Dangerous Paradise (1930)

Passed  |   |  Crime, Drama, Music  |  13 February 1930 (USA)
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Heyst, a hermit on his own tropical island, plays unwilling host to red-headed stowaway Alma. Danger looms...



(novel), (scenario), 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Gustav von Seyffertitz ...
Francis McDonald ...
George Kotsonaros ...
Dorothea Wolbert ...
Clarence Wilson ...
Zangiacomo (as Clarence H. Wilson)
Evelyn Selbie ...
Willie Fung ...
Mrs. Wong Wing ...


A young man named Heyst, soured on civilization, lives alone on a remote island "somewhere east of Suez". On one of his periodic visits to Sourabaya, he meets Alma, red-haired entertainer at Schomberg's bistro. To escape the sexual harassment of her bosses, Alma stows away on Heyst's boat and becomes his guest. Will she take the next steamer out... or become mistress of the island? Before this question is resolved, three cutthroats arrive seeking a mythical treasure... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A tropical romance teeming with action and glowing with young ardor. (original ad) See more »


Crime | Drama | Music | Romance






Release Date:

13 February 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Two Against Death  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »


Alternate-language version of Tropennächte (1931) See more »


Written by James Ponia Spencer
Used instrumentally
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User Reviews

Tropical trouble for luminous Nancy Carroll

This early talkie, like a pencil sketch of the famous Maurice Tourneur silent, preposterously reduces Conrad's "Victory" to a Nancy Carroll vehicle. But don't blame her: she gives a characteristically warm and nuanced performance, the best in the film, as a downtrodden violin-player in an all-girl band in Surabaya (now, why didn't Joseph Conrad think of that?),

William Wellman directs in rough-and-ready style, emphasizing leering melodrama, yet produces few pre-code thrills. The weakest link here is Wellman favorite Richard Arlen, even more awkward than he was in WINGS; playing Heyst as Joe College in a tropical white suit, who just happens to enjoy living alone on an island, he drains the central role of conflict and complexity.

In this company, the villains have ample room to shine: Warner Oland works hard at threatening the leading lady's virtue (as does most of the cast), but only Gustav von Seyffertitz, in a stylish black cloak and using Bela Lugosi's vowels, suggests the corruption and wit of Conrad's creation.

The tropical flavor of Surabaya comes down to hula dancers and Hawaiian music, but Archie Stout provides some effective lighting and keeps his shaky-cam moving. While the plot resolution will please only fans of routine Hollywood endings, Nancy Carroll at her peak is always worth a look.

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