Blu-ray, DVD Release: Lord of the Flies

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: July 16, 2013
Price: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray $39.95
Studio: Criterion

Lord of the Flies movie scene

A group of British boys attempt to govern themselves on an uninhabited island in Lord of the Flies.

The 1963 adventure-drama Lord of the Flies is the first film adaptation of Nobel Prize-winning English author William Golding’s 1954 debut novel.

In the hands of the renowned experimental theater director Peter Brook, Golding’s legendary novel on the primitivism lurking beneath civilization becomes a film as raw and ragged as the lost boys at its center.

The novel famously concerns a group of British boys stuck on an uninhabited island who try to govern themselves with disastrous results, marking the end of the children’s innocence…and then some.

Taking an innovative documentary-like approach, Brook shot Lord of the Flies with an off-the-cuff naturalism, seeming to record a spontaneous eruption of its characters’ ids. The resulting masterwork earned Brook a nomination for the Golden Palm at the 1963 Cannes Film Festival.

Criterion previously issued Lord of the Flies on DVD back in 2000, but now re-issues it on standard DVD along with giving the film its Blu-ray debut.

The new DVD and Blu-ray editions contain the following features, a bunch of which appeared on the initial DVD release in 2000:

• New, restored 4K digital film transfer, supervised by cameraman and editor Gerald Feil, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
• Audio commentary featuring director Peter Brook, producer Lewis Allen, director of photography Tom Hollyman, and Feil
• Audio recordings of William Golding reading from his novel Lord of the Flies, accompanied by the corresponding scenes from the film
• Deleted scene, with optional commentary and reading by Golding
• Interview with Brook from 2008
• Collection of behind-the-scenes material, featuring home movies, screen tests, outtakes, and stills
• New interview with Feil
• Excerpt from Feil’s 1972 documentary The Empty Space, showcasing Brook’s theater methods
Something Queer in the Warehouse, a piece composed of never-before-seen footage shot by the boy actors during production, with new voice-over by Tom Gaman, who played Simon
• Trailer
• A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Geoffrey Macnab and an excerpt from Brook’s book The Shifting Point

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.