Jan is a decent, boring man, living a decent, boring life as a rocket designer. When his adventurous twin brother dies in a breakfast accident, Jan decides to impersonate him, unwittingly becoming a part of a Nazi time travel conspiracy.
A young boy in 14th century Cumbria (north of England) keeps getting visions he cannot explain. His village has so far been spared from the black death, but the villagers fear its imminent arrival. With the boy as their guide, a group set out to dig a hole to the other side of the world, so as to fulfil the visions and save the village. At the 'other side' is 20th century New Zealand !.. N.B. Flips from B+W to colour frequently. Written by
It was this movie that convinced the producers of Alien³ (1992) to hire Vincent Ward as writer/director (although Ward would eventually leave the set of Alien 3 after many creative differences with the studio). See more »
(at around 51 mins), during the pouring of the spike in the foundry, Griffin breaks the "fourth wall" by briefly looking up at the camera and then quickly away again. See more »
This is an extraordinary film, not to mention extraordinarily underrated. I first saw this film as a child and it has stayed with me ever since. Now I've seen it once more with adult eyes I can't help but wonder why it's not more renowned. The fact it defies standard genres has probably hampered its reputation, often getting it unfairly shelved as a sort of arty kid's flick. Undoubtedly there are elements here that will appeal to children - imagine a more sombre Terry Gilliam and you might be there - but it's much more than just that. And to describe it as merely fantasy is to ignore the power and universality of the story. Poetic and moving, The Navigator is a lost masterpiece of 80s cinema waiting to be rediscovered.
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