5.9/10
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16 user 4 critic

Sinners in Paradise (1938)

Passed | | Drama | 19 May 1938 (USA)
A seaplane departs for China. On board are a nurse escaping a loveless marriage to do work with refugees, a woman hoping to surprise her estranged son, a wealthy heiress trying to distance ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Jim Taylor
...
Robert Malone
Marion Martin ...
Iris Compton
...
Senator Corey
Charlotte Wynters ...
Thelma Chase
Nana Bryant ...
Mrs. Franklin Sydney
...
Honeyman
...
Jessup (as Donald Barry)
...
Harrison Brand
Willie Fung ...
Ping
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Storyline

A seaplane departs for China. On board are a nurse escaping a loveless marriage to do work with refugees, a woman hoping to surprise her estranged son, a wealthy heiress trying to distance herself from labor troubles, an oily politician, a moll and a mobster fleeing the wrath of the gangs they've double-crossed, two rival munitions salesmen out to cash in on the misery of war, and a fresh-faced young steward. Caught in a course-altering storm, a crash-landing destroys the plane, kills the plane's officers, and tosses the surviving passengers into the sea. They are washed ashore on an isolated island inhabited solely by mysteriously reclusive Mr. Taylor and his servant, Ping. Until Taylor decides if, how and when he will allow them to take his boat back to China for help, this disparate band must work together, change their self-centered ways, and examine their motives for wanting to escape from the island and their pasts. Written by Sister Grimm <srgrimm@teleport.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

island | china | storm | steward | servant | See All (94) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 May 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Secrets of a Sinner  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In Madge Evans' interview by Leonard Maltin in Film Fan Magazine (December 1972), the actress gave the following testimony about filming "Sinners in Paradise": "Well, this was not his (i.e. James Whale) kind of film. He was much too intelligent, much too good a director for this kind of nonsense which was all about people cast adrift on an island, a dreadful picture and he was much, much too good for it. He hated it, and also being a rather up-tight Englishman, he showed that he hated it. You could just see that every time he came to a scene, he was saying, 'Oh, my God,' and that doesn't make anybody feel either confident or happy." See more »

Quotes

Malone: [flirting] My name is Malone.
Iris: [bored] Does it make you happy?
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User Reviews

Not bad
28 November 2015 | by (The San Francisco Bay Area) – See all my reviews

For a film from the late 1930s it's not a bad film. The technological limitations for special effects and cost of shooting on stage verse on location are apparent, but the story is fairly compelling enough.

A band of assorted individuals with various pasts and agendas take flight aboard a "flying boat", and find themselves challenged in a new environment.

The film by today's standards may seem somewhat racist in regards to one Asian character, but is more or less a product of its time, and the character in question is noble to a fault, and in fact key to helping the rest of the characters.

Marion Martin shows that her acting chops weren't quite there yet (and she had yet to engage in an exercise regime), Bruce Cabot of King Kong fame shows his range, and a number of other well known actors of the time do well to bring to life the characters in this film.

Again, the shortcomings are the technical aspects, Martin's lack of theatrical training, and money. Otherwise it's a solid B-performer that'll help whittle away a lazy Sunday afternoon.

If you need a classic film on your TV or computer, you could do worse, but you could also do better. Either way, give it a shot and see what you think.

Not a great film, but nor a bad film.

Give it a shot.


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