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Lord of the Flies (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

James Aubrey , Tom Chapin , Peter Brook    Unrated   Blu-ray
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 42.99
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Lord of the Flies (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + The Devil's Backbone (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + The Ice Storm (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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Product Description

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In this classic 1963 adaptation of William Golding's novel, a planeload of schoolboys is stranded on a tropical island. They've got food and water; all that's left is to peacefully govern themselves until they're rescued. "After all," says choir leader Jack, "We're English. We're the best in the world at everything!" Unfortunately, living peacefully is not as easy as it seems. Though Ralph is named chief, Jack and the choristers quickly form a clique of their own, using the ever-effective political promise of fun rather than responsibility to draw converts. Director Peter Brook draws some excellent performances out of his young cast; the moment when Ralph realizes that even if he blows the conch for a meeting people might not come is an excruciating one. Well acted and faithfully executed, Lord of the Flies is as compelling today as when first released. --Ali Davis

Product Description

In the hands of the renowned experimental theater director Peter Brook, William Golding�s legendary novel on the primitivism lurking beneath civilization becomes a film as raw and ragged as the lost boys at its center. Taking an innovative documentary-like approach, Brook shot Lord of the Flies with an off-the-cuff naturalism, seeming to record a spontaneous eruption of its characters� ids. The result is a rattling masterpiece, as provocative as its source material. SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES � New, restored 4K digital film transfer, supervised by cameraman and editor Gerald Feil, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition � Audio commentary featuring director Peter Brook, producer Lewis Allen, director of photography Tom Hollyman, and Feil � Audio recordings of William Golding reading from his novel Lord of the Flies, accompanied by the corresponding scenes from the film � Deleted scene, with optional commentary and reading by Golding � Interview with Brook from 2008 � Collection of behind-the-scenes material, featuring home movies, screen tests, outtakes, and stills � New interview with Feil � Excerpt from Feil�s 1972 documentary The Empty Space, showcasing Brook�s theater methods � Something Queer in the Warehouse, a piece composed of never-before-seen footage shot by the boy actors during production, with new voice-over by Tom Gaman, who played Simon � Trailer � PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Geoffrey Macnab and an excerpt from Brook�s book The Shifting Point

