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Title: Lord of the Flies
Screenwriter: Peter Brook
Director: Peter Brook
Distribution Studio: British Lion (UK), Continental Distribution (US)
Release Date: August 13, 1963 (US)
Running Time: 92 minutes
Synopsis: Lost of an island, young survivors of a plane crash eventually revert to savagery despite the few rational boys’ attempts to prevent that.
Older and Wiser
My initial plan was to watch the 90’s version of Lord of the Flies because I was being movie ageist. However, my mistake became quite apparent within the first 10 minutes of watching the movie. How’s this for an opening scene? While hearing the sounds of boys yelling, we see one boy grab the pilot by his hair and drag him to the surface. Then, a magic raft appears that the boys ride to the island, and with their arrival, they drag the nearly unconscious body of the pilot who whispers for water. When the sound of the shell brings the first assembly, Jack happily accepts the election of Ralph as chief without feeling the bitter sting of defeat. WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE?! That’s when I just had to turn it off and give the 60’s black and white a chance. I thought the newer movie would be better, and I was obviously wrong. So…if you have been assigned Lord of the Flies and have been avoiding the book, I recommend you watch the movie from 1963. That way you can avoid failing the assignment, and maybe you can squeak out a C+.
No Screenplay Needed
This may be the first movie where I took the least amount of notes because the movie did such a great job of interpreting the book. This is most likely because they used the book as the screenplay. No wonder the dialogue was so spot on! I can actually count on one hand the parts of the book that weren’t adapted to my liking in the movie, which it’s probably just me nitpicking. I wanted to hear the Lord of the Flies speaking to Simon instead of just watching him stare at the pig’s head for 5 minutes, but maybe the director thought the voice over would be too much heavy-handed symbolism. I thought Piggy’s death scene was less powerful and impactful, but the scene may have been too graphic for the era in which the movie was filmed. The end of the movie wasn’t like the book with Jack being unable to stand up as the leader when questioned by authority, but Percival crying after not being able to remember his name was still a good touch.
The movie wasn’t terrible, but it definitely wasn’t amazing. If you want to judge its interpretation of an exalted piece of literature for yourself, then get your BFF’s Hulu subscription and check it out. If not, then skip it and go play outside.
The Final Grade
Theater Popcorn with Extra Butter: Even with my little gripes, I have to admit this movie is a really good adaptation of the novel.
So…do you agree the film does a good job of recreating the book? Do you prefer the black and white or the color version? Do you have a Hulu subscription? Would you have survived the island? Let us know in the comments! |RL
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I’m Katisha, the wizard behind Reel Literature. As a longtime book nerd, I hate to see an amazing book spoiled by a lackluster movie. Join me as I read the books that have definitely been watered down and most likely ruined by Hollywood. With a lot of humor and a little snark, I share my thoughts on all things books and the movies they inspire. Find me in these internet streets on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.