Roach would later avow that Griffith directed that some of the scenes in B.C., though accounts by some of the film’s cast members dispute this, noting D.W. only oversaw the screen and costume tests. Mature even asserted as much, also adding: “They'd have been better off letting the old man direct the picture. One day he just wasn't around any more.” Griffith parted with B.C. because of a disagreement with Roach, and even though Hal advertised the picture in late 1939 with D.W. getting a producer credit, Griffith asked that his name be removed from the film. (A more cynical person than myself might note that he wouldn’t blame David Wark for doing this…though the eventual success of B.C. might have opened a few doors for him.)
A group of hikers stumble onto a cave, seeking shelter from a severe storm…and inside, an anthropologist (Conrad Nagel) who’s been studying the cave’s wall markings interprets for the travelers just what those odd scribblings mean. He tells his audience a tale of two tribes, the Rock People and the Shell People; I’m guessing the Shell People handled the oil concession back then. (The jokes are not going to get any better, people…so hang onto something solid and pray.) Tumak (Mature), son of Rock Tribe leader Akhoba (Lon Chaney, Jr.), has a falling-out with his padre over who’s going to be the Big Swinging Dick amongst the Rock People, and he’s blithely kicked off a cliff by Dear Old Dad…only to awaken in time to be menaced by a mastodon (an elephant with tusks and wearing a fur coat).
|Lon Chaney, Jr. and Victor Mature play father and son in One Million B.C. (1940)|
|Mature and Carole Landis|