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm..... July 18 2002
Format:VHS Tape
First things first: William Golding's _Lord of the Flies_ is one of the best novels I've ever read. It is suspenseful, terrifying, disturbing, brilliantly symbolistic, and deeply moving--all at the same time. The book gets 5/5 stars, no question about it.
Now for the 1963 movie: Well, for the most part the acting is decent (Ralph and Simon are especially good) and the scenery depicts images from the book well. (I love the scene with the choir boys walking on the beach in their costumes!) Unfortunately, this movie is just too rushed in its storytelling and too short to have the same lasting effect as the book. The movie kind of zipped through the first half of the book within 20 minutes, and the characters weren't given enough solo screen time, so their personalities don't really shine like they did in the book. (For example, Roger is taken as a very minor character except when he suddenly killed Piggy, so I didn't really feel that he was representing all that is evil in human nature.)
I also never really felt the rivalry building up between Jack and Ralph in the movie, since there weren't really enough examples of it. (For example: Before Jack became a savage, there was only the one scene in which Jack argues with Ralph and says "Bollocks to the rules!" He then became a savage soon after. I would have liked to see more arguments between Jack and Ralph before Jack went ahead in becoming a savage.)
And the name "Lord of the Flies" is never explained or even mentioned during the entire film (except when it is displayed during the opening and closing credits, of course). This is probably one of the most important examples of symbolism in the entire book!
Finally there's the ending, which doesn't include the scene painted by the last two paragraphs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not too fussed...... March 3 2001
By SeaWasp
Format:DVD
My decision to buy this movie was based solely on the number of positive 5-star reviews from previous shoppers. I'd never seen the movie nor read the book, but I was aware of the premise of the story. The Criterion DVD is simply superb, with the many extra features and great print quality so typical of this company. As for the movie....frankly, I was bored with it. If you are familiar with the film and enjoy it, then buy this DVD, you couldn't hope for better presentation.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic dvd of a superb film March 3 2002
Format:DVD
I was terribly excited to discover that one of my favorite classic films, the 1963 Peter Brooks "Lord of the Flies" was on dvd. I was even more excited when I saw it had been given a deluxe treatment by some studio called Criterion.
"Lord of the Flies" was the first dvd I bought and it introduced me to the phenomenal Criterion Collection. Every extra on this dvd is fantastic and interesting, there is no filler or meaningless praise. The commentary alone is worth the price of this dvd, it gives a magnificent insight into how this film was made: for instance, the film was one of the first independent productions ever produced. This is one of those rare commentaries that adds to your appreciation and understanding of the film, I rank it alongside "Seven Samurai" and "Grand Illusion" (also both Criterion dvds) commentaries as among the best I have heard.
The film itself looks abolutely fantastic, worlds better than any vhs or laserdisc edition I had previously seen; criterion's produced an amazing, clean image that will be striking on any video set up.
_Lord of the Flies_ is one of my favorite novels; Golding masterfully touched on many themes and concepts about society and managed to capture the essence of humanity in the boyish caricatures he created. For the most part those themes and ideas come across very faithfully in the film. As it is pointed out in the dvd's commentary; there is no screenwriting credit, because there was no script, the production team worked straight from the novel, using it as their sole source of the story. The result is a remarkably clear and coherent adapation of the original novel, brought to life with great faith and startling prowess for a first time filmmaker.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A poor adaptation but good as far as films go Feb. 8 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
After reading this book in English Class I loved it. The book is in my opinion one of the best ever, and when I saw this film I felt that it did the book, and everything it says, a great disservice. The main problem with it is that so much is missing. This is perhaps necessary to fit it into two hours, but I think that in cutting it, it looses its moral message to the extent that the film was not worth making. Aulthough there is some excellent use of imigary and some scenes did represent the book very well, (As in the choir walking along the beach scene), the film misses the point. I'm sure that Aubrey fully understood its tragedy and purpose, but he failed to communicate what Lord of the Flies really means. The film focuses on the aspect of the book which tells us that if uncontrolled, children descend into barbarity extremly quickly, this was not the main point of what Golding says. I think the main point of the book is to say that humans are essentialy floored and that evil is intrinsic to human nature. That man is never more than two words away from war. The film is incapable of working on the number of levels that the book does and does a great disservice to the character of Simon. In the scene where Simon is attacked and killed, he screams and appears rather pathetic. This scene in the book, is supposed to parody Christ's crucifixtion yet the film does not give this impression. Aulthough the boys are represented down to a tee, Simon, aulthough well acted, is misinterprited and fails to have the impact he did have in the book.
In conclusion this film is probably worth seeing, but I plead with you to read the book first because I don't think it will have the same impact if you have had the imigary decided for you by the film.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Always go with a classic!
While it is not possible to transliterate a novel into film, this film comes as close as possible. All secondary teachers should have a copy of this film and use it in grade ten... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Horace Raschpiggi
5.0 out of 5 stars "Kill the pig! Slit her throat! Bash her in!"
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"Which is it better to be? A pack of painted savages...or sensible...Which is better? To have rules and agree, or to hurt and kill. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Stephen Pletko
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the right one.
Teachers, students, this version captures as best it can the rawness of the action. The black-and-white format contributes to the stark reality of man's descent into Hell. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Laurence F. Funnell
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie
I saw this movie when I was a kid and it makes you think what would you do if you were stuck on an island and find out that no leadership causes extreme problems. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Geoff Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars video excellent
I've seen this video more then 30 times since it came out. It is an excellent adaption of the book. Lord of the Flies (Full Screen)
Published on Jan. 28 2010 by Wayne J. Stirling
5.0 out of 5 stars great dvd but you'll have to be a rich person to be able to afford to...
i loved this movie, including the book. But the dvd costs alot but oh well.
Published on Nov. 23 2006 by Joanna
4.0 out of 5 stars a disturbing film.
This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film.
This film, based on William Godling's novel, is a film that many will find disturbing. Read more
Published on April 19 2004 by Ted
1.0 out of 5 stars Very bad adaptation.
Some books should not be attempted as movies, this clearly is one of them. If you just watch the film instead of reading Golding's story, you'll be missing out on much of the... Read more
Published on March 9 2004 by Simon
5.0 out of 5 stars bellissimo!!!!
a wonderful film, one of the best film of the last century.
Published on Dec 10 2002 by Max
5.0 out of 5 stars Hearts of darkness
Life Magazine published a documentary about the making of this movie, which was filmed in Puerto Rico. The boy-actors were housed in a bunkhouse during filming. Read more
Published on Aug. 11 2002
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