The Neanderthal Man


Action / Horror / Sci-Fi

IMDb Rating 4.4 10 401


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Beverly Garland as Nola Mason - waitress
Robert Easton as Danny - townsman
William Fawcett as Dr. Fairchild
Robert Bray as Tim Newcomb - cattle rancher
689.9 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 18 min
P/S 0 / 4

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Scott LeBrun (Hey_Sweden) 5 / 10

Passable schlock.

From the minds of writers / producers Aubrey Wisberg and Jack Pollexfen ("The Man from Planet X") comes this silly, silly B movie with an irresistibly goofy premise. Unfortunately, it doesn't really deliver on its promise, and can't even work that well on a "so bad it's good" level. It only succeeds in being dull most of the time. That isn't to say that it doesn't have fun moments, though. It will likely come as a disappointment to fans of the German born director, Ewald Andre Dupont, who'd made "Variete", regarded by some as one of the finest silent films ever made. But undemanding fans of this kind of thing may still be amused enough to stick it out.

Robert Shayne of 'Adventures of Superman' stars as Professor Clifford Groves, one of those madder than mad scientists we've all seen who's as crazed as he is because his peers won't accept his theories. (This leads to some absolutely hysterical dialogue as he harangues them.) So what he does to prove he's right is inject a cat in his lab, and later himself, with a formula that turns the cat into a sabre toothed tiger and him into a...well, you can figure it out. His concerned daughter Jan (Joyce Terry) and a stuffy zoologist (an amazingly stiff Richard Crane) do some snooping around while local authorities and citizens vow to do something about the savage killings in the area.

Once again, what prevents this from being more fun is too much talk and too little action. However, it's amusing to watch as an obviously ordinary tiger is used much of the time and then close-ups are done of hilariously unconvincing prop heads. Adding appeal to the proceedings is the impressively sincere acting by a game cast, also including Doris Merrick as Groves's fiancée Ruth, a strikingly attractive young Beverly Garland as waitress Nola, and the late, renowned dialect coach and character actor Robert Easton as a townsman. The cinematography is by the great Stanley Cortez, the original music by Albert Glasser, and the reasonably good makeup by Harry Thomas.

All in all, one could have a decent time watching this with a couple of pals and a lot of beers.

Five out of 10.

Reviewed by rixrex 4 / 10

A Mad Scientist's rantings are now considered accurate!

A most interesting and weakly executed Sci-Fi diversion, where we have a somewhat unbalanced scientist proposing a theory that brain size is indicative of intelligence. A theory laughed at by fellow scientists in this film, but now recognized as accurate.

Of course, in the film, the scientist promotes as fact that brain size of the neanderthal is perhaps even larger than modern man, when it was not. That's the flaw here, but still we get to see him revert himself back to a neanderthal with violent tendencies, probably also pretty far-fetched. I'd expect a neanderthal in today's world to be more bewildered and frightened than overtly violent for no reason.

Also of notable fun is the "reversion" of house cats to sabre-tooth tigers. Pretty unlikely as they're not really evolutionarily that closely related in any line. But still fun and in one case, ironically deadly.

This is mild low-budget 1950s science fiction, short enough to not be tedious, although the excessively prose dialog is annoying. It's almost like writing in a period stage-drama style of the 1900s, and applying it to a 50s B-movie.

While merely okay, this film could have been so much better in the hands of Jack Arnold and the sci-fi effects wizards at 1950s Universal-International. Oh, wait, I just remembered they did it as Monster on the Campus.

Reviewed by sol 6 / 10

Bigger doesn't always mean smarter

****SPOILERS**** In the "Neanderthal Man" Robert Shayne, Prof. Clifford Groves, plays a somewhat whacked-out scientist who's obsessed in proving his theory of "Devolution". In that man has actually devolved not evolved from pre-historic times to today where his brain is about a quarter the size of the brain of the Java Cro-Magnon or Neanderthal Man.

At the Naturalist Club Prof. Groves is almost laughed off the platform by his colleagues for saying that and in a fit of anger and indignation he tells them that their nothing but a bunch of ingrates and mental midgets and that a man of his brilliance is too good to have anything to do with them.

Back at his home in the High Sierra Mountains Prof. Groves goes to work in his lab to prove that he's right and make those anthropologists at the Naturalist Club who made a monkey out of him and his theories pay for what they did by showing those fools just how right he was and is. Making a cave women out of his housemaid Celia, Tandra Quinn, with a serum that he developed he next turns his house cat into a large and vicious saber-tooth tiger who breaks out of his lab and causes havoc in the countryside by killing the local farmers livestock.

All this attracts Dr. Harkness, Richard Crane, a L.A paleontologist who with the insistence of local game warden George Oakes, Robert Long, goes up to the High Sierra and hunts down and kills the big cat.

Getting Prof. Groves to go with them to identify the tiger it somehow disappeared. Obviously Prof. Groves found the dead saber-tooth tiger earlier that morning and hid it in order not to have his secret experiments exposed.Prof. Groves is so obsessed with his experiments that he completely ignores his bride-to-be Ruth, Doris Merrick, who came to visit him as he buries himself in his work in the study on the size of the human and pre-human brain.

Later Prof. Groves injects himself with his serum and turns into a Neanderthal Man but instead of getting smarter he gets more wilder and goes out in the range and kills a number of campers and hunters. Prof. Groves doesn't even look like a Neanderthal Man he looks more like an extra from the movie "Planet of the Apes".

Robert Shayne really overdid the mad scientist act and was so off the wall and unstable in many scenes in the movie that it made you wonder why nobody in the film noticed just how insane he was and didn't call the police or park rangers to have him taken away and locked up in a hospital room before he hurt himself or anyone else.

Later Dr. Harkness enters Prof. Groves lab and sees a number of cats in cages and vials of serum and injects one of the cats with it that it later turns also into a saber-tooth tiger. Prof. Groves is hunted down and shot by a sheriff's posse in the hills but escapes only to be attacked by the tiger who ends up killing him. After Prof. Groves dies he turns back into a modern day civilized human being from the pre-historic brute that he was.

It's a shame that Prof. Groves had to learn the hard way about his theory of brain size that bigger doesn't always mean smarter.

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