'The Lord of the Flies' is one of the most famous examples of a story where an island doesn't equate to paradise. Include rowdy, violent children and you have an effective, natural contraceptive.
The version in question for this review is the 1963 version directed by Peter Brook.
A plane full of schoolchildren crash lands onto a tropical island.
The children divide into two groups, one led by Ralph (James Aubrey) and another led by Jack (Tom Chapin). The latter is joined by his fellow choir boys who seem to be oddly regimented and organized. The groups come together and by a vote, Ralph is made chief. This doesn't sit well with Jack.
Much of their attention is turned toward creating a fire to be seen and rescued while also hunting for food. Talk of a beast, either among the trees or the sea spreads and puts the children on high alert. A power struggle ensues and the once somewhat-harmonious group is torn apart into two smaller groups.
Will these kids be rescued? Will the beast get them? Will they learn to work together and the power of friendship?
If there is a classic novel that you wanted to get away with seeing the movie to write your book report, this is probably it. It is rare that a movie executes such a literal translation of a book, but that is what happened here.
If you are unfamiliar with the story or the subject matter, you might find the concept of violent children who are unsupervised and who run amok to be disturbing. That's the point of the story. Since this is an old movie, you can expect the violence to be tastefully off-screen. Some might even say that makes it more effective.
Most of the children are not trained or professional actors. Some of them are quite good yet some illustrate the point why one should never work with kids. The story requires it in this tale, though.
Special features include: commentary, author William Golding reading from the novel, a deleted scene, an interview with the director, home movies, stills, outtakes, a trailer, a television appearance from Golding, an interview with the editor, a look at the editor's documentary, and footage from the film's production.
'The Lord of the Flies' is everything you would want in a faithful adaptation of literature. The book will always reign supreme, but this is nearly as good as humanly possible.
Not Rated 90 minutes 1963