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Lord of the Flies (1963)

James Aubrey , Tom Chapin , Peter Brook    Unrated   DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 22.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Lord of the Flies (1963) + The Lord of the Flies (Widescreen) + Criterion Collection: Macbeth
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Product Description


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

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Customer Reviews

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
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars video excellent Jan. 28 2010
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)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Always go with a classic! Dec 8 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
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 English, First though, ensure that your school board has purchased a license for the film. This film, and the accompanying interview with Sir William Golding go a long way to elucidating the allegory and symbolism contained within. Much discussion among students can be generated through its use. The darkness of Golding's book and its commentary on human nature are superbly complimented by this film. The other films don't stand up.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Kill the pig! Slit her throat! Bash her in!" Nov. 23 2013
By Stephen Pletko TOP 50 REVIEWER

"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."

Then above quote said by one of the main characters is actually the crux of this extremely interesting movie based on the 1954 novel of the same name by William Golding.

The story is actually a simple one. A plane crashes on an uninhabited island. The survivors are a group of privileged preadolescent British schoolboys including some choirboys. They must learn to survive on this island until they are rescued.

We get to see what happens as the boys adapt to their new environment. We also get to observe how the veneer of civilization slowly erodes from them. We get to see how their primitive instincts overtakes the majority of them and how their moral compasses seem to get lost.

This is not just a tale of lost innocence. It's a case study of the behaviour of kids in the wilderness.

This movie was not filmed in a studio somewhere but the director (Peter Brook) and his young cast of school kids really were on a desert island together. (Filming took place entirely in Puerto Rico and on the island of Vieques)

The actors were young amateur actors, few of whom ever acted again.

For those that have read the novel, this film closely follows the trajectory of the book.

This movie was filmed in black and white, adding yet another dimension to it. This particular disc has a newly, restored digital film transfer.

Finally, the DVD set (the Criterion Collection released in 2013) has a long list of excellent extras including audio recordings of William Golding reading from his novel "Lord of the Flies," accompanied by the corresponding scenes from this film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is the right one. Sept. 29 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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. The fact that the narrative revolves around boys from English schools, paragons of rules and civility, heightens the contrast between the social mores and chaos that is to follow.
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Most recent customer reviews
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 11 months ago by Geoff Martin
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
2.0 out of 5 stars Quite dull
When I rented the 1963 "Lord of the Flies" movie on VHS, I expected to see a gripping, thrilling tale, dramatic, and disturbing. But what do I see? Read more
Published on July 16 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic dvd of a superb film
I was terribly excited to discover that one of my favorite classic films, the 1963 Peter Brooks "Lord of the Flies" was on dvd. Read more
Published on March 3 2002 by A. L. Spieckerman
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