Quest For Fire
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  • Good DVD - Daringly Bold Film
    I have to say, this has to be one of the all-time boldest ideas behind a film: to make a movie about prehistoric times, but do so anthropoligically as accurate as possible while still keeping the story entertaining. The courageous experiment is a success in my opinion. The effect is not only interesting it's believable. This is one possible past that might have been.

    I really like this movie. I think that director Jean Jacques Arnnaud is a brilliantly innovative film director. He takes some big risks and the risks pay off most of all for movie-lovers everywhere: we get to see some very original and highly creative films that are as memorable as they are fun to watch. I think this director loves to play with unorthodox period styles. Whether as Neanderthal men in the Ice Age here or as Medieval monks in the 14th Century in his 1986 film "Name of the Rose", director Jean Jaques Annaud always keeps things unique.

    This DVD is well-done. The picture looks great. The sound is in 5.1 surround and there's two wonderful commentary tracks to listen along to: one by director Annaud himself and another by three of the actors including Ron Pearlman and Rae Dawn Chong.

    I give this DVD four stars. It's well worth the low price but isn't at all budget-quality. I'm glad I dished out the money and added it to my collection. It's a treat, and a rare one at that. ...more info
  • pretty good
    this is your average caveman movie. it was good enough to keep me interested i kind of liked it....more info
  • "...and Prometheus said...
    ...'Let me give you fire,' and humanity saw that it was good..."

    A peaceful tribe of prehistoric humans, unable to create fire, loose their only source of flame due to another tribe's attack. Three of the tribe leave their home to search for a new source of fire to bring back to their people before the cold climate can take its toll. Their journey brings them not only into contact with other tribes of prehistoric humans at different stages of evolution but also advances their own humanity, as well as teaching them to be "prometheuses" in their own right.

    An absolutely fascinating film. Those who are partial to history and anthropology will especially enjoy this. An honest, un-PC look at the origins of the species and the development of humanity through loss, tragedy, hardship, hostile elements and the beginnings of laughter, morality, community service, leadership, friendship and of course, love. A wondrous feat of body language performances as there is no truly discernable language/dialogue spoken. This is a well done, well made film all around.

    For those into scenery gazing the beauty of the locations (Canada, Iceland, Kenya, Scotland) alone are worth a rental fee.

    Ron Perlman is one of the three male leads/would be prometheuses. Watch the body language! Someone did research! A difficult and impressive (first movie) performance. ...more info
  • It is so Cold Without Fire!
    Undoubtedly Jean-Jacques Annaud is an unconventional director. With only ten films done up to this moment he has managed to impact the audience more than once.
    His movies in brief: "Black & White in Color" (1976) won the Best Foreign Film Oscar, "The Name of the Rose" (1986), "The Bear" (1988), the controversial "The Lover" (1992) and "Enemy at the Gates" (2001) a realistic recount of the Battle for Stalingrad completes his works.

    In "Quest for Fire" ("La Guerre du Feu 1981) French Cesar Award, Academy of Sci-fi Award and Best Make-up Oscar, tell the story of a cave-man in search of fire, with a vocabulary almost reduced to grunts and growls.

    A Cro-Magnon tribe is deprived, after a combat, of its major treasure: fire.
    They know the value of fire but hasn't the technique to produce it by themselves. So a group of three tribe-men start the Quest for Fire, a sort of prehistoric Grail Quest.
    In their journey they encounter other tribes with different stages of culture; ranging from bestial cannibalistic to fire "technocrats".
    They have time to rescue an endangered stone-age lady and of course the hero falls in love with her... and discovers many interesting new possibilities.

    There is an amazing anthropological reconstruction work by far better than other filmic intents as "The Clan of the Cave Bear".
    Anthony Burgess (author of "The Mechanical Orange") has created a neo-lingua for this movie and Desmond Morris (author of "The Naked Ape") all corporal and gestural language.
    The actors and actresses under heavy make-up deliver a very convincing performance, depending mostly on mimics to express themselves.
    Musical score in charge of multi-nominated to Cesar Awards Philippe Sarde, underline the action.
    Finally a special mention must be done to praise Jean-Jacques Annaud work, who as director, takes a huge risk and complies with honors.

    This is a great film for audiences interested in history, anthropology or just uncommon adventures.
    Reviewed by Max Yofre.
    ...more info
  • Those Weren't the Good Old Days
    I like this movie. It's one of the easiest films to make fun of I've seen, and it has sure taken more than its share of hits from clever critics. It's basically about three Neanderthals (I think) who leave their tribe to find another source of fire, theirs having been doused. (No one knows how to start fire). They encounter cannibals, mammoths, sabretooths, a tribe further up the evolutionary ladder and some great scenery. They eventually discover how fire can be made, how to think a little better, and, in one of the major advances of civilization, the missionary position.

