Lord of the Flies – Peter Brook (1963)

Lord of the Flies is a 1963 British drama film, based on William Golding‘s novel of the same name about 30 schoolboys who are marooned on an island where the behaviour of the majority degenerates into savagery. It was written and directed by Peter Brook and produced by Lewis M. Allen. The film was in production for much of 1961, though the film did not premiere until 1963, and get released in the United Kingdom until 1964. Golding himself supported the film. When Kenneth Tynan was a script editor for Ealing Studios he commissioned a script of Lord of the Flies from Nigel Kneale, but Ealing Studios closed in 1959 before it could be produced. The novel was adapted into a movie for a second time in 1990; the 1963 film is generally considered more faithful to the novel than the 1990 adaptation. A group of British schoolboys are evacuated from England following the outbreak of an unidentified war. Their airliner is shot down by briefly-glimpsed fighter planes and ditches near a remote island. The main character, Ralph, is seen walking through a tropical forest. He meets an intelligent and chubby boy, who reveals his school nickname was Piggy, but asks that Ralph not repeat that. The two go to the beach where they find a conch shell, which Ralph blows to rally the other survivors. As they emerge from the jungle, it becomes clear that no adults have escaped the crash. Singing is then heard and a small column of school choir boys, wearing dark cloaks and hats and led by a boy named Jack Merridew, walk towards Ralph and Piggy. The boys decide to appoint a chief. The vote goes to Ralph, not Jack. Initially, Ralph is able to steer the boys (all of whom are aged between about six and fourteen) towards a reasonably civilised and co-operative society. Only the boy holding the conch is allowed to speak in turns during meetings or ‘assemblies’. The choir boys make wooden spears, creating the appearance that they are warriors within the group. Crucially, Jack has a knife, capable of killing an animal. The boys build shelters and start a signal fire using Piggy’s spectacles. With no rescue in sight, the increasingly authoritarian and violence-prone Jack starts hunting and eventually finds a pig. …”
Guardian – Lord of the Flies: can you judge a book by its cover?
Criterion: Peter Brook on the Making of Lord of the Flies
YouTube: Lord of the Flies – Trailer
YouTube: Lord of the Flies 1:30:46

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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