MovieChat Forums > Quest for FireĀ (1981) Discussion > Initial Reactions upon release

Initial Reactions upon release


Hi all. I just rented this movie last night and thought it was very ambitious. I liked it.

I was curious as to how the film was received when it was released in '81. I think if it were released today, Americans would react harshly to the violent sex scenes. Just wondering if audiences were as sexually up-tight as they can be today.

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Actually, given all the religious fervor we're stuck with right now, I suspect they'd be more pissed at the evolution bit than the sex.

Well, I guess that's actually more of a toss-up. Or, perhaps toss-off would be more appropriate....


No, no - Pillage first, then burn! Stupid Vikings...

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Religious fervor? What a laugh. What we are stuck with is an exponential increase in self-righteous atheists who put down religion and Christianity with the abandon and smugness that they accuse people who have faith.

And funny how it creeps into almost every single freaking thread on IMDB, if you haven't noticed.

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@ thomas196x2000


Faith in the tooth fairy is on the same par as your faith in whatever you believe.

Please prove me wrong.

Religion has crept into my life without ever being invited by me - it pushed its way in... would you tolerate an uninvited menace - I wouldn't either.

If you want the truth about religion please watch the documentary ZEITGEIST.
So far it explains it the best. It may open your eyes... or not! Also watch parts 2 & 3 ... very informative.





@ dizzyBallerina

I stumbled onto Quest For Fire by chance. Loved it the first time I saw it (circa 2008) and still love it now.

It is one of the best movies of this type I have come across.

:))

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It won an award in France.

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Yeah, with the sexual immaturity on the American scene (and yes, I am American; college grad and proud to have served as a member of the armed forces and as a municipal police officer. Even still....) it'd be hard to judge just how well-received this movie would be if it were released today vs. twenty-some years ago. It seems we (as a populous) always have some witch-hunt to be on; very sad. If all that collective energy were to be used, instead, towards, say, anything more important than to how tight our sphincters can be over trivial $hit, then maybe our culture would mature and we'd get to the point of paying attention to the more serious matters of the world.

Then again, in my opinion, the world as a whole is on it's way to hell on a greased rail with lightning sticking out of it's ass, so maybe I'm just too cynical.

Personally, I enjoyed this movie when it first came on the scene in the 80's. And I say that in spite of myself. I was in my teens and at that time would have never figured I'd ever get into a movie with no dialogue. But for some reason this movie just sort of grabbed me; I guess I was more mature, for my age. Now, many years later, I own a copy of it on DVD and have watched it a few times, enjoying it for it's drama and suspense. It's not every movie that can stand the test of time like this one.

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"populace"

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"Actually, given all the religious fervor we're stuck with right now, I suspect they'd be more pissed at the evolution bit than the sex." - by FlyByNight.

I disagree.
Naoh is Adam in Neanderthal language, an Ika is Eve.

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Modern humans didn't evolve from Neanderthals.

Roger Ebert hated this movie.

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re-read ebert's review. He dug it and for obvious reasons--it's great.

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[deleted]

Don't pin that on just Americans. People are basically the same no matter what country they are from. I've heard these accusations of American's supposedly stunted perspective before, the accusation itself is a stereotype. All countries have population who prefer entertainment that stays within the safety net and other population who prefer their entertainment to be raw and not inhibited by conservative views.
Sure, every country has its share of both views. The difference is just how big each share is. In Europe, the extreme conservatives are a minority, if it is just small or ridiculously small depends from country to country. In the US on the other hand, this extereme conservative group appears to be the norm when seen from the outside.

Much of this perception has come in recent years, by many little things.
I disagree with you that movies are among them. But TV series, yes most definatly. Overtly mild and politically correct shows like "Friends", "Step by Step" and many others certainly have done a lot for this impression. But the one major incicent that stands out is the Janet Jackson Superbowl incident a few years back.

In Europe, this stunt would have been considered mild compared to other things that regurlarly happen at live family events. Had the Janet incident been in any other western country, it wouldn't have had any consequences what so ever, and a note on the last page of the tabloids would have been the most media coverage generated by it. Indeed the nip slip incident itself was barely mentioned in any news channels in the west apart from the US. Completely and harmless and unimportant. But the extreme overreaction displayed by the american public on the other hand, now that made headlines! Actual letters from angry parents sent to the channel airing Superbowl was used as entertainment in humourprograms in radio and TV for weeks, I kid you not. This cemented the impression of americans as moralistic fanatics in the eyes of the rest of the western world, I'm truely sorry to say. After that, people have been more sensitive to news about things that cause controvery in the states, like the Golden Compass and what have you not, which is considered perfectly harmless everywhere else.

