The Land that Time Forgot ( German edition )

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Sean Campbell, Apr 25, 2003.

  1. Sean Campbell

    Sean Campbell Second Unit

    Dec 6, 2002
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    Despite the questionable special effects, 'The Land That Time Forgot' has always been one of my favourite movies. Based on the book by Edgar Rice Burroughs, this WW1 set tale deals with a group of British and German sailors who have to work together in order to survive after finding themselves stranded on the dinosaur infested island of Caprona. Doug McClure stars as an American survivor of a torpedoed passenger liner, and the cast also includes Keith Barron, a pre 'Dr Who' Anthony Ainley and original Jabba the Hutt Declan Mulholland ( before Lucas obscured him with CGI which looked even less realistic than the dinosaurs in this movie ).
    The movie was recently released on DVD in Germany by a company called CMV Laservision ( under the German title 'Caprona Das Vergessene Land' ) and my copy arrived in the mail a couple of days ago. Here's some observations:

    Firstly, the movie is presented in 16x9 and seems to be a good, clean print. Languages are German or English, and the German subtitles are fully removable. The title card and credits are in the original English. It's a little darker than my old VHS edition but this seems to work in it's favour. I'm not old enough to have seen the movie in a theatre so I can't say if this darker look accurately represents what viewers would have seen back in 1974, but it certainly goes a long way in making the cramped U boat interiors and cold Antarctic seas look more realistic.
    I did notice a lot of artefacting in the early scenes - especially in the fog shrouded sequence where the British seamen struggle to take over the U Boat. This artefacting seems to carry right through the movie, but becomes much harder to spot once the action switches to the sunny island itself. It's not distracting though, at least not to me ( I watched on a 32" widescreen set, so it might come across worse on a larger tv ).
    Some of the panning shots seemed slightly jerky too ( conversion from an NTSC source? ).
    The final piece of narration from McClure is sadly edited. I'm pretty sure that my old copy featured the line "The sun shone down on us today, and we exchanged vows under the eyes of God..." ( or something to that effect ). The line is missing from the DVD - which seems like a very peculiar edit since the rest of this sequence is intact. Despite the minor problems listed above, it's a good copy of the movie and a nice replacement for my well worn VHS. Here's some screen caps if anyone's interested in checking out the widescreen framing ( these pics have been converted to JPEG format, the movie itself looks much better ):

    The disc includes some interesting extras - the best of which is a short English language documentary which dates from the mid 70s ( picture quality on this is AWFUL! ). Oddly enough, this documentary contains no German subtitles.
    In addition to this, there's an impressive photo gallery ( featuring plenty of production shots, poster designs and even jacket illustrations from the original book ), cast and crew biographies ( in German ) and a trailer for 'At the Earth's Core', which is also available from CMV.
    The most lengthy extra is a condensed version of the movie ( 32 mins ), which seems to be the version which would have once been available for home viewing on Super 8 ( I think ). This edited edition of the movie is low quality and dubbed in German only.

    Overall, I'd give the disc 7/10 - three points deducted for the artefacting and the missing line of dialogue. Now if only WB would release 'Valley of Gwangi'...
  2. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

    Oct 2, 1998
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    Thanks - just might get this. For your info, a R1 Valley of Gwangi has been announced for this fall.
  3. TheBat

    TheBat Producer

    Aug 2, 1999
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    the people that time forgot is out on dvd from MGM in region 1. Its the sequel to land that time forgot. The dvd is very plain, with only a trailer. The dvd is widescreen.


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