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Lord of the Flies (The Criterion Collection)


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Lord of the Flies (The Criterion Collection) + Lord of the Flies + To Kill a Mockingbird 50th Anniversary Edition
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Editorial Reviews

Lord of the Flies is famed theater director Peter Brook's daring translation of William Golding's brilliant novel. The story of 30 English schoolboys stranded on an uncharted island at the start of the "next" war, Lord of the Flies is a seminal film of the New American Cinema and a fascinating anti-Hollywood experiment in location filmmaking. As the cast relived Golding's frightening fable, Brook found the cinematic "evidence" of the author's terrifying thesis: there is a beast in us all.

Special Features

  • Excerpts from the novel, read by author William Golding
  • A Deleted Scene, with a reading by William Golding and commentary
  • Original theatrical trailer, with commentary
  • Production scrapbook, home movies & outtakes
  • Excerpts from Gerald Feil's 1972 documentary The Empty Space, showing Brook's methods for creating theater

Product Details

  • Actors: James Aubrey, Tom Chapin, Hugh Edwards, Roger Elwin, Tom Gaman
  • Directors: Peter Brook
  • Writers: Peter Brook, William Golding
  • Producers: Gerald Feil, Al Hine, Lewis M. Allen
  • Format: Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: January 18, 2000
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0780022084
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,766 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Lord of the Flies (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

174 of 176 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on August 28, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
`Lord of the Flies' has been made into a movie at least twice since the William Golding novel of the same name became a cult classic / must read volume for high school and college students in the late 1950s. The first version, which follows the novel very closely, was done in black and white by the noted director, Peter Brook in 1963. The second version was done in color by Harry Hook and released in 1990.

Like many remakes in the same language, one immediately wonders why bother, as the original Brook version is more than gripping enough to convey the message of the novel.

To highlight the differences between the two versions, let me outline the story shared by the two versions.

The scene is set when an airplane carrying school children crashes in the South Pacific, of the coast of a remote tropical island. Approximately 30 of the children, ages 6 to 13 make it to shore and gather on the beach to work out how they are to survive and assume that since they are far removed from their original destination and the island is small and uninhabited, there is a good chance it will take a long time, if ever, for grown-ups to find and rescue them. The first two principle characters are Ralph, one of the two or three oldest boys who we meet first, in the company of an intelligent, bespectacled, slightly overweight boy of the same age known as `Piggy'. The third main character is Jack, about as old and as fit as Ralph. Three minor named characters are Simon, who is prone to fainting and `seeing things' and Sam and Eric, a pair of twins.

An early vote sets up Ralph as the leader, with a few rules establishing a conch shell found by Ralph and Piggy in the first reel as the symbol of the right to speak to the gathering of boys.
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74 of 75 people found the following review helpful By D. St Clair on December 13, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
It was a pleasure to see the original version of "Lord of the Flies" again. I'll be interested in seeing the DVD version as well, to see what additional material comes in that format. Having been one of the boys in the movie, I also appreciated seeing the reviews posted by other Amazon customers! I wonder if any of the other cast members have checked out this site...
I confess to liking the original version far more than the remake, but that's not surprising, I guess. I TRIED to keep an open mind when I saw the new version, but, alas, I failed. My recollections of running from the burning jungle, coughing, onto the beach at the end makes a black-and-white rendition seem more real to me.
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51 of 51 people found the following review helpful By A. L. Spieckerman on 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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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Baltrusaitis on August 30, 2000
Format: DVD
This is a thinker's film. If you like movies to sweep you away in a safe adventurous fantasy, get something else. Enjoying this film is contingent upon thinking about it. Like the book, it provokes, and you, being the subject matter, may not like being addressed in such a way.
Whether ir not it lives up to the book is a whole other question. I think it is wonderful in its own right, and that it does a great job of bringing Golding's story to the screen. Whatever.
As a DVD, this Criterion Collection edition is practically unsurpassed. I buy very few DVDs because they are expensive and I see this new medium as an opportunity to build a truly great movie collection. One afternoon I was discussing with some friends what movies we would buy on DVD. I immediately suggested "The original 'Lord of the Flies'. But they won't release it. And if they do it will be a crappy transfer. And there won't be any extras." Oh, how wrong I was! The sound and picture transfers are incredible - the film is better than I've ever seen it. And the extras are amazing! The commentary is completely satisfying from a filmmaker's point of view, and likewise a philosopher's interest. The story of the making of the film is worth the purchase in itself.
There's tons of stuff to watch and listen to. It's great. It's totally worth the price. I thought that "The Matrix" was a great value as a DVD (in terms of extras), but this matches it and means a lot more. "Buy it!", I say!
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