Tag: william golding

MOVIE REVIEW | The Lord of the Flies (1963)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “On a technical, film making level, The Lord of the Flies is inept, at best.”

Flies 1
“We’ve got to have rules and obey them. After all, we’re not savages. We’re English! And the English are best at everything!”

Way past the average age for discovering this classic novel, I didn’t read The Lord of the Flies until I was in my mid 30s.  But better late than never, because when I finally did read it, I loved it.  It also made me track down a movie version and watch it the same night I finished reading it.  That version was the modernized, American adaptation made in 1990.  I thought it was nothing short of amazing and one of the best examples of a book to screen adaptation I have ever seen.  I agreed with pretty much every single choice it made about what to change, what to keep and what to cut out.  But reading reviews, I found that a lot of people in 1990 thought it was kind of subpar compared to a much more faithful, English adaptation made in 1963.  So, I tracked down a copy of that version, and it turns out, those people were monumentally, egregiously and confoundingly wrong.

After an overlong montage of cheap, badly shot, even more terribly paced still images setup the story, we learn that it’s the Second World War, that the students of an English boys’ school have been evacuated, and that their plane has crash landed somewhere in the middle of the ocean.  The only survivors, 30 or so students aged no more than 12 or 13, find themselves on a desert island.  Scattered and disorganised, the first two boys to find each other are Ralph (James Aubrey) and Piggy (Hugh Edwards).  Finding a shell on the beach that Piggy calls a conch, Ralph blows into it, creating a beacon like horn to assemble the rest of the kids.  Including Jack (Tom Chapin), the leader of the choir and Head Boy, who believes leadership is rightfully his.  But a quick election from the assembled boys sees Ralph named chief, which Jack graciously accepts, and they begin building shelters and working a signal fire for their hopeful rescue. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | The Lord of the Flies (1990)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “I think this film version of The Lord of the Flies is a perfect example of how to update a story for its time, and adapt its plot for the screen.”

Flies 1
“Whoever holds the conch gets to speak.”

I remember trying to read The Lord of the Flies when I was at the perfect age to read and love Thee Lord of the Flies.  I was 13 or 14 and gave up one chapter in.  When the tough kid is revealed to be respected and feared because he’s the head of the choir, it just felt like a bridge too far for me, an Aussie teen of the 90s, too relate to these alien English kids of such a prim and proper era.  Recently, as a 35 year old, I was finally able to get past that, read the book, and discover why it’s so revered.  I loved the book so much, that I watched both film adaptations within a week of finishing it.  Starting with the newer, looser, all American adaptation, 1990’s The Lord of the Flies.

After their plane crashes in the ocean, students of an American military school paddle their life raft ashore a desert island.  Apart from a badly injured, feverish pilot, the survivors are all young boys, ranging from about eight to 12.  One of the older boys, Ralph (Balthazar Getty) immediately and reluctantly becomes the groups “chief”, and takes to the role well, with sensible ideas about rules, shelter and rescue.  Constantly at his side is the be speckled butterball nickname Piggy (Danuel Pipoly), part right hand man, part nagging pain in the ass. (more…)