Please note that I'm not saying that all americans are moralistic prudes, far from it. But there are indeed differences in how "prudent" various cultures are, and while many points of complaint may be sterotypical, there are undeniably some level of truth in them. This certainly goes for the things which often cause offense in the US. Surely no one can deny that.

Across the pond you have
-nudity on TV all the time. No, not just cable, but ordinary free for all TV. Things reserved for cable in the US are the norm. This safety net you speak of does not necessarily offer all that much "safety".
-Virtually all beaches are clothing optional.
-Religious faith is generally not considered a virtue. A vice would be closer to the truth. If a politican tries to use his strong religious views as a selling point, he'll likley loose the election.
-Anyone saying they believe in creationism and the young earth school of thougth would immediatly be considered insane or a dangerous fanatic, usually both.

I imagine all of the above would be pretty controversial in the US.
In those places where americans are sometimes considered conservative and moralistic, it is not.





Hold Brillan!

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one of the best posts i've ever read on the imdb! as someone who lives in germany and has lived in the US for a while i wanted to tell the person above that she's wrong but you explained it perfectly. great examples and easy to understand for those that haven't been to both the US and europe.

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[deleted]

Extreme conservatives are not the norm here in the U.S. They're not even the norm in the Republican party. They are a very vocal and vociferous minority who get in the media all the time.

Most Americans thought the Janet Jackson overreaction was ridiculous.

There are over 300 million people here and only the most outrageous get publicity. There are tens of millions of non-Puritanical people here. You should come visit or live here to see what it's really like.

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For real----I'm American, and I really thought that whole controversy over Janet Jackson was ridiculous as hell, and sadly, it did hurt her career as she hasn't made an album since,which sucks.(Interesting how it never hurt Justin Timberlake's career at all, since he's the one who committed the actual action anyway, yet nobody jumped all over him about it as much as they did Janet.) And the whole thing was just an accident anyway---you'd think she'd done it on purpose,or that the sky fell, the way the media reacted to it. And people pointed out that there were commercials that were much racier than anything Janet Jackson showed for all of 5 seconds on national TV. Just like the recent dust-up about Miley Cyrus's dancing actions at that music award show, or complaints about the way Queen Bey (Beyonce) was dressed while performing at the halftime show, which was also equally ridiculous. From what I've seen in European movies and media,they're always seemed to have a much more mature attitude toward sex in general (which is why they probably laughed their behinds off at all the hype any of these so-called incidents got in the first place.

Yes, Americans raised in a conservative church like I was do have their hangups (and learn to grow out of them--not as much as we think we do,unfortunately,but we try) but all of us aren't like that,thank goodness.

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Extreme conservatives are not the norm here in the U.S. They're not even the norm in the Republican party. They are a very vocal and vociferous minority who get in the media all the time. <They are now>

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"re-read ebert's review. He dug it and for obvious reasons--it's great."

Yes, I have a very vague recollection of seeing Siskel & Ebert review this film on the old "Sneak Previews" show, and as I recall they both liked it (Ebert perhaps even more than Siskel).

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In reply to Valerie 1p's post ......

Adventis did!

Deckard, 2 63 54, I'm filed and monitored

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But who cares what Ebert thinks?? I Agree with many of his views, sure he studied film etc, but in the end it's about entertainment and shame on those who have to be told "This is good" or "this is bad" for them to or not to enjoy a film.
It's all opinion and subjective
It was well made...if you stop and think and try to imagine what Neanderthals OR pre-human man/humanoids etc, whatever you wanna call it; were like thousands of years ago, than this is it, or pretty darn close.

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"But who cares what Ebert thinks?? I Agree with many of his views, sure he studied film etc, but in the end it's about entertainment and shame on those who have to be told "This is good" or "this is bad" for them to or not to enjoy a film.
It's all opinion and subjective"

Um, really? Do you have a better way to tell which movies are worth seeing than the opinion of an intelligent critic? I can't see every movie myself, nor do I want to. I read reviews so that I don't have to subject myself to moronic drivel. That doesn't mean that I see every movie that the critic recommends, but when he writes a nice synopsis, giving me an idea of what the movie is about, and gives some indication of the intelligence level put into the making of the film, I'd say I'm better off that reading the video jacket.

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[deleted]

The critics responded very favorably; Ebert & Maltin, for example, both gave it 3 1/2 stars (deservedly). Although it wasn't a blockbuster, it made $21 million in the US, which was a pretty decent amount in 1982; it was the 38th highest grossing film of that year (the 38th film in 2007 made about $70 million).

As for religious controversy, there really wasn't any. We Christians are sometimes pricky about things (way too prickly, really; a lot of Christian controversies are just much ado about nothing), but this really isn't one of those films. As far as those of us who are aware of this film are concerned, it's a beautifully made film that doesn't necessarily reflect our beliefs about early humanity, but is good storytelling. We don't let little kids, watch it, though, for obvious reasons.

