Island of Lost Souls (1932)

Unrated  |   |  Adventure, Horror, Romance  |  December 1932 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 5,043 users  
Reviews: 86 user | 104 critic

An obsessed scientist conducts profane experiments in evolution, eventually establishing himself as the self-styled demigod to a race of mutated, half-human abominations.



(screen play), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Arthur Hohl ...
Stanley Fields ...
Captain Davies
Paul Hurst ...
Hans Steinke ...
Tetsu Komai ...
The Consul


After his ship goes down, Edward Parker is rescued at sea. Parker gets into a fight with Captain Davies of the Apia and the Captain tosses him overboard while making a delivery to the tiny tropical island of Dr. Moreau. Parker discovers that Moreau has good reason to be so secretive on his lonely island. The doctor is a whip-cracking task master to a growing population of his own gruesome human/animal experiments. He does have one prize result, Lota the beautiful panther woman. Parker's fortunes for escape look up after his fiancée Ruth finds him with the help of fearless Captain Donohue. However, when Moreau's tribe of near-humans rises up to rebel, no one is safe... Written by Gary Jackson <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TERROR! Stalked the Brush-Choked Island...Where Men Who Were Animals Sought the Girl Who Was All-Human!


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

December 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Island of Dr. Moreau  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Parallels can be drawn between this film and William Shakespeare's play "The Tempest", with Dr. Moreau as Prospero, Lota as Miranda and Edward Parker as Ferdinand. See more »


On the first ship, a man carries a large bucket of slop and accidentally spills some slop on Captain Davies. In the next shot, as Davies punches the man and knocks him down, the slop bucket is sitting on the deck behind him. See more »


Dr. Moreau: What is the law?
Sayer of the Law: Not to eat meat, that is the law. Are we not men?
Beasts (in unison): Are we not men?
Dr. Moreau: What is the law?
Sayer of the Law: Not to go on all fours, that is the law. Are we not men?
Beasts (in unison): Are we not men?
Dr. Moreau: What is the law?
Sayer of the Law: Not to spill blood, that is the law. Are we not men?
Beasts (in unison): Are we not men?
See more »


Referenced in The Sopranos: Full Leather Jacket (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

This is a horror CLASSIC, pure and simple, and still one of the most extraordinary movies ever made!
6 August 2003 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

The 1930s was a great decade for horror with classic titles like 'Dracula', 'Frankenstein', 'Bride Of Frankenstein', 'Freaks', 'King Kong', 'The Invisible Man' and 'White Zombie'. I always thought 'Bride Of Frankenstein' was the best of the lot, but a VERY close second would have to be 'Island Of Lost Souls'. It truly is an extraordinary movie and still able to chill the blood and fire the imagination! It's easily the best version of H.G. Wells' 'The Island Of Dr Moreau' to date, and literally years ahead of its time. Many of the 1930s films made before the self imposed censorship of the Hays Code are quite startling and really pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable on screen. This movie is seventy years old but it still pretty disturbing even now. At the time it must have been something else! Especially the super sexy Lota The Panther Woman (Kathleen Burke). Charles Laughton plays Moreau and he is one of the greatest of screen villains. The quintessential megalomaniac mad scientist figure. Richard Arlen is pretty good as the hero, Edward Parker, who finds himself trapped on Moreau's island, and horror legend Bela Lugosi is unforgettable as the Sayer of the Law. I watched an old video copy of this movie with a lousy transfer and was still utterly transfixed. If this is available on DVD with the care and attention given to it that Universal have taken on their classic horror titles I will add it straight to the top of my (ever expanding!) "must buy" list. 'Island Of Lost Souls' is one of the greatest horror movies I've ever seen, and one that I can't recommend highly enough to any horror buff whatever your age or taste.

41 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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