Lord of the Flies: 40th Anniversary Edition (1963)

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Released 10-Feb-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Adventure None
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1963
Running Time 86:41
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Peter Brooks
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring James Aubrey
Tom Chapin
Hugh Edwards
Case ?
RPI $29.95 Music Raymond Leppard


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.66:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    The classic movie, Lord Of The Flies (1963), has been released on DVD, and while it is really showing its age, it remains compelling viewing.

    Lord Of The Flies is Peter Brook's adaptation of William Golding's famous novel. The opening series of photographic stills set up the premise for the story: A plane carrying English primary school boys has crashed on an uninhabited Pacific Island. With all the adults killed, the boys must fend for themselves. Two groups emerge: the former choirboys, led by Jack (Tom Chapin), who become the hunters; and the other boys, who are led by Ralph (James Aubrey), with the assistance of his friend, Piggy (Hugh Edwards). While Ralph is elected Island Chief, and is concerned with building shelters, keeping a fire, and maintaining some modicum of civilisation, Jack undermines Ralph's leadership, and as time passes, the boys revert to a tribal society, and some to savagery. Soon there will only be one tribe.

    The premise for the story is a clever one, and it has many dramatic possibilities. Indeed, I was wondering why this movie never had a re-make, until I discovered that another version was made in 1990. The story reminds me that the 'seven deadly sins' seem to be inherent in human nature. Even cut off from consumer-driven western civilisation, it appears that human nature will always embrace greed, envy, revenge, and vanity; and sometimes, what Abraham Lincoln referred to as "the better angels of our nature", such as compassion, love, and mercy, are hard to find.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is severely limited by the source material, which has seen much better days. The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.66:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The image is rather soft throughout. The shadow detail is acceptable.

    This is a black and white movie, so there is nothing to say about the colour, either positively or negatively.

    There were no problems with MPEG or film-to-video artefacts. A variety of startling film artefacts appear throughout, and include everything from black and white marks to scratches.

    There are no subtitles present on this DVD.

    This is a single-sided, single-layered disc, which is acceptable considering the limited content.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Originally released theatrically in mono, there is only one audio option on this DVD: English Dolby Digital 2.0 (mono).

    The dialogue quality and audio sync are truly awful throughout.

    The musical score is credited to Raymond Leppard, and it features theatrical style heavy repetition of a few themes to aid exposition.

    Obviously there is no surround presence nor LFE activity.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There are no extras.

Menu

    An animated menu, presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Lord Of The Flies was released on DVD in Region 1, in 2000, as part of the Criterion Collection, with an RRP of $US40.00, compared to the local $AUD29.

    The Region 4 DVD misses out on:

    The Region 1 DVD misses out on:

    Quite frankly, I would prefer the widescreen, 16x9 enhanced aspect ratio and the Dolby 2.0 (mono) audio, and hence I favour the R4 version.

Summary

    I recall seeing Lord Of The Flies on television, when I myself was in the same age group as the boys depicted. I have never forgotten it, and while it appears slowly paced and very dated today, it is still well worth seeing at least once.

    The video quality is severely limited by the source material.

    The audio quality is also severely limited by the source material.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Tuesday, February 18, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

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Comments (Add)
Forgo Criterion for a (still crappy) 16:9 transfer? -