    Dialogue is grunts and screeches and the make-up involves lots of hair. The actors do a first-rate job. Everett McGill is the leader of the bunch who has to puzzle things out as they go along. He's a curious actor. I don't think he's really that good an actor, but after seeing his completely different performances in The People Under the Stairs and The Straight Story, I'm not sure. Ron Perlman is teriffic as his hulking sidekick. Rae Dawn Chong, an actress I've always liked, plays a very human early human they meet along the way.

    The DVD transfer is first rate. I'm usually indifferent to most extras, but there is an interesting interview with Annaud on the difficulties of putting this film together....more info
  • yo, grok ... check out the pretty pictures, dude
    the only good movie ever set in prehistoric times (unless you count the opening 15 minutes of "2001"). i watched this in a movie theater with my ex when it came out, and we were -- how shall i put this? -- in a slightly altered state of consciousness. i really enjoyed it, but was trepidatious about seeing it again, and not flying. surprisingly, the movie holds up, although many of its pretensions wear on a soul after nearly two hours. still, its funny and proffers some valid theories about cultural growth. i especially like that the different tribes have developed highly different ethical and behaviora values -- tho of course the dramatic requirements ignore the near-impossibility of neighboring groups being so radically diverse. still, worth seeing. and if you care to indulge, youll probably grant it a 4th star ......more info
  • Quest For Fire
    Movie was well acted and still as fresh & thought provoking as it was when i first saw it over 25 years ago. The director put you amomg human kind 10,000 years ago. The Mammoths were a bit too mechanical but you must remember the film was made pre- digital animation. Anyone who is remotely interested in the prehistoric will enjoy this film. ...more info
  • 2001 without the spaceships
    Jean-Jacques Annaud found the ideal way of breaking into the mainstream worldwide market by making films that dispensed with dialog almost entirely - no dubbing or subtitling problems that way - and opting instead for purely visual storytelling with Quest for Fire (and following the trick a couple of years later with The Bear). Thanks to a brilliantly bizarre marketing campaign by 20th Century Fox that sold it as a `science fantasy' - 2001 without the spaceships - this Neanderthal adventure became a huge box-office hit but seems to be almost completely forgotten a quarter of a century on despite giving us both the great Ron Perlman's screen debut and plentiful nudity from a very fit Rae Dawn Chong. With a French title that literally translates as War of Fire, it follows the adventures of a trio of cave dwellers after an attack by ape men leaves them without fire. As they trek across African and Scottish landscapes doubling convincingly for prehistoric landscapes, they encounter sabre-toothed tigers, cannibals, and treacherous bogs and, along the way they also discover religion (in the God-like form of mammoths), slapstick comedy, love and the missionary position. At times you find yourself admiring the achievement more than the film itself - thanks to a mixture of strong physical actors, Chris Tucker's convincing makeup, body language designed by Desmond Morris and a limited vocabulary courtesy of Anthony Burgess - but it's still head and shoulders above just about every other caveman movie ever made. And no dinosaurs or mink bikinis either, which may or may not be a good thing depending on your taste.

    Fox's DVD boasts an excellent extras package, with for once the various stills galleries turning out to be one of the highlights thanks to Annaud's commentary over them giving them a sense of context. The 2.35:1 widescreen transfer is pretty good: not quite as good as it could be, but much more than acceptable....more info
  • Quest for Fire
    I had seen the movie previously so I was buying it for sharing with a friend and my children.
    , conceived by the brilliant Desmond Morris, anthropologist

    For a person interested in the origins of the human race this is a fine work.

    A language was created for these these early humans and their struggle to survive in a brutal world with only sticks and their wits.
    ...more info
  • Talk about a blast from the past...
    This one is pretty far in the past--80,000 years ago, to be precise.
    Everyone has primitive languages and they grunt a lot, but somehow we understand what they mean. Fire is what everyone wants but only a few know how to make. The tribe that Naoh, Amoukar and Gaw belong to lose their flame and send the aforementioned three men on a quest to find it again. Along the way they encounter hostile tribes, wild animals, and a young woman who knows the secret of making fire. She even teaches the men how to laugh.

