Turning the familiar Crusoe/Man Friday story on its head, this version becomes a straightforward confrontation between instinctive, spontaneous, lithe and beautiful Black versus repressed, guilt-ridden and mottled White: a fable for our times. Crusoe's imperialism, individualism, competitiveness and other cornerstones of Western civilisation also fail to measure up alongside Man Friday's natural grace. But too seldom does this Crusoe become anything more than a one-dimensional, knock-down figure, and O'Toole's noisy, strangled performance is disastrously wide of the mark. The simple tone would be more acceptable if the general level of satire owed less to stock British comedy, and if attempts to leaven the message hadn't included interludes like the one where Crusoe and Friday go hang-gliding.
Cast and crew