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Lord of the Flies (1990)

Balthazar Getty , Chris Furrh , Harry Hook  |  R |  DVD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (233 customer reviews)

Price: $48.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Balthazar Getty, Chris Furrh, Danuel Pipoly, James Badge Dale, Andrew Taft
  • Directors: Harry Hook
  • Writers: Jay Presson Allen, William Golding
  • Producers: David V. Lester, Jeffrey Bydalek, Lewis M. Allen, Lewis Newman, Peter Allen
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: November 20, 2001
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (233 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005O06X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,089 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Lord of the Flies" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

With 'sharply expressive performances (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone) by its young cast, this stunning adventure explores the deep dark corners of the human soul, as a group of adolescent castaways are thrust into an intense world where law and accountability are governed by the rules of survival. After a harrowing plane crash into the sea, a group of American military cadets finds itselfmarooned on a deserted island. Realizing the minimal chances of being rescued, the boys band together out of fear and desperation. But as the island paradise becomes their own, competition and power struggles split them into two packs. Ralph (Bathazar Getty) leads one group and preaches civilized ingenuity and togetherness, but Jack (Chris Furrh) wants nothing of it and builds a faction of barbaric hunters who ultimately go to war with Ralph. This powerful shift in conscience transforms ordinary kids into primal killers, setting off a devastating battle of good versus evil and presenting a haunting metaphor for the savage in us all.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Relax, it's a good movie! January 25, 2006
So many of these reviews have really piled on the sludge. Relax, this is a good movie! All right, so it's a rather loose cinematic interpretation of Golding's novel. That's what the film medium allows for. The cinematography is sumptuous, the pace of the movie quick, the story absorbing, the message of malicious cruelty's natural advantage easy to read. The young actors give very fine performances--the villain Jack is superb--and they should all get extra credit for having to do so much of this movie in their underwear. As their uniforms and their old sense of selves deteriorate, the boy-cadets are reduced to their jockeys: and then in turn their jockeys are reduced to filthy scraps of cloth once they run off to join Jack's camp in the wild. With their painted faces and matted hair this virtual nakedness makes the transformation to the savage state disturbingly complete. If you like movies with a strong story-line and good cinematography, I recommend this (with reservations for children under 12).
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75 of 93 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lord of the What-the-heck-was-the-director-thinking? December 6, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
One cannot criticize the cinematography of this move. It is, at times, lush, humid and tropically, oppressively beautiful. All of which are good things...
...but that's all I can say good about the film.
Golding originally conceived "Lord of the Flies" as an xploration of Human nature, and how people are inheirently evil. To drive this point home, he took English school boys (some of whom were members of a church choir) crash landed them on an island during a wartime evacuation and said, "Have at it!" (metaphorically speaking). The book and indeed the 1963 movie version asks how if even children can become cruel and violent and evil with very little prompting, are humans as advanced as we like to think? Are we really all that different from animals? Readers/viewers are shocked to see how far such a small child can fall.
This, the 1990 version of Lord of the Flies, puts American military students on an island during a conflict of some sort, so when the first blow is struck it's not all that surprising. This removes the impact of Golding's ideas, and this becomes another adventure story (of sorts. Like "The Hun Family Robinson"). Further, the "updated" material doesn't really work: the glo-sticks, kids talking about watching "ALF" on TV (which seriously dates this movie. I guess the screenwrighter thought ALF would be around forever. Another example of the narrowness of this version. It is already obsolete, while the book perseveres.), Simon having a vision of a stealth bomber, etc.. It's all a bit too uneven, too naive almost, but totally lacking in charm (if such a word can be used here). In essence, this is a visceral film that lacks guts.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An accordion washes onto the island? Seriously? August 24, 2010
I bought this to present to an ESY class after they got very excited over the book. However, as soon as purchased it, and read the back I knew I was in for it. I decided to try it anyways.

First off, why do the kids need to be Americanized? Also, why do they also have to be from a military school? And why does the director basically destroy every impressive portion of the book? Did the director even have a desire to put events in order?

I'm assuming he made all the kids American because he thought this would relate better to middle-aged kids. I'm also not really sure what ALF has to do with the book, yet somehow the tv show about an alien finds its way into the script. To be even more impressive, glow sticks/ light sabers (and Rambo) found their way into this script, too.

One could vaguely see the reasoning behind making the students from military school, but that has very little to do with the book again. Perhaps the director was trying to establish a chain of command before they are put on the island.

So far, there's been next-to no mention of Samneric, no Percival Wemys Madison, no Beast from Water, no Beast from Air, and there's been an assassinated chameleon. I was excited to see how a movie would handle the scene with Simon and the Lord of the Flies but was let down immensely. The great conflict between Ralph and Jack is awful at best and the dichotomy of Jack and Piggy being the devil and angel, respectively, on Ralph's shoulders is not even touched upon. Actually, Jack's actor and his nominal acting ability is annoying. These characters just aren't believable. It's hard to take this movie seriously when Jack defects from Ralph's leadership within thirty minutes of the start.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Spirit Is Lost. May 22, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
I have to admit, LORD OF THE FLIES is one of my favorite novels (it ranks just behind THE LORD OF THE RINGS and THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA as my favorite novels). If I ever have the opportunity to make big-budget pictures myself, LORD OF THE FLIES would be one I would make. Therefore, I don't really have a problem with this "Americanized" version of Golding's classic tale of good versus evil. I also found it interesting how the movie illustrates the friendship that existed between all the boys before the split in their society began. The acting is well done. The movie also has a good soundtrack and some excellent cinematography.
Unfortunately, the whole spirit of the novel doesn't exist in the film and that is a severe detriment. The breakup of society is not really examined and the boys who end up following the Lord of the Flies seem more like rowdy schoolchildren rather than youth who have given themselves over to pure evil. I was also disappointed that Simon was reduced to such a small role and that his famous scene talking with the real Lord of the Flies didn't even take place (yes, it would be expensive to do, but that scene is crucial to the rest of the story's plot).
Overall, a decent movie, but not a very good adaptation of the novel it's based upon.
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