The Edge of the World (1937)



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Movie Info

What happens when the people of a lonely, windswept island can no longer survive as a community ? This Drama/Documentary examines the hardships of such a life and the decisions they must make, whether to stay where their families have worked & died to establish this hard-working community or to leave and give the next generation a better chance. Partly based on a true story (The evacuation of "Hirta" or "St. Kilda").


John Laurie
as Peter Manson
Belle Chrystall
as Ruth Manson - His Daughter
Belle Chrystal
as Ruth Manson
Eric Berry
as Robbie Manson - Her Brother
Kitty Kerwin
as Jean Manson - Their Grandmother
Finlay Currie
as James Gray
Niall MacGinnis
as Andrew Gray
Grant Sutherland
as John, the Catechist
Campbell Robson
as Dunbar, the Laird
George Summers
as The Trawler Skipper
Kitty Kirwan
as Jean Manson
People of Foula
as Themselves
Frankie Powell
as Mrs. Graham
Sydney Streeter
as Man at Dance
Michael Powell
as Yachtsman
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Critic Reviews for The Edge of the World

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (2)

When all is said and done it remains Foula which is both hero and heroine of this film, and its appeal will be to lovers of magnificent scenes of natural beauty.

Feb 4, 2018 | Full Review…

In this, his first independent feature film, Powell sets the tone for the rest of his career as he packs the narrative with innovations.

Feb 1, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

... a must-see for Powell enthusiasts; the visuals are indescribably forceful.

Aug 15, 2006 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

Michael Powell entered the golden age of his career with The Edge of the World.

Dec 18, 2003 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

A flinty, hard-edged melodrama amidst unforgettable landscapes; an early jewel from Michael Powell.

Aug 17, 2003 | Rating: 4/5

Powell's early ability with the camera is readily apparent here

May 12, 2001 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for The Edge of the World

Residents of a small Scottish isle come to terms with the fact that their way of life has come to an end. The seas nearby can no longer provide enough fish to make a living, and their land, having been depleted and eroded, can no longer produce the crops they need to survive. Some very touching moments here but I found that the most interesting parts were the shots of actual Scotsmen going about their daily routines. The film is almost as documentary as it is dramatic. Fascinating to see the way islanders collected shed wool from the sheep or the way they got mail to the mainland by sealing letters in small toy boats and casting them into the sea, hoping that fishing vessels would pick them up and post them. There is as much here for history enthusiasts as there is for movie buffs.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer


Mike Powell's 1st real film and a good first effort. I liked the idea of the story more than the execution.The location is amazing and i would like to see this subject tackeled in a doc. or a remake by Malick.

cody franklin
cody franklin

Super Reviewer

The Edge of the World Quotes

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