I’m falling out of love with streaming.
I’ve grown weary of a number of television streaming options and have pruned them from my monthly expenses. The free, ad supported streaming platforms occasionally offer a pleasant surprise, but the barrage of insurance and deodorizer commercials get really tedious especially after the same ad has been repeated 5 times. Of late, I’ve been returning to physical media that I have bought or borrowed. A few guys in work have developed an informal lending library where we borrow or lend DVD’s. Such is the case with today’s selection.
Jules Verne’s The Light at the Edge of the World came out in 1971, and a buddy of mine went to see it with his family at a drive-in theater and remembered it fondly. When he saw that it was available on disk, he scooped it up and shared the wealth via our library. I’m glad he did.
In the movie, Kirk Douglas plays a lighthouse keeper who is the only line of defense against a crew of sadistic pirates led by their diabolical captain played magnificently by Yul Brynner. The pirates want to take over the lighthouse which is on an important shipping route so that they can misdirect ships into the rocks and steal anything that isn’t nailed down and kill anything that moves. The lighthouse keeper is the only man standing in their way despite impossible odds. It’s like a thinking man’s Rambo movie.
What’s refreshing about the movie is how few special or optical effects there are in this picture. There are a few obvious miniatures of the sailing ships, but the rest of the action all feels real because it was. Kirk Douglas was not shy about doing a lot of his own stunts and it adds to the believability. Nowadays, I know when I am watching computer generated effects, and it all feels as if nothing is risked. Nothing is real. This feels very real.
Another treat is that the pirates don’t look like Johnny Depp or Long John Silver. There’s certainly treasure, but there are no skull-and-crossbone flags, no parrots and no peg-legs. The villains are ruthless marauders dressed in the spoils they have plundered in their trade. They are not romanticized at all.
If you get a chance, watch this movie, but I will give you a word of warning. The film came out when the rating system was relatively new and it received a GP which was the predecessor to the modern PG rating. It is surprisingly violent for PG. I would say it should have been rated R, so forewarned is forearmed.