Pirates take over a lighthouse on a rocky island. They then execute a devious plan to cause ships to run aground, pillaging their wrecks. A lone member of the lighthouse crew survives, and ...
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Since time immemorial, the simple-minded boisterous people of Malava, a small Polish town near the border of imperial Russia, have lived on horse-stealing, horse-trading and horse-smuggling... See full summary »
Pirates take over a lighthouse on a rocky island. They then execute a devious plan to cause ships to run aground, pillaging their wrecks. A lone member of the lighthouse crew survives, and he deperately fights their plot. A shipwrecked maiden that avoids the pirates slaughter soon complicates the situation. Written by
John Rutkai <email@example.com>
The geographical location of the light (lighthouse) at the end of the world was an island in the Atlantic Ocean off the most southern headland of southern Chile's Tierra del Fuego archipelago. See more »
Throughout the movie, every time a cannon fires there is no recoil. See more »
Strong Leads and Narrative overcome Inept Production
After seeing "The Light at the Edge of the World," over 40 years after its release, I understand why it was a dismal flop in 1971. I remember the billboard advertising highlighting Kirk Douglas and Jules Verne, with small pictures of Yul Brynner and Samantha Eggar. I am certain many a parent dragged her kids screaming from a "Jules Verne/Kirk Douglas pirate movie" featuring mutilations, gang rape and the skinning of one especially beloved character. Those few adult couples likely attracted to the movie were likely put off by the weak pacing, inept direction and abysmal music.
However those of us who can look beyond the cheap jack trappings will be rewarded with strong lead performances by Kirk Douglas and, especially, Yul Brynner. Samantha Eggar, who has much less screen time, also impresses, even though most of her scenes are undercut by the weak direction.
At 2 hours and 7 minutes, "The Light at the Edge of the World" is at least 20 minutes too long. The flashback exposition regarding Douglas' character is not only unnecessary, it undercuts what little suspense the ineffectual direction could muster. One of these days, I would love to have video editing software to deconstruct and reconstruct this movie, removing unnecessary scenes, tightening camera fields and replacing the awful music. Barring that, "The Light at the Edge of the Word" is worth seeing, if only for Yul Brynner's chilling performance.
I give "The Light at the Edge of the World" a "6".
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