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The Edge of the World (1937)

Passed | | Drama, History, Romance | 9 September 1938 (USA)
A way of life is dying on an Outer Hebridean island fishing port, but some of the inhabitants resist evacuating to the mainland.



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Complete credited cast:
Belle Chrystall ...
Eric Berry ...
Kitty Kirwan ...
The Gray Family: James
Niall MacGinnis ...
The Gray Family: Andrew, His Son (as Niall Macginnis)
Grant Sutherland ...
The Catechist
Campbell Robson ...
George Summers ...
The Skipper


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 sspurli

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

9 September 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A l'angle du monde  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


£20,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (1940 re-issue) | (1990 NFA-restoration) | (Milestone print)

Sound Mix:

(Marconi's Visatone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »

Crazy Credits

[at the end of the opening credits] And all the people on the lonely island of Foula where this story was made See more »


Featured in Return to the Edge of the World (1978) See more »


Composer unknown
Performed by The Glasgow Orpheus Choir
Conducted by Hugh S. Roberton
See more »

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User Reviews

A rough but necessary debut
4 September 2005 | by (Tampa, Florida) – See all my reviews

Michael Powell directed the magnificent "Black Narcissus" so I had to check out this, his first solo film. I love the fact that he filmed this entirely on location on a practically barren island in the North Sea. The local people played all of the supporting parts and the scenery was genuine, rough-hewn houses of stone and peat. It's a short film -- the story of how a remote island community came to leave the land after it became too hard to work it -- which adds to the documentary-like feel of the film. One young man wants to leave the island and work in Scotland; his twin sister and her beau plan to stay on the island and marry. Their respective fathers are rather reluctant to face the future. The telling of the tale is as rough as the editing but it's worth renting if you want to get an idea of what life was like for the working class back then.

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Frustratingly distracted at the end - help needed please svenrufus
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