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Lord of the Flies

Entry updated 30 January 2017. Tagged: Film.

1. Film (1963). Allen-Hogdon Productions/Two Arts. Directed by Peter Brook. Written by Brook, based on The Lord of the Flies (1954) by William Golding. Cast includes James Aubrey, Tom Chapin, Hugh Edwards and Roger Elwin. 91 minutes. Black and white.

Set in the Near Future, the film concerns a group of English schoolboys whose plane crash-lands on a remote island. With two exceptions the boys quickly revert to savagery, resulting in the murder of one of them. Lord of the Files can be interpreted in several ways: as a demonstration of the validity of the belief in Original Sin; as a variation on H G Wells's theme that civilization is only skin-deep (also demonstrated by the implication that World War Three is taking place elsewhere); or as an indictment of the English public-school system. It is an honest but "literary" (and not very cinematic) rendition of a story that works better as a novel.

2. Film (1990). Castle Rock Entertainment/Nelson Entertainment/A Jack's Camp/Signal Hill production. Directed by Harry Hook. Written by Sarah Schiff, based on the Golding novel. Cast includes Chris Furrh, Balthazar Getty and Daniel Pipoly. 90 minutes. Colour.

This updated remake (the boys are US rather than UK) is well made, and its less than reverent adherence to its distinguished source does not hurt it. The main adaptation is to modify the hanged pilot of the original into a badly injured pilot who arrives on the island with the boys, crawls into a cave and comes to be regarded as a Monster. [JB/PN]


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