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Island in the Sun [Import]

3.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: James Mason, Joan Fontaine, Dorothy Dandridge, Joan Collins, Michael Rennie
  • Directors: Robert Rossen
  • Writers: Alec Waugh, Alfred Hayes
  • Producers: Darryl F. Zanuck
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • Release Date: Jan. 10 2006
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000BOH91S
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Product Description

Product Description

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.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Kona TOP 500 REVIEWER on Nov. 14 2008
Format: DVD
On an island in the West Indies, four couples struggle to find happiness, with varying results. Plantation owner Maxwell Fleury (James Mason) fears his wife is unfaithful to him, his sister (Joan Collins) falls for a young British nobleman but carries a dangerous secret, his sister-in-law (Joan Fontaine) falls for a political organizer (Harry Belafonte), and a store clerk (Dorothy Dandridge) has an affair with a British officer.

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.
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Format: DVD
I had the chance to watch this film and even though "Island in the Sun" was produced in 1957 it should be recognized as indisputable breakthrough! There have been plenty of movies like this, but keep in mind that interracial relationships were political detonate at the time - and yet some of the film's observations remain upsetting even today.

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.
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Format: VHS Tape
After many years of trying to finally catch this one on "the telly", I recently was afforded the opportunity. As a "period piece" and "social commentary", the film works fairly well. One most realize that miscegenation was still a taboo in the 50's when this film was made; thus, it was considered a violation of "the natural order of things" in much of the Deep South. While the "romance" between Dorothy Dandridge ("Margot Seaton") and John Justin ("David Archer") was displayed, all that Harry Belafonte ("David Boyeur") and Joan Fontaine ("Mavis Norman") could muster were some occasional glances and a verbal exchange about the pros and cons of interracial relations.
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.
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Format: VHS Tape
Race-relations film that just has too much going on--this is based on Alec Waugh's book and is a prime example of the difficulties of adapting a novel with many complex themes and characters into only a 2-hour film (it should have been more like 3) since it felt as if they tried to cram as much people and story lines in as possible and as a result some of the characters lacked essential development. The ensemble cast includes a whole roster of name-stars: James Mason, Joan Fontaine, Harry Belafonte, Joan Collins, Dorothy Dandridge and Stephen Boyd. The story takes place in the beautiful Caribbean on the small island of Santa Marta--and as we soon discover, it is a hotbed of race relations (and interrelations!). Mason stars as Maxwell Fleury, the prodigal son of one of the island's oldest and most prominent families. Despite having no shortage of money, living in an impressive villa-like home by the sea (but then again, on a tiny isle like this I'm sure every home is pretty much near the sea!) with a lovely young wife, he's an intense, insecure and embittered middle-aged man who makes himself miserable believing wifey is cheating and (understandably) angered over his father's favoritism with Max's deceased older brother. Joan Collins is eye-catching in both appearance and performance as Max's very beautiful sister Jocelyn, an enchanting young woman under whose calm, unruffled surface runs conflicting emotions and smoldering passions that are ignited when she falls for the governor's dashing son (Boyd)--resulting in unintended consequences and surprising revelations. The very handsome and charismatic Belafonte plays David Boyeur, a fiery union leader-populist who wants to usher in a new era of change for his people and is scornful of the old guard which families like the Fleurys represent.Read more ›
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