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On 30 September 1659, the aristocratic British Robinson Crusoe's ship sinks and he miraculously survives on a deserted island somewhere in South America. He retrieves a dog, Rex, and cat, Sam, from the shipwreck together with some supplies, weapons, clothes and tools and builds a shelter. He soon learns how to survive by cooking, farming, harvesting the crops. Then the loneliness begins to haunt him, especially after the loss of Rex. When he sees a group of cannibals in the island, tension and fear become part of his life. Later he saves the life of a savage that was going to be eaten by the cannibals; he names him Friday and they become friends. When Robinson Crusoe sees Caucasians on the island, he finds that Captain Oberzo was the victim of a mutiny and he helps him to retrieve his ship. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The three lead actors all died in 2005. See more »
Two different cats are used that look nothing alike to play the same cat. Sam, the cat he rescues from the shipwreck is a calico. By the time they reach shore, Sam has somehow transformed into a gray and white tabby and remains that way throughout the rest of the movie. See more »
How wrong I had been. Friday was as loyal a friend as any man could want. With his many different skills he enriched my life on the island. We had found that two working together could do much more than working separately.
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Robinson honoring the day of the Lord?When you know Bunuel's huge body of work,you do know that scene can only be ironical.If there's a moral to draw from his "Robinson" it's probably "God helps those who help themselves".That's what he says to his prisoner .In "La Mort en Ce Jardin" (1957) Bunuel would go further:his characters ,lost in the jungle ,light a fire with the pages of the Bible.
My favorite scene is Robinson screaming in front of the vast ocean :God is nothing but the echo of Man's voice.
Bunuel's Robinson is rather unpleasant.He is at first an idle lazy young bourgeois who has to work for the first time in his life.As always in Bunuel's canon,the nightmare scene where a mocking father appears is impressive;ditto for the voices of Robinson's old companions singing about good old time.
Robinson's relationship with Friday is very well depicted; the hero confesses he was a potential slave trader :the goal of his voyage?The dialog Robinson/Friday includes these immortal lines:
-If God's stronger than the Devil,why doesn't He kill him?
-God wants to put Man to the test.Man has choice between good and bad.
A writer,Michel Tournier ,was probably influenced by Bunuel for his book "Vendredi ou les Limbes du Pacifique" :he made Friday Robinson's equal.
An essential Bunuel? probably not.But even a minor film by this extraordinary director deserves your undivided attention.
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