Synopsis by Hal Erickson
If you're looking for revisionism, Man Friday has it in abundance. Peter O'Toole stars as Daniel Defoe's fabled castaway Robinson Crusoe, while Richard Roundtree plays Crusoe's "man Friday". Crusoe makes it his mission in life to convert Friday to Christianity, but this pales in comparison to the marooned man's strenuous efforts to be accepted by Friday's fellow tribesmen. In fact, due to Friday's superior know-how, it is Crusoe who ends up the slave! This curious turn of events was the basis of Adrian Mitchell's stage play, which used the Defoe work as a mere launching pad. When screened in Cannes, Man Friday included a bizarre ending in which the crazed Crusoe, failing to come up to Friday's exacting standards, kills himself (perhaps Defoe rejected this notion back in 1712 because you couldn't have a dead narrator back then).
castaway, Christianity, island, native, suicide, tribe