    I have to hand it to the actors; they must have been willing to endure bare skin showing, dirt and grime, funky teeth, lots of hair, greasy pelts, and being out in the elements. The only thing that seems a bit out of place is some of the music, which sounds a bit too modern to my ears. Still, the rest of the film is strong enough to overcome this factor.

    This is so far superior to the more recent 10KBC movie that I can't even compare them.

    ...more info
  • I loved it......
    I forgot how good this film was. Way ahead of its time. Very well done....more info
  • As authentic as it can get
    Prehistorical cavemen in search of fire.

    A lot of research went into this French film. It is purely fictional, but as realistic as it could get.

    The story line is good and the enthnographic understanding very interesting.

    I use it in teaching to understand the origins of technology. It works very well. There is also some gratuitous sex scenes which the students love....more info
  • No words, just a good story
    Years ago my husband and I watched this movie. We loved it. No dialogue but you know what's happening. It told an amazing story. Human, rough, real but quite good. We take fire for granted, this shows us that life isn't all that easy....more info
  • surprising, and very good
    this is an eyeopener. lots of communication and almost no dialogue. rape of women, racism, sexism,and at the same time primal and spiritual, with our instinctive side as animals all represented here. the question is, how much have we really changed as a species? you watch and decide. well worth it!...more info
  • Very happy pensioner
    This was bought as a present i did"nt think it was available anywhere but thanks to amazon i found a web site selling this item. I was very pleased with the service also the fast response in recieving the item. The packaging was also excellent...more info
  • Quest for Fire
    I loved this movie. Even though it is an older movie, it is made well.
    And the cast is incredible! I am glad that I finally decided to add it
    to my DVD collection. ...more info
  • A worthy quest
    If you're looking for a movie with words then this isn't for you. If you're looking for a movie with a lot of action then, again, this isn't for you. But if you're looking for a movie that explores what early man may have lived through, but with realism then this movie is right up your alley.

    In Quest for Fire the director shows his vision with amazing clarity. The costumes are also really good. They look exactly what I would expect early man to look like. No well groomed cave men in this movie.

    It is slow though for a modern audience. The movie kind of slides along at a gentle pace. It may bore a few people, but it's not really boring enough to want to turn it off. Cavemen didn't spend all their time running from animals trying to eat them.

    It's light on action, blood, and sex. The actual sex parts are handled very tastefully, and more in a cultural context than just to be there.

    It's apparently a classic and I can see why it is.

    ...more info
  • most pleased
    i was pleasantly pleased with the promptness and the quality of the movie i received. I had never seen this particular movie and i was suprised at how good this movie was being there were no real words. lol ...more info
  • Awesome music
    No one has mentioned the music by Philippe Sarde. When I saw this film for the first time, I went out in search of that haunting sound. Apparently Philippe employed four foot pan pipes (the ultra-low flute sound). A very "primitive" instrument from the Andes. It sends chills up your spine. Very effective for this incredibly abstract film....more info
  • almost as good as the book, which is rare to say about adaptation in the last 30 years.
    Having enjoyed the book I dont find any real faults with the movie. Its a pretty clean and tight script with competent acting. At this price I plane to buy it. If you like the movie read the book, it will only take a weekend to read and you will feel as if you understand the struggle of primitive man a bit better. People who are not normally interested in primitive man find this movie fun to ill give it 4 just for that. And besides it is one of the best movies in a not often looked genre....more info
  • A "Classic" in all meanings of the word
    Quest for Fire was released in 1981 after 5 years of painstaking research and development by Jean Jaques Annaud until then known as a commercially successful director in France. This movie with its wonderfully authentic settings, acting, staging costumes etc loooks as good today as when it was first released compared to the bloated CG of 10000 Bc and the like it feels real and the wide-screen release and sound now available on DVD makes it wonderfully immersive. ...more info
  • Snoozfest for Fire
    A highly effective sleep-aid, guaranteed to induce involuntary drowsing with just the click of a "play" button. Plot synopsis: Grunt. Groan. Ooooh! (they find fire). ...more info
  • Wonderful, quirky, timeless
    I remembered seeing this movie back in the early eighties, and was taken with the uniqueness of it at the time...long before Apocalypto, or Passion of the the Christ here was a movie that dared to tell it's story without (over) reliance on dialogue--and it still works, in spite of the fact that we don't understand a single word (or grunt) that the characters make. The combination of gesture, body language, and proto-language are more than enough to convey a surprising array of emotion and information.

