And to prove my point, today we’ll be taking a look at one of the worst book to film adaptations ever: The Clan of the Cave Bear, the first in Jean M. Auel‘s Earth’s Children series.
The sweeping tale of a Cro-Magnon girl left homeless and on the verge of death before being taken in by a Neanderthal ‘clan’ is one of my all time favorites. We follow the journey of young Ayla as she is brought up by Iza, her adoptive clan mother, and Creb, the clan’s respected shaman all the while struggling to fit in with her new family. Through no fault of her own, she makes an enemy of the clan leader’s son, Broud – a more despicable villain you’d be hard pressed to find. Broud does everything in his power to turn the Clan against her.
Ayla’s is a story of triumph in the face of extreme tragedy, although that triumph is tempered by a heartrending decision she must face at the end of the book. The Clan of the Cave Bear is a sweeping saga well worth the read, as are the second and third books in the series.
And then came the 1986 movie. Given the prehistoric angle of the story, I have to wonder who thought The Clan of the Cave Bear would possibly translate well on the big screen? I mean, just take a gander at this trailer:
I feel like I can end this post now. That trailer speaks for itself, doesn’t it? Although, I do have to wonder with today’s CGI capabilities and a more sophisticated movie-going audience, perhaps a remake wouldn’t be terrible?
What book to film adaptation disappointed you the most? Which happily surprised you?