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A trio wanders the cliffs of an Outer Hebridean island and encounters a gravestone at the edge of a precipice; it reads, "Peter Manson ... gone over." One man in the trio knows the story of the gravestone and tells it to the others... It is ten years earlier, and the way of life on the island is dying; steam trawlers from the mainland threaten its survival as a fishing port. Peter Manson, one of the community's leaders, resists evacuating to the mainland, though his son Robbie is about to leave the island himself. Meanwhile, Robbie's twin sister plans to marry his best friend, Andrew Gray. Andrew and Robbie argue over evacuation and decide to settle the matter by racing to the top of a cliff. Ruth is terrified: she may lose them both. The race ends in tragedy, which tears apart the families of Manson and Gray. Times passes and Ruth reveals she is pregnant with an illegitimate child. This promises to bring the two families back together, but not before desperation hits the islanders. ... Written by
The cast and crew stayed on Foula for many months. This was before the airstrip was built and they had to use local fishing boats as ferries. See more »
The wild Golden Eagle at the beginning has the falconer's jesses (leather straps) visible. See more »
[before opening credits] The slow shadow of death is falling on the outer isles of Scotland. [scrolls up] This is the story of one of them -- and all of them When the Roman fleet first sailed round Britain they saw from the Orkneys a distant island, like a blue haze across a hundred miles of sea. They called it - "Ultima Thule" [main title] The Edge of the World See more »
I have Scotch blood in me, and films that depict the Scottish heritage are rare. The musical score underlines the portrayal of the gentle nature of the characters in this film. Scenery depicting the stark, barren beaches of Foula are images that you'll not soon forget. That such a film could even be made demonstrates that we now live in a much harsher and more violent time. The way, for instance, that Peter Manson overcomes his prejudice against his daughter's lover is a tender yet non-verbal reconciliation scene that almost breaks your heart. This is a film for people who are capable, at least, of still remembering that such a time existed when people were gentle and kind to each other. The average gang-banger from L.A. or New York, for instance, won't be able to appreciate it.
If you liked this film, I recommend "I Know Where I'm Going" as another that portrays Scottish customs and traditions. And both films have the excellent actor Finlay Currie in them.
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