Lord of the Flies (1963)
Film: Lord of the Flies
Director: Peter Brook
Writer: Peter Brook
Starring: James Aubrey, Tom Chapin and Hugh Edwards
This film begins, with images of school age children, but mixing it with images of war, airplanes and showing things from wartime. They end the montage with showing an airplane, showing a storm and then finally an airplane in the water, signifying that the plane has crashed.
We are then on the island where we meet our main character, played by James Aubrey. He is going through the jungle where he meets a chubby character, played by Hugh Edwards. They go to the beach where they find a conch shell. After some tries, they get it to work like a horn.
With this other boys come from the deeper in the island to meet up together. Aubrey and Edwards try to bring order to the meeting and to learn everyone’s names. While they do this, they hear chanting/singing and a group of choir boys arrive, led by Tom Chapin.
From here they decide to make Aubrey the leader by a vote, with Chapin in control of his choir. The choir though soon changes as Chapin turns them into hunters. As the film progresses, they create fire with Edwards’ glasses, but we see the breakdown of society as the hunters become more and more savage.
This film is excellent in seeing as I stated above, how quickly society breaks down in crisis. The film doesn’t last more than a few weeks, but the hunters have become a savage tribe of people. They loot, murder and are territorial. The mob mentality is also is something that is prevalent as well since even Aubrey and Edwards are sucked into their crazy dance. This is also something that is very relevant today. You see riots that get worse from the mob mentality even today. There is also the breakdown of society and doing the right thing with our political issues as well.
The problem I had with this film is we have no sense of how long passes in the film or when it changes from days either. There are a couple times we see night, but days pass between events and we don’t really know how long though. I believe the filmmaker could have intentionally done that to get us caught up in the flow of what is happening. The acting is done by all children, which isn’t the greatest since they have trouble turning in great performances, but I do believe they do well enough at capturing what the novel did.
I am adding this film to my horror film research. It is not a horror film, but the idea of this is scary. First we have a plane crashing and the only survivors are boys. They are later elementary age, so none of them are adults. It is scary to see how society breaks down and how fast this can happen. This is something that is still relevant today. It would be scary to be hunted by your peers as well.
I would recommend this film if you’ve read the book, because I do believe the adaptation does well at capturing the spirit it was going for. The acting as I stated above isn’t the greatest, but not horrible. If you want to see the degeneration of society, shown at the level of children standard on a deserted island, I would say watch this film.
My Rating: 7 out of 10