In the Victorian period, two children are shipwrecked on a tropical island in the South Pacific. With no adults to guide them, the two make a simple life together, unaware that sexual maturity will eventually intervene.
On a journey to San Francisco, Richard, his father and cousin Emmeline find themselves on a ship about to explode. Rushed to a lifeboat with Paddy Button, the two children escape while their father (and uncle) are on another lifeboat. In the chaos following, the lifeboats are separated. Paddy, Richard and Emmeline find themselves with no food and no water stuck in the middle of nowhere. After some time, the three come across an uncharted paradise, where Paddy quickly teaches the children fishing, hunting and building. After maybe a month or two, Paddy gets very drunk off a barrel of rum found on the island when they first arrive, and drowns in the middle of the night. Emmeline and Richard, now alone and very scared, move location and rebuild their island home. Many years later, the two young teenagers have developed a very real home, but hormones and feelings between the two strain their friendship, until Richard, who is still very determined to reach San Francisco, is let down by ...Written by
Critically underrated film that resonates with global audience
I've never understood the critical slam this film has received. Then I saw the widescreen dvd version and understood; everyone has been watching it in pan and scan! The film is a visual poem. So much of the story telling is done through visual information. The impact of this is lost when the cinematography is altered. Remember that Nestor Almendros received an Academy Award nomination for his work on this film. The film has resonated with global audiences for so long for this very reason. I suggest people watch the dvd commentary with Randal Kleiser and Brooke Shields to get a better understanding of why this film is still such a popular one.
People attack the acting, but these are children left alone with no one to guide them into adult sophistication. Their interaction and reactions to situations are very consistent with this scenario. Yes, the birth scene is a little rushed, but do we really need to see the umbilical cord? Not all films need to be about gritty reality, ala "Taxi Driver." No one asks to see the bloody guts of the smashed witch in "The Wizard of Oz."
It is a beautiful, romantic film that speaks to millions of people. It seems that only the most skeptical cynics cannot embrace this film.
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