Movie of the Week: Journey to the Beginning of Time (1955)

Titled Cesta do paveku in its native Czech, this award-winning film was groundbreaking for its era, portraying prehistoric life accurately, rather than just for cheap thrills.

It's a little didactic and slow, but if you have the temperament for this sort of thing it's very rewarding. The miniatures and stop-motion effects are too lovely to miss. How unfortunate that tens of millions were spent converting a melodramatic piece of tripe like Titanic to 3-D, when this film remains relegated to lo-rez youtube videos. It's like a Sawyer's View-Master reel come to life.

Mostly filmed in Czechoslovakia, although for the introduction they had a second unit shoot within the halls of the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where I worked as an exhibit artist for a few years.

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