Crusoe (1988)

PG-13   |    |  Drama

Crusoe (1988) Poster

Robinson Crusoe is shipwrecked and he finds himself all alone on a tropical island. With a few tools he manages to rescue from the wreck he has to learn to support himself until help arrives.

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12 November 2010 | mjneu59
| the classic story, with a new spin
This 1988 revision of Daniel Dafoe's popular desert island survival adventure has enough of a modern conscience to suggest a tropical variation of 'The Defiant Ones', with Virginia gentleman slave trader Crusoe (no first name is given: could it be Robinson?) shipwrecked off the African coast and chained by circumstance to a native tribesman. Director Caleb Deschanel brings to his own film some of the same meticulous attention to visual detail from his work elsewhere as an ace cinematographer, in this instance hiding the shortcomings of an underdeveloped screenplay behind lots of glorious surf-and-sand imagery. The story itself, perhaps because of its familiarity in outline, unfolds with a surprising lack of emotion for such a compelling scenario. Little information is offered about its protagonist except that he's a bigot with a lesson to learn, so what little character he has isn't very sympathetic. But the idea alone still carries a lingering fascination, making the film a consistently interesting if not always very involving experience.

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