    Five REALLY GOOD things about this movie:

    1) Rae Dawn Chong-beautiful, natural, expressive, and not an ounce of body fat--She is truly amazing in this role, her character is the agent of change in this movie--and in many ways she steals the show--as well as any scene she happens to be in. Kudos to the wardrobe / makeup department or whoever decided that her costume would consist of a thin lsyer of earthen body paint--and that's all. Just looking at her is still enough to raise my blood pressure a notch or two. Breathtaking!

    2) Low tech special effects-in this age of digital wizardry, it's nice to experience the 'low-ness" of the films special effects. Although one might wonder how the director would have handled "Jurassic Park-ish" digital effects, I fear that most of the charm would be lost.

    3)Everett McGill-he's great here as the featured cave-man, and he takes the role seriously, showing an amazing range of emotion and enough sensitivity to make the cave dudes on the Geiko commercials proud.

    4)The broad humor- halarious and totally believable. Proof that there's not much evolutionary distance between these guys and the Three Stooges, afterall.

    5) Rae Dawn Chong-Did I mention her already? Ooops, well it bears repeating, she is gorgeous and captivatingly unclad....more info
  • classic
    This is a movie that was awesome when it came out and remains awesome to this day....more info
  • a masterpiece
    this movie is a masterpiece. suited for anyone.
    kids, adult, its a all genre-all-kind movie in the same one, under a believable story with story about our ancestor in it, cave man.
    no language in it. its only roaring so anyone can understand it. my friends loved it, my girlfriend loved it, my parents loved it, my boss loved it, you can even show it during a school class if you a story teacher or whatever suited for this opportunity to teach some lesson on our primitive state. all animals in it are real , no cheap CGI, tiger with make up to look like sabre tooth tiger, and hair was put on elephant to look like mamooth. its fantastic travel across time...more info
  • Gripping
    Wonderful movie.Watch how these cave people do to keep the fire lighted. And watch when they loose it, to get it back...more info
  • I love cavemen
    I saw this movie years ago and I could'nt get it off my mind. There is no language in this film and there are no sub-titles either. Note the ratings.. ...more info
  • Fire from nothing! What a concept!
    "Quest For Fire" STILL reigns supreme as the definitive example of Prehistoric Man. I do not count "2001, A Space Oddyssey"s first scenes, because that film does not deal solely with prehistory. Unlike other Hollywood productions, which portray Early Man possessing advanced traits like language, with advanced concepts such as the expression of love and hate (the biggest farce being "Clan of The Cave Bear"),or the ability to remain absolutely clean and spotless without regular bathing (let's not forget the perfectly coiffured hairdo's, a la "1 Million Years B.C."), "Quest For Fire"'s Three principle protagonists are as rough as they come! These protohumans possess a convincing sense of curiosity and wonder at the world around them.
    The heirarchy of their "tribe" is clear-cut, and it seems they came above the necessity for battling for leadership (there are a few really scary big guys, but they do not occupy the top spots in the tribe). The concept of procreation is still a ways away, and language is in it's rudimentary stages (at least for a while).

    While "Quest" has it's own faults, it does not require the level of "suspension of disbelief" all the other films of this type do. Fire is considered a gift and absolute necessity for the tribe's well-being, as is seen when it is lost. They go from "stand-up" humans (excuse the pun) to cringing fearful animals. Sending out the poor slob who killed it in the first place, along with two reluctant companions (what did we do to deserve this?) the three trek cross country to find it. Split second decision making and imaginitive escape and evasion techniques are paramount for survival, and these three are pretty good at it.
    When fire is first found, it is in the possession of a tribe of early Cannibals, as the three find out accidentally. From here we are witness to the first example of tactical warfare (merely distraction, but it took thought to come up with it). The poor slob who lost the fire in the first place gets a taste of castration by one of the cannibals.OUCH! I don't want to know what it tasted like! While on their return to their own tribe, a survivor of the Cannibals turns up. This waif-like creature is strange, because it keeps making noise, and just can't seem to shut up. The three allow her presence, when they see that she is not a threat. She DOES however, show the three, the concept of humor, which goes essentially unnoticed (man, this is a rough audience, hmmm?)
    Our little "Chatty-Cathy" attempts to get the three to follow her to her tribe, but the "Quest" takes precedence, and she is forced to go it alone. The poor slob who lost the fire in the first place just can't seem to live without her (for reasons that are made clear in the film), and turns away to follow her. Since his two companions are too fearful to go it alone, they also reluctantly follow, as well.
    "Chatty Cathy"'s tribe seems to be the next step in the evolutionary ladder, and we see how she became so blabby! The poor slob now has to "do" the females of the tribe who can't find mates. He finds out first-hand, what happens when one gets too much of a good thing! When the slob is first shown how to "create" fire from thin air, the absolute wonder and amazement shown makes one jealous, as it would be wonderful to experience them like that for the first time, again!!

