43. Lord of the Flies

If you like the novel LORD OF THE FLIES (which I do), there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy this 1963 adaptation by Peter Brooks. And considering the original is such a literary classic, that’s saying something. In case you didn’t have to read it in school, the story concerns a group of British schoolboys stranded on a deserted island whose fear slowly turns them into savages. The reason this works so well on film is that Brooks doesn’t try to manufacture it. The entire thing is shot on location, with kids who have clearly never acted before in their lives. Under different direction this might have been distracting, but instead the children seem so genuine in front of the camera that their eventual descent into violence becomes all the more frightening. The striking black and white imagery ties it together to make the film just about as memorable and disturbing as William Golding’s writing.

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