The Edge of the World

"Good"

The Edge of the World Review


Not to be confused with The Center of the World, this 1937 film will mainly be of interest to fans of director Michael Powell, whose Black Narcissus and The Red Shoes (among others) have become classics of the cinema.

The Edge of the World is one of Powell's early films, a stark story about life on an inhospitable island off the coast of Scotland. In fact, it's so inhospitable that half of the community feels it's time to leave altogether. To settle the matter, two of the young men who reside there decide to race to the top of the local cliff face -- the winner chooses whether they go or stay. Alas, tragedy ensues during the climb, and the clannish residents of the island become even more embittered than ever.

Powell's early ability with the camera is readily apparent here, as he uses imaginative angles, superimposed imagery, and close-ups to great effect -- techniques virtually unseen in the pre-Technicolor era.

The story, however, is a snoozy one, full of that longing-for-the-peat, histrionic schmaltz that British oldies have always suffered from. (Also included on the new VHS release are a documentary made about the film 41 years after the fact and an early Powell short called An Airman's Letter to His Mother -- also lovely but even more schmaltzy than Edge itself.)



Facts and Figures

Run time: 74 mins

In Theaters: Friday 9th September 1938

Distributed by: British Film Institute

Production compaines: Joe Rock Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Fresh: 10

IMDB: 7.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Peter Manson, as Ruth Manson, as Robbie Manson, as Jean Manson, as James Gray, as Andrew Gray, Grant Sutherland as John, the Catechist, Campbell Robson as Mr. Dunbar, the Laird, George Summers as Trawler Skipper

Also starring: ,

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