Lord of the Flies

For roughly its first half, this second film adaptation of William Golding's parable novel about English schoolboys stranded on an island after a plane crash and eventually reverting to savagery works pretty well as a straight adventure story, thanks to director Harry Hook's eye and the lush Jamaican locations. But around the time that Philippe Sarde's score is overtaken by pretentious, uncredited, and distorted derivations from Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, the movie becomes similarly overburdened by its hectoring theme—a sort of pseudoanthropological schema whereby the rational intellectuals in possession of the means to make fire are opposed by the crude blood lust of the hunters—and the decision to turn Golding's public-school boys into American military-school cadets, while theoretically defensible, throws the characters and situations slightly out of kilter. Peter Brook's 1963 black-and-white version worked better as drama; this one gets all dressed up, but finds it has no place to go. Scripted by Sara Schiff; with Balthazar Getty, Chris Furrh, Danuel Pipoly, and Badgett Dale.

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