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Lord of the Flies (1963)

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Lost on an island, young survivors of a plane crash eventually revert to savagery despite the few rational boys' attempts to prevent that.

Director:

Peter Brook

Writer:

William Golding (novel)
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Lord of the Flies is a modern remake of the William Golding classic that was written, produced, performed and edited completely by me, my brothers, and other children aged 7 to 17 during ... See full summary »

Director: Eliot Cowan
Drama

A group of girls are deserted on an island and descend into savagery, losing their humanity along the way.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Aubrey ... Ralph
Tom Chapin ... Jack
Hugh Edwards ... Piggy
Roger Elwin Roger Elwin ... Roger
Tom Gaman Tom Gaman ... Simon
Roger Allan Roger Allan ... Piers
David Brunjes David Brunjes ... Donald
Peter Davy Peter Davy ... Peter
Kent Fletcher Kent Fletcher ... Percival Wemys Madison
Nicholas Hammond ... Robert
Christopher Harris Christopher Harris ... Bill
Alan Heaps Alan Heaps ... Neville
Jonathan Heaps Jonathan Heaps ... Howard
Burnes Hollyman Burnes Hollyman ... Douglas
Andrew Horne Andrew Horne ... Matthew
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Storyline

A group of young boys are stranded alone on an island. Left to fend for themselves, they must take on the responsibilities of adults, even if they are not ready to do so. Inevitably, two factions form: one group (lead by Ralph) want to build shelters and collect food, whereas Jack's group would rather have fun and HUNT; illustrating the difference between civilization and savagery. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Evil is inherent in the human mind, whatever innocence may cloak it...


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 August 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El señor de las moscas See more »

Filming Locations:

Aguadilla, Puerto Rico See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$250,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Two Arts Ltd. See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Piggy's real name is never revealed. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 5 mins) Jack is talking to the group of kids, while eating a banana. Even with the banana in his mouth, and with him taking bites, his voice remains unaltered. He even speaks while chewing. See more »

Quotes

Boys: [repeated line, chants] Kill the pig! Slit her throat! Bash her in!
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Crazy Credits

The opening credits list the entire production crew but none of the actors. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #33.83 (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Kyrie Eleison
(uncredited)
Performed by Choir Group
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
They didn't wish for this
6 April 2012 | by StevePulaskiSee all my reviews

William Golding's timeless novel Lord of the Flies is one of the many works of literature that has continuously etched itself into the English reading curriculum, much like Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird and William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Golding's novel isn't a racial parable or a story about star-crossed lovers, but a dark, biblical allegory with a message about as crippling and as thought-provoking as anyone I can think of. It's not an easy read, with lots of imagery spelled out in grand detail and a plethora of ambiguous symbolism. And for that matter, it's not a very easy watch. One must go in prepared and open-minded to truly enjoy what Peter Brook's Lord of the Flies brings.

The story is simple. After a horrific plane crash, a group of young schoolboys are left stranded and ill-equipped to try and sustain themselves on a remote island surrounded by water as far as the eye can see. There are no adults, the pilot is dead, and their home country of England is now involved with what will be known as World War II. We are first greeted with plucky young Ralph (Aubery), who will later become selected leader of the island, with his leadership resembling a fair and balanced democracy. Ralph's best friend on the island is a chubby boy named Piggy (Edwards), who remains realistic about the situation that the boys will be condemned to this island until they die.

Another boy on the island named Jack (Chapin), quickly embraces life on the island, and turns to barbaric and savage intentions as the antagonist whose only care is to hunt and kill. He becomes symbolic for Satan, while another boy named Simon (Gaman) becomes almost a Christlike figure, with his excessive assistance to the boys and authentic kind nature.

The moral of the novel and film is quite interesting, and is open for some heavy debate. Golding states that the only reason humans are kept in place and are civilized is because of law and order, and if those laws were ever to be lifted at any given time, that at first, people would try to remain civil, but would soon become virtually consumed by their savage instincts. We act on our superego, meaning we do what we believe is right, and if laws didn't exist, we'd most likely act on our id, our impulsive inner-evil if you will. Over the course of the film, it seems like in no time these once well-kept, collective children are consumed by their own inner-desires to act on impulse and not fear any consequences at all. This makes for a very unsettling picture, especially in the last half-hour when some unthinkable scenes occur.

Hook's direction sets up a consistently tense and very detailed atmosphere. The cinematography is also commendable, only complimented by the dreary silence because of the choice to omit any formal music. Hook manages to incorporate some rather tricky tracking shots, and some birds-eye shots that are difficult to successfully pull off. Apparently, the film was shot on an island in Puerto Rico, and very little scripting was done. Much of the dialog is improvised, which works for and against the film simultaneously. There is a great feeling of authenticity when a film or show is improvised, but here, the children, all of them I believe to be first time actors with some never even returning to film again, recite their lines in a strange, unnatural way, which takes time to get used to. It provides inevitable corniness, but thankfully, can't derail the entire film all together.

Not to mention, the pacing feels a little off. Sometimes, long periods of silence go on, and we are unsure of where the film is going. Although a little odd, it provides time for the cinematography and atmosphere to take effect, projecting a feeling of dread and uncertainty. Throughout the film and the novel, the boys are fearing, what they call "the beast," which refers to the unknown on the island. The boys constantly believe some creature is out to get them, and this fear consumes them, much like their feelings of barbarism and savagery. This is where the film begins to hit home. What kid didn't dream of living by his own rules, in a place where he/she could do and say whatever they wanted? It isn't until that dream becomes a reality do we begin to regret our wish. The true tragedy is these boys didn't wish for this.

Lord of the Flies was a challenge to adapt to film, and director Peter Brook clearly accepted it with gratitude and honor. He has great respect for Golding's original work, keeping the biblical theology and references in place, and rarely tampering the original events, making this a successful adaptation. I still feel the need to reiterate the fact that the phrase "the book is always better than the movie" is a void statement, seeing as the film adaptation can never be truly everything you wanted it to be. This is because the film is based off the director and/or screenwriter's interpretation of the story. As far as that works, Brook's is on par with mine, but perhaps the more important question is, is it on par with yours? Starring: James Aubrey, Tom Chapin, Hugh Edwards, and Tom Gaman. Directed by: Peter Brook.


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