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Quest For Fire
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Customer Reviews:

  • I loved it......
    I forgot how good this film was. Way ahead of its time. Very well done....more info
    Okay, so "Guerre du feu, La" (it's original French title) inaccurate in its science. I don't really care and nor do most people. It's not a classroom documentary; it's interpretive fictional entertainment with loose basis founded on evolutionary fact and hypothesis, with a good dose of plain old entertaining story telling from the mind's imagination. Rae Dawn Chong sure was beautiful in her youth. I most enjoyed the sweeping scenery. The filmmakers manage to tell a compelling story without any understandable dialogue and just a sprinkling of a made up language. I gazed in wonder, I laughed, I jumped, I cheered, and I sympathized. I couldn't ask for more for my money in two hours. I'd love to see a modern remake with maybe some more factual details....more info
  • Really Stupid but Good for a Few Laughs
    Quest for Fire probably seemed innovative when it was first released, but now it just comes off seeming silly- especially with the new knowledge that we now have concerning Neanderthals and prehistoric man. The basic premise of the story is that humanoids are dependent on fire for life but haven't learned yet how to make it so once they have a flame, they have to keep it from going out. If they lose the flame, then they have to steal fire from another tribe, or wait for nature to strike.

    The focal point of the story is on three members of a tribe of Neanderthals who are attacked by a group of refugees from Planet of the Apes (at least that's what they look like.) The tribe is driven out of their home and takes shelter on a barren island in the middle of a swamp. While getting to the island, the fire bearer lets the flame get wet and he fire dies.

    So three members of the tribe head off in search of another fire. After a long hike through many different times of terrain, they manage to steal the fire from another tribe, at the same time inadvertently rescuing a human captive. One of the Neanderthals develops an unusual affection for the human woman and follows her back to her tribe of humans. In the course of their travels, she teaches him the missionary position for sex and shows him that it can be more than a primal act that gives pleasure only to the man. She also teaches the Neanderthals how to laugh, and how to see the humorous side of things.

    There are several funny scenes in the movie- such as the one where all three of the Neanderthals are stuck in a stubbly little tree for a LONG time while two sabre tooth tigers wait patiently beneath the tree, fangs ready to snap on some tender human flesh.

    I won't go into the anthropological issues and inaccuracies because this film is more an experiential study of human behavior than anything else, but there are some things that are pretty obvious. For instance, how do the members of the tribe that are left behind while the three Neanderthals go off searching for fire manage to stay alive for the incredibly long time the three guys are gone? And why does the ape tribe walk more upright than the Neanderthal tribe? And why do the Neanderthals walk more upright than the humans, even though the human tribe is clearly more advanced? And why is everyone so scared of the mastodons-- they are herbivores, folks!

    However, if you don't take it too seriously, it was somewhat amusing to watch. Since the characters all spoke in languages specifically created for the movie, you have to make up your own dialogue as you go along, which can make it even more entertaining.

    This movie is not appropriate for the elementary school crowd, by the way-- lots of loud, rough sex and lots of butt shots.

    I wouldn't watch it again, but it was an okay way to spend an evening.

    ...more info
  • interesting look at our past
    i enjoyed this film for the most part. the invention of missionary position was definitely hilarious. seriously though, it was well done and had great music. it's not every day you see a movie with no real language; i definitely recommend it....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
  • Quest for Fire DVD
    This was an exceptional movie 25 years ago, and it is still a classic. Every wide shot is a work of art. The interactions of the tribes portrayed, was facinating, and very human. People never really change, no matter what their tier of technology....more info
  • quest for fire
  • quest for fire
    Great movie, but I returned as I already had it my collection. thank you...more info
  • In The Beginning
    Stanley Kubrick's classic "2001" celebrates the first weapon, when a hairy primate through some burst of savage genius turns a useless thigh-bone into a dominating club. He thereby takes a giant first step in humanity's long pursuit of bigger and better weapons. On the other hand, "Quest for Fire" dramatizes humanity's other side: the civilizing arrival of the campfire. But not just any campfire; instead it's the security found in mastering the technique to make fire any time the tribe wants. As a result, the Cro-magnons have for the first time some control over their environment and can take time to relax. That's made apparent at film's end when the clan gathers happily around crackling embers to relate stories through crude gestures and grunts. Perhaps the evolution of complex linguistic forms had its origins in just such relaxed moments, when imagination and thinking could take hold and get expression in the company of others.