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"it's a beautifully made film that doesn't necessarily reflect our beliefs about early humanity"

Those beliefs would be another "epic adventure of science fanatsy!" Get a clue: The bible is fiction. It's also an instrument of thought control. Enjoy the phyilosophy, practice love and compassion, but recognize that the world would be a better place if an eleventh commandment said, "Though shalt go out and learn new things."

You haven't seen enough movies. All of life's riddles are answered in the movies.

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"Those beliefs would be another "epic adventure of science fanatsy!" Get a clue: The bible is fiction. It's also an instrument of thought control."

The Atheistic cant and dogma you imbibe from the public education system and the dominant press are far more effective and relevant methods of thought control, within the context of contemporary Western society. The fact you can't see this indicates you aren't nearly as bright as you imagine yourself to be. And I suspect you bore others as much as you bore me.

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I don't understand the parental concerns. I watched this movie in science class in grade 6 (teacher explained the scientific inaccuracies) and I don't recall anyone being traumatised or any parents outraged at all. Sure, there is a rape scene, but if 12-year-olds ignore there is such a thing as rape in the world, then something's probably not quite alright in their education.
And to counter the rape, the main character finally learns the difference between having sex and making love.
How long is the notion going to prevail, that sex is inherently inmoral and knowledge of it unsuitable for minors?

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This film was a field trip for my Grade 9 class in Canada and the only outcry was over the wide mix of hominids that where living at the same time. Criticaly it was pretty well recieved and most of the class enjoyed it (apart from a couple creationist students who had some major problems with it LOL). I need to see it again.
Mark

so this is it we are going to die

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Back in the day, when it was released in 1991, QUEST FOR FIRE flopped hard in the USA. But it broke box-office records around the world.

"This are Nice shoes! Couldn't you afford some real Nike?"

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[deleted]

This film was NOT a flop nor was it controversial at the time of release in the US. It was sold as if it was 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and audiences responded as if it was PLANET OF THE APES.

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[deleted]

By the way, the American Christian right was too busy that summer showing their indignation for MAKING LOVE and PERSONAL BEST to worry about theories of creation.

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[deleted]

You have to remember 1981 was a very different time in American cinema. The old studios were being taken over by corporations. Jaws and Star Wars had created the frenzy of the summer blockbuster. Disco filled the pop radio scene. And the swinging 1960's counter culture were growing up to become yuppies. The drug use of the parents in 1982's Poltergeist barely shook people up back then.

As far as the sex scenes in Quest for Fire. Remember that less than a decade earlier the X rated Deep Throat was a huge hit, and even still played in some theaters by then. The late 1970's and early 1980's saw much of the the fruit of the 1960's sexual revolution. Slipping between bed sheets with perfect strangers wasn't considered nearly as taboo as it is today. Before A.I.D.S. the worst uncureable disease was herpies.

But times have changed. We now measure a films succsess with box office numbers. Back then blockbusters were very uncommon, and it was more of an experiment to get one to take shape. Now productions are much more involved, with marketing, studio executives, and all sorts of ninnies trying to shape a film into pleaseing as wide an audiance as possable. You can see this in action with Clan of the Cave Bear a few years later...The general dumbing down lowest common denominator fluff studios now kick out in thier sleep.

Quest for Fire if released today would likely garner lots of unwanted attention from some very minor but vocal groups. Such groups are often very small, but quite capable of pushing the right buttons to get attention. And its all about selling thier message, the film (any film really) is just the stepping stone allowing them to climb ontop thier soapbox. And the media unfortunetly eats this up time and again...

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[deleted]

I remember seeing when I was 13 or something and we laughed at the sex scenes. Like the one where the guy just walks up behind and starts humping that cavewoman

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"I was curious as to how the film was received when it was released in '81. I think if it were released today, Americans would react harshly to the violent sex scenes. Just wondering if audiences were as sexually up-tight as they can be today."

My father took me to see this movie during its original cinematic release, back when I was 11 or 12 (I'm presently 41), and as I recall, the movie was considered a bit racy, and obviously went over better in some parts of the country than in others (I was then residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, where it was probably better received than nearly anywhere else), but regardless, I seem to recall that at the time, the film was held in high esteem as a serious, artistic effort in attempting to present paleo-lithic human existence in as realistic a manner as possible.

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Upon its initial release,the critics loved this movie.I mean,adored it.It didnt make a dent in the box office,but that director had the halo effect for years with the critics because of it.Rae Dawn Chong,Tommy Chong's daughter was in it,and she got the benefit of the doubt as an actress because of it.
Jimmy

"1)There is a God,and 2)Im not him."

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