The Edge of the World

Overview

A key film in the career of director Michael Powell, The Edge of the World was his first original idea to be realized onscreen, and its success attracted the attention of producer Alexander Korda. Korda's bankrolling of Powell's next several films catapulted the filmmaker into the first rank of British directors. Powell was attracted to the idea of building a dramatic story around the evacuation of St. Kilda, an island north of Scotland, whose aging population could not sustain life there. Forbidden from filming ...
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Overview

A key film in the career of director Michael Powell, The Edge of the World was his first original idea to be realized onscreen, and its success attracted the attention of producer Alexander Korda. Korda's bankrolling of Powell's next several films catapulted the filmmaker into the first rank of British directors. Powell was attracted to the idea of building a dramatic story around the evacuation of St. Kilda, an island north of Scotland, whose aging population could not sustain life there. Forbidden from filming on St. Kilda, Powell and his crew journeyed farther north to Foula, an island whose sheer cliffs play an important role in the story. Two young men, Robbie Manson (Eric Berry) and James Gray (Niall MacGinnis), disagree on their island's economic future. James loves Robbie's twin sister Ruth (Belle Chrystal). The rivalry between the two men and their strong-willed fathers threatens to tear apart the island community, but an unexpected pregnancy and a rescue in dangerous seas serve to unite the islanders in common purpose. Powell took full advantage of the magnificent locations to tell this simple but affecting story of survival and adaptation to changing times. A restored version of the film, available on video, also includes the documentary Return to the Edge of the World.
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Special Features

Return to the Edge of the World (1978, color, 23 minutes); An Airman's Letter to His Mother (1943, B&W, 6 minutes); Commentary track by Daniel Day-Lewis, Thelma Schoonmaker-Powell and Ian Christie; Original press kit and Milestone press kit (DVD-ROM feature: Adobe Acrobat Reader required); Stills gallery
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Tom Wiener
Michael Powell's breakthrough film displays a respect for the resiliency of people who live on remote and unforgiving land, even as they face an inevitable change in their way of life. Shot on the magnificent island of Foula, the story dramatizes the debate over the future of a community losing many of its young citizens to better opportunities elsewhere. Powell and his nimble cameramen follow the characters along the island's magnificent shoreline, and up and down its sheer, immense cliffs. This is a primeval landscape, reflected in the mythic qualities of the story: two rivals, the woman between them, the feuding parents, the community as a kind of Greek chorus (the film's soundtrack has its own chorus, with the Glasgow Orpheus Choir performing traditional songs). Though not as celebrated as some of Powell's other films (The Red Shoes, A Matter of Life and Death, I Know Where I'm Going!), The Edge of the World deserves more attention for its solid storytelling skills and splendid use of one of the most breathtaking locales ever put on film.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/9/2003
  • UPC: 014381197129
  • Original Release: 1937
  • Rating:

  • Source: Image Entertainment
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Black & White
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:15:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Laurie Peter Manson
Belle Chrystal Ruth Manson
Eric Berry Robbie Manson
Finlay Currie James Gray
Niall MacGinnis Andrew Gray
Grant Sutherland The Catechist
Campbell Robson The Laird
George Summers Skipper
Kitty Kirwan Jean Manson
People of Foula Themselves
Margaret Grieg Baby
Michael Powell Yachtsman
Technical Credits
Michael Powell Director, Screenwriter
Monty Berman Cinematographer
Skeets Kelly Cinematographer
Ernest Palmer Cinematographer
Cyril Ray Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Joe Rock Producer
Derek N. Twist Editor
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening Credits [1:55]
2. It Means "Death" [5:50]
3. The Sabbath [6:56]
4. Leaving the Island [5:03]
5. The Race [9:52]
6. The Funeral [4:28]
7. Life Without Robbie [3:27]
8. Another Sad Loss [5:38]
9. Message in a Balloon [6:56]
10. An Addition to the Island [3:51]
11. Letter to Andrew [4:48]
12. A Stormy Reunion [6:19]
13. The Evacuation [5:36]
14. Peter Manson Gone Over [4:34]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Feature Start
   Scene Selections
   Extra Features
      Audio Commentary
         Audio Commentary by Daniel Day-Lewis, Thelma Schoonmaker-Powell and Ian Christie: On
         Audio Commentary by Daniel Day-Lewis, Thelma Schoonmaker-Powell and Ian Christie: Off
      Shorts: Return to the Edge of the World
      Shorts: An Airman's Letter to His Mother
      Photo Gallery
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