    There's also that overlooked moment when Naoh humbly approaches the lordly herd of marauding mastodons. Tufts of grass in hand, he bows his head in an unmistakable gesture of submission, to which the herd responds-- not very plausibly --by chasing away the attacking cannibal clan. The point here is that Naoh understands in that quiet moment that we must live humbly with those forces much greater than ourselves if we want to survive-- a possible seed of what would later become religious belief, whether in the forces of nature or in the supposed power of the supernatural.

    Of course, this is all speculation. The filmmakers don't exactly hit you over the head with their messages. However, the point is that the film succeeds admirably in getting you to think about the natural history of what these lowly but momentous origins must have been like. Moreover, there are other suggestive moments, such as when the camera transitions from Rae Dawn Chong's pregnant belly to the distant full moon and humanity's far-off future. Some reviewers point out scientific flaws in the script and reject the film on that basis. But that misses the point. Of course the film is not a documentary, so no serious researcher would base a study on it. Nonetheless, the movie remains just that, a well-staged and provocative ninety minutes of unusual filmmaking. I've seen nothing like it before or since. One thing for sure: Quest will never be on the Jerry Falwell--Pat Robertson list of movie must-sees....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
  • Beautifull
    I realy love this movie, this is a great story,
    this has nothing to do with realistic facts or trying to convince the viewer that now we realy know what went on because we just discovered some new bone, trying to give some fake documentary feel to it, this is not creating nifty special effects because the kids love it so much, this is great acting and a fantastically well told story.
    This is a successful and beatifull reenactment of the things people had to go through as we can imagine it.
    I think the movie makers showed some real integrity in trying to get their facts right but understood the fact thet they weren't making a documentary but a movie, telling a story.
    The story reminds me of great literature like Robinson Crusoe or the biblical tales.
    A real feat as the story inherently can't rely upon verbalisticism.
    An excellent movie, a very moving, touching story.

    ...more info
  • my eye opener
    this dvd everything i heard it was and more. the service was excellentthank you !!...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
  • 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
  • A quest for the absurd.
    I tried. I watched Quest For Fire three times and then put it
    out at the curb with the rest of the trash. If you knew nothing
    about evolution or thought the Three Stooges was high art, you
    might like this. Sorry...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
  • 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
  • You"ll look at lighters in a whole new light-pardon the pun:)
    This movie was one of the best movies I've seen in a long time! If you like survival stories than this is a great one to see! I don't know if I'd see it with younger kids because there are three sex senes and the female is naked throughout the whole movie. The acting is fantastic! This is truely a must see!!...more info
  • Old school cavemen
    I had never heard of this movie till only recently when my father mentioned to me it might be is favorite movie of all time because it is so real. It, I imagine, seems really true to form with reality of the age. Also, I definitely understand why it won the Oscar for best make-up. This film is difficult to get into - there are no speaking parts. But you have to stick with it to really understand this story's plot. ...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
  • Rated XXX
    A thinly veiled veiw of modern day america set in prehistoric times. Inadverdently, the makers of the film manage to convey what life must have been like without matches, Coleman lanterns or flame throwers. Actually, they do show an early form of the flame thrower. At the beginning of the movie a caveman picks up a burning branch and "throws" it at some stock film footage of a wolf. The net result is that night turns into day for a few seconds of screen time but thankfully, the wolf runs away anyway. Needless to say, the special effects are a bit dated now and in order to enjoy the movie, you have to take into account that special effects have greatly improved since prehistoric times. The fact that you can tell what's going on for an hour and half without anyone speaking english is worthy of some kind of award. This movie still works to some extent because it was well done for the time it was done in and the acting is good. ...more info
  • Very nice entertaiment!
    Historicaly, it's a little bit confuse, but as a movie, it's fantastic, keeping your attention completely. It's really very good....more info
  • movie review
    simplistic movie about Neanderthal meeting a water or plains tribe during a journey to find a new fire source for their clan....more info
  • not too clean
    not very believable, not very entertaining, comon, even dogs and cats groom themselves, watch the beginning of 2001 for just 25 min and save yourself some time....more info
  • Quest for Fire DVD Review
    I had a VHS tape of this movie and I loved it. But I wanted the DVD version to replace the VHS version. Some of the antics, hillarious scenes, and the possibilities of what our ancestors went thru were so interesting. I'd recommend this movie highly!...more info
  • classic
    This is a movie that was awesome when it came out and remains awesome to this day....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