Quest for Fire


This story takes place in prehistoric time when three prehistoric tribesmen search for a new fire source.

Release Year: 1981

Rating: 7.3/10 (8,158 voted)

Jean-Jacques Annaud

Stars: Everett McGill, Ron Perlman, Nicholas Kadi

Anthony Burgess created the primitive language for the early humans in this prehistoric adventure about a trio of warriors who travel the savanna, encountering sabre-toothed tigers, mammoths and cannibalistic tribes in search of a flame that would replace the fire their tribe has lost.

Writers: Gérard Brach, J.H. Rosny Sr.


Everett McGill


Ron Perlman


Nicholas Kadi


(as Nameer El-Kadi)

Rae Dawn Chong


Gary Schwartz

Rouka – The Ulam Tribe

Naseer El-Kadi

Nam – The Ulam Tribe

Franck-Olivier Bonnet

Aghoo – The Ulam Tribe

(as Frank Olivier Bonnet)

Jean-Michel Kindt

Lakar – The Ulam Tribe

Kurt Schiegl

Faum – The Ulam Tribe

Brian Gill

Modoc – The Ulam Tribe

Terry Fitt

Hourk – The Ulam Tribe

Bibi Caspari

Gammla – The Ulam Tribe

Peter Elliott

Mikr – The Ulam Tribe

Michelle Leduc

Matr – The Ulam Tribe

Robert Lavoie

Tsor – The Ulam Tribe

A Science Fantasy Adventure.

Release Date: 12 February 1982

Filming Locations: Badlands, Alberta, Canada

Box Office Details

Budget: $12,500,000


Gross: $67,400,000

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


This movie is set 80,000 years ago in Paleolithic Europe.


In one shot there is no smoke coming from Amoukar's lantern, even though the previous and following shots show plenty of smoke billowing from the lantern.


[first lines]

Title Card:
80,000 years ago, man's survival in a vast uncharted land depended on the possession of fire. / For those early humans, fire was an object of great mystery, since no one had mastered its creation. Fire had to be stolen from nature, it had to be kept alive – sheltered from wind and rain, guarded from rival tribes. / Fire was a symbol of power and a means of survival. The tribe who possessed fire, possessed life.

User Review

Unique prehistoric survival adventure.

Rating: 8/10

Ignore the idiotic negative comments of the naysayers. This is a great
film. It boldly creates a world unlike any we've seen before, with
dedicated actors going well beyond the call of duty in portraying a life and
death struggle for survival under the most harrowing conditions imaginable.

Featuring Claude Agostini's splendid wide-screen cinematography of remote,
rainswept landscapes and a rich score by Phillipe Sarde, this movie will
take you on a compelling journey that, if nothing else, will clarify the
routine creature comforts of our civilized world in a manner more direct
than anything you might have previously experienced in a theater.

Jean-Jacques Annaud and collaborators tell their tale with dramatic
simplicity and virtually no dialogue, but the points made are powerful.
Humanity survives, and will prevail despite our weaknesses and faults.
Overall, a remarkable, life-affirming work.