A Canada/France co-production, 1982's La Guerre du Feu told the story of the prehistoric Ulam tribe. Using only a simplistic primitive language designed by novelist Anthony Burgess and gestures and body language created by anthropologist Desmond Morris, we follow three members of Ulam (Everett McGill, Ron Perlman, Nameer El-Kadi) on the movie's titular quest, launched when their precious 'natural' fire source is extinguished.
Heh, heh. You said "titular."
Well, yes. Although the movie's general acclaim came for its stunning scenery and cinematography
, it was better known to teenage boys and young men of the time for another reason. The wandering tribesmen encounter the vicious Ivaka tribe, and rescue tribeswoman Ika (played by Rae Dawn Chong
) from them. Ika not only knows the secret of fire, but she teaches McGill's character (the Quest's leader) the pleasures and intimacy of face-to-face sex.
That aside, director Jean-Jacques Annaud's film was also popular with a more mature audience for the sense of realism it brought to its characters and their world. The actors bring a sense or personality and humour to their roles. While humanity makes a remarkable amount of progress in 100 minutes of running time (discovering romance, humour, and the critical secret of fire) it was a convincing foray into prehistory.
Quest for Fire received 1983's Academy Award for Best Make-Up.
The movie inspired a song by the same name from Iron Maiden, on 1983's album Piece Of Mind. Written by Steve Harris, it is generally considered by fans of the band to be filler, and one of the album's weakest tracks.