Forty years after shooting his breakthrough film The Edge of the World on the remote island of Foula in the Shetlands, director Michael Powell decided to make a pilgrimage back to the island. Bringing along two of the original film's cast members, John Laurie (who played Peter Manson, the father of the twins Robbie and Ruth) and Grant Sutherland (who played the Catechist), Powell visits many of the film's locations, little changed after 40 years. One major alteration: Powell and his colleagues are able to fly to the island, which had no landing strip in the 1930s, when transport was by ferry or fishing boat. He also locates several islanders who played extras in the original film. Return to the Edge of the World was made for British television. The running time listed reflects its being divided into two parts, as a prologue and epilogue wrapped around the 1940 version of the original film, which ran 62 minutes. A restored version of The Edge of the World is available on VHS; the tape includes Return to the Edge of World (shown separately), plus Powell's 1941 wartime short, An Airman's Letter to His Mother.
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