Island in the Sun [Import]
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Four different love affairs simultaneously wreak havoc in the lives of the inhabitants of a tropical paradise. A wealthy plantation owner plots murder when he suspects his wife of having an adulterous relationship. At the same time, his sister-in-law is drawn to his enemy, a dedicated black labor leader, and a governor's aide is torn over his scandalous affair with a native woman. Darling and exquisitely filmed on location, this rich romantic story with it's focus on race, passion and politics, was one of the most talked about films of its day.
This race-relations film from 1957, based on a novel by Alec Waugh and set on a West Indies island, stars James Mason as a wealthy man who runs against a local union leader (Harry Belafonte). The rest of the players, one way or another, deal with the consequences of their rivalry. Mason and Belafonte leave a strong impression, but the film overall doesn't live up to its own sense of significance. Joan Collins is good as Mason's sister, who worries that the contest will cost her an engagement to the governor's son. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
This movie deals with two inter-racial romances and was quite controversial in 1957. It tried to be daring and ground-breaking, but any semblance of inter-racial affection was censored out, resulting in a shallow, uninvolving soap opera. It moves too quickly from couple to couple in order to serve the large cast, and the result is that none of the plot lines is developed and all are fairly incoherent. Mason overacts but at least is interesting and Dandridge is beautiful, but Fontaine is totally miscast and Belafonte remains an enigma.
This is a noble effort that suffers from a poor script, terrible editing, and the worst fault that can befall a movie - it's boring. On the plus side, the Extras include a very good biography of Dorothy Dandrige.
In this film the wealthy whites are ridicule here once again, lording their money-driven power over the black Caribbean field workers in this timely but talky issue-film. Belafonte also stars here as a native son on the fictional West Indies island of Santa Marta who wants to wrestle control of the government from the ruling white British regime, here embodied by political candidate James Mason (who harbors a deep, dark secret of his own -- pun completely intended). Joan Fontaine essays a white woman who happens to be in love with Harry; Dorothy Dandridge plays a local girl in love with a white man (John Justin); and Joan Collins portrays Mason's sister, trying to get English lord Stephen Boyd to fall for her.
The location (Barbados/Grenada) of this film was just beautiful, and so is Harry Belafonte's voice, singing Jamaican songs at sunset. His relationship with Joan Fontaine is fantastic--if not especially romantic. The love story sidebars are soapy but not dull and they give the film what passion it has. Personally what I really wanted to see was more of Belafonte. He was at a peak here, and since he didn't get to use his own singing voice in "Carmen Jones", this is a great chance to watch and hear him perform unfettered.
I also recommend is "Stormy Weather" because it is a important piece of history, being one of Hollywood's first pictures to star an entirely African-American cast. Though some racial stereotyping is on-hand here and there.
In light of the controversy surrounding the recent "Monster's Ball", we may not have matured as much as we think.
Many of the other roles are filled by those that were under contract to Twentieth Century-Fox, the releasing company: Joan Collins (Jocelyn Fluery"), previously seen in "Land of the Pharoahs", Michael Rennie ("Hilary Carson"), earlier featured in "The Robe" and the classic "The Day the Earth Stood Still", and Patricia Owens ("Sylvia Fluery")from"The Fly".
Even James Mason ("Maxwell Fluery") had been featured in the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz vehicle for Fox "Forever, Darling".
Future "Ben-Hur" villain Stephen Boyd ("Euan Templeton") is on hand as the romantic interest for Collins.
While the acting is equal to the talented cast, it is character veteran John Williams that steals the show. As "Colonel Whittingham", the police investigator of a character's demise, he seems as a precursor to television's "Columbo". Crafty, witty, and verbally adept, his "flatfoot" is not one's typical cop.
In all, the film is enjoyable, not only for the performances but for the lush scenery and the glimpse at how movies "dared" to do something different in the 50's.
Most recent customer reviews
"Island in the Sun" is a beautiful film that was partially filmed in Barbados. It includes scenes of the sugar mill where my mother played as a child, which is now owned... Read morePublished on Nov. 3 2001 by Deborah Earle
Island in the Sun makes you wish you where on the that Island. What can I say, Dorothy Dandridge, Harry Belafonte, and Joan Collins were youngest and most attractive in this... Read morePublished on June 29 2000 by Tawana L. Johnson Carroll
I've not yet seen the movie, but i'm dying to do so. If anyone out there can tell me how to get a copy of the movie, I would really appreciate it. Read morePublished on Feb. 23 2000 by Pamela Luckey