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Tribe, The (1974)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger

Tribe, The (1974) A tribe of Cro-Magnon hunters are introduced via a narrator, which gives the movie a documentary feel and makes you feel as if you're watching a real, primitive tribe.

Matis (Victor French) is the leader and he has a wife and two children. His wife is the fire keeper and his father, the oldest member of the tribe, is the toolmaker. There is also the newest member, Goran, the sole survivor of his own tribe, who Matis took in a few months before.

They are on their way to warmer lands. While hunting boar they come across a lone mammoth and in the hunt Matis is accidently speared by one of his own mean. It paralyzes his legs. He wants the rest of his tribe to leave him, as is the rule of his tribe, but they won't. Goran carries him back to camp.

That night Matis tells the others that Goran is the new leader. Goran had been the leader of his own tribe of eight, but they were attacked by twenty ferocious Neanderthals, who not only killed everyone but ate them. Matis makes Goran promise to leave him behind in the morning, as he's useless and doesn't want to endanger his tribe. So the tribe leaves when he is sleeping. That day Matis waits for death by a dying fire, until two panthers find him. He isn't able to give up so easily and he spears one and clubs another when they get too near. And the paralyses starts to go away, so much so that he is able to walk in the morning. He heads off after his tribe, who has at least a day's lead.

Meanwhile, in the tribe, Matis' mate and his teenaged daughter are both interested in Goran, though it's just talk at this point. While picking berries the daughter encounters a Neanderthal hunter, who offers her a rabbit and then starts dragging her to his camp. Goran comes along and manages to wound the caveman, but he escapes and goes back to his own tribe. By that night Matis makes it to his tribe--but on the way spies the Neanderthal camp and the escaped, wounded hunter telling them about his encounter with the Cro-Magnons. Once Matis relays this information, Goran says they'll attack at first light, so they prepare.

In the morning the fur-covered Neanderthals attack but the tribe is ready. They are up on a ledge and throw down large rocks, chasing them off. However, Goran, still having survivor's guilt from when they attacked his own tribe, goes down and starts attacking them--and they end up killing him. As you can imagine, this saddens the rest of the tribe, particularly Matis, as this was his good friend.

The tribe continues on their trek across the ice-age landscape.

THE TRIBE is truly one of the best movies about prehistoric man, well acted and entirely believable. A big reason for this is that they act and talk "normal" and you feel as if you're watching real people. The Neanderthal makeup is also very cool. I'd say it's better than both QUEST FOR FIRE and 10,000 B.C.

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