include those extras or some exclusive extras for this release.


The case incorrectly states that the disc is region B only and also including Dolby audio. The disc is region ALL and there is only a DTS-HD Master Audio track for the film. And as stated before, the commentary is not mentioned on the packaging.

The artwork is reversible, with the only difference being the Australian PG rating logo removed.


"The Land That Time Forgot" has some dated effects work and some average characterizations, but the cult status continues with the fun production entertains more than 40 years later. The Umbrella Entertainment release has good transfers with video and audio plus an informative commentary, though it would have been nice to have more extras if possible. Still comes as a recommended release.

The Film: C Video: B+ Audio: B+ Extras: C- Overall: C+


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