Englishman Robinson Crusoe, stranded alone on an island for years, is overjoyed to find a fellow man, a black islander whom he names Friday. But Crusoe cannot overcome the shackles of his ... See full summary »

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Cast

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Joel Fluellen ...
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Storyline

Englishman Robinson Crusoe, stranded alone on an island for years, is overjoyed to find a fellow man, a black islander whom he names Friday. But Crusoe cannot overcome the shackles of his own heritage and upbringing and is incapable of seeing Friday as anything other than a savage who needs Crusoe's brand of cultural and religious enlightenment. Friday attempts to share his own more generous and unashamed culture, but ultimately realizes that Crusoe can never see him as anything but an inferior being. With that awareness, Friday sets out to turn the tables on Crusoe. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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The motion picture adventure of the year. The emotional experience of a lifetime. See more »

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Drama | Adventure

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PG | See all certifications »
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18 June 1976 (Denmark)  »

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'Sexta-Feira'  »

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(Eastmancolor)

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Friday: I thought you said white man could not be killed by gun because of science magic.
Robinson Crusoe: I laid that spell myself, Friday, so I can take it off when I like.
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Version of Robinson Crusoe (1973) See more »

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Interesting though overlong subversion of the Daniel Defoe novel.
7 July 2003 | by (Todmorden, England) – See all my reviews

Robinson Crusoe is an extremely important work of literature, being one of the very earliest novels ever written in the accepted "novel" form. However, it is also extraordinarily racist. To understand its racism, one has to consider the attitudes that prevailed at the time when the book was published. Were it written nowadays, it would probably be banned. Within its historical context, though, it is rightly hailed as a classic. The makers of this film have realised that there is a strong case to revise this essentially racist book, and have made encouragingly open-minded and thoughtful attempts to re-do the story for a multi-cultural audience.

Man Friday is a reasonably engrossing story of how Crusoe, shipwrecked for years on a barren desert island, befriends a savage and names him "Friday". As time goes by, Crusoe attempts to change Friday into a good, decent Christian, but is shown to be more irrational and ignorant than the supposed savage. In the end, Friday proves himself to have a far more wise, perceptive and knowledgable personality than Crusoe.

The film is hindered by a few mis-judgements. There was no need for the handful of songs that have somehow made it into the script. If those misplaced bouts of singing were removed, the end product would doubtless have been better. Also, the pacing is a bit erratic, and much time seems to be meaninglessly wasted over the course of the 115 minute duration. The point could've been made efficiently in 90 minutes, and audiences might have felt the moral of the story more sharply. However, all in all, this is a worthy film, well acted and thought-provoking throughout, and significant for its recognition that the source material needed to be revised.


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