    Jean-Jacques Annaud spent a great deal of time and effort to make this film as believable as possible. I believe he succeeded (or at the very least, did not "endow" the actors with concepts too advanced to BE believed). Scenes for the film were shot on just about every continent, and much care was taken to create the prehistoric fauna portrayed in the film as well.
    "Quest For Fire" is still the only "true" representation of prehistoric man in cinematic history! Easily five stars!...more info
  • Quest for Fire
    I had seen this movie years ago - funny how age changes us. It wasn't as "dramatic" as I remember it when I was younger, but still a decent movie....more info
  • interesting comentary
    This is a unique motion picture - amazing how much can be said with no dialogue! (as we know it today). The movie is filmed with very few or no special effects. This makes for a realistic movie, but it sounds like the actors (and maybe some animals)were somewhat abused in the process. Watch the comentaries. I don't think anyone would be able to make a movie in this fashion today. The acting is very good and the story is entertaining - a fairly realistic portrayal of what life was like for early man, athough I doubt there would have been so many different species of humans living in the same area at the same time....more info
  • i am an ANTHROPOLOGIST (i am biased and there are spoilers)
    first off, read ANY book about paleoanthropology written in the last thirty years and you will discover that just about every inaccuracy possible is present in this film. if you want a laugh watch it. if you are interested in a truly anthropologically correct film, watch "Nova" or something on the discovery channel. The species presented in this film did not even exist and the phylogenetic traits presented in the "cro-magnons(which are not even recognized as a species)" completely bogus, as they are closer to neandertals than they are to modern humans (read anything by Don Johanson). and the domestication of the mastadons, yeah that really happened; megafauna hunting probably did not even happen, so obviously we made friends with giant animals which would crush us if they thought we were even close to being a threat to them. the missionary position creating the nuclear family is also a lie. sex does not make us human, the bonobo chimps use sex the same way as humans, and presumbly for just as long (and they use the missionary position as well). all in all, this movie is worth it if you are looking for a laugh, but if you are looking for anything close to the actual paleoanthropological record you need to look somewhere else....more info
  • Quest for Fire
    It was good to see the movie after all these years. I remembered it as being funny, and it still held up. My friends have borrowed it since, and all liked it....more info
  • Good service
    The product was much better than what I expected and arrived in just a few days. ...more info
  • quest for fire
    Great movie, but I returned as I already had it my collection. thank you...more info
  • Quest for Fire
    "Quest for Fire" (1981 - 100 minutes), under Jean-Jacques Annaud direction and written by G?rard Brach, was based on the book of J. H. Rosny. The movie develops a travel in time showing one of the biggest conquest of human kind: the domain of fire.
    It's a 80 thousand years ago beautiful drama.
    The Ulan tribe lives nearby a natural source of fire. When the fire went out, three members of the tribe have to search for a new flame.
    After several days of walking and having to face many dangerous situations like wild animals, down temperatures and even cannibal tribes, they found the Ivakas, a more evolved human group that had already discovered how to "make" fire.
    With locations in Kenya, Scotland, Island and Canada, the movie was based on scientific knowledge, showing convincing habitats and characters. The preparation work of the actors body language was done by the Anthropologist Desmond Morris and Anthony Burgess took care of the "talking" of these human ancestors.
    Almost an Anthropology documentary, this excellent movie shows at the end a scene that suggests the "discovery of love" between male and female.
    Absolutely unforgettable.

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  • a love story
    boy meet girl ,girl wants to go home to mom runs off, boy gets mad and heads home but wants girl ,goes back to the last place their were together,goes after girl ...more info
  • A Great Film
    Rae Dawn Chong makes it a worthwhile watch. I've been in love with her since seeing the movie on HBO many years ago.

    Oh yeah, the other actors are good also......more info

  • Artsy, good, but not for everyone
    To a student or fan of anthropology this movie reflects the general concepts of human pre-history: neanderthals struggling to survive and the rise of modern humans in their midst. The idea though that neanderthals were brainless apes has more or less been discounted, so the movie is somewhat dated. However, the notion that modern humans were simply better suited to survive seems to be accurately reflected in this movie. The fact that there is no "dialogue" means that the actors had to convey themselves through gestures and movements, and they do this exceptionally well throughout the film. ...more info
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