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Devil's Island (1939)

Approved | | Drama, Thriller | 7 January 1939 (USA)
Unjustly condemned to Devil's Island and condemned to death, Dr. Gaudet's life is spared when his surgical skills save the life of the commandant's daughter.

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Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Nedda Harrigan ...
Madame Lucien
...
Col. Armand Lucien
Adia Kuznetzoff ...
Pierre
Rolla Gourvitch ...
Collette
Will Stanton ...
Bobo
Edward Keane ...
Dr. Duval
...
Demonpre
...
Marcal
Tom Wilson ...
Emil
John Harmon ...
Andre
Richard Bond ...
Georges
Earl Gunn ...
Leon
...
Soupy (as Sidney Bracy)
...
Dogface
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Storyline

For treating a wounded revolutionary, respected brain surgeon Dr. Gaudet is sentenced to the hellish French penal colony on Devil's Island. There, he rebels against the inhuman conditions and incurs the wrath of the brutal commander, Colonel Lucien. When Lucien's daughter is injured in an accident and only Gaudet can save her, the tables are turned. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He escaped from a life worse than death . . . Devil's Island . . . the last haven of horror for the fiercest criminals on earth ! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 January 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Song of Hell  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed late June-early August 1938 (copyright 1939), Boris Karloff's first screen role since The Invisible Menace (1938) in late 1937. His next two features were Mr. Wong, Detective (1938) (copyright 1938) and Son of Frankenstein (1939) (copyright 1939). See more »

Goofs

When the horse and carriage run away, it is obviously a dummy who falls out, not the commandant;s daughter. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Charles Gaudet: My only crime was saving a life. You call that treason?
See more »

Connections

Remake of Devil's Island (1926) See more »

Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
(1792) (uncredited)
Written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Variations in the score throughout
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Impressive indeed
29 May 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Boris Karloff was my reason for seeing Devil's Island, and when I did see it I found myself liking it very much. Of Warner Archive's Boris Karloff Triple Feature collection, it is easily the best of the three films, having liked West of Shanghai and hated The Invisible Menace(Karloff is the best thing about both those films though). Devil's Island, to me, is not without its faults either, the beginning did seem rather tacked on and the music was annoying and often not really appropriate. Devil's Island however is an atmospherically shot film and the settings are suitably moody. The dialogue is thoughtful and to the point, also written in a way that allows you to care for the characters, while the story is well-paced, sustains the short length(in the way that The Invisible Menace failed to do), is tightly structured and sticks like glue to its subject rather than going on a tangent. The acting is good, very good in the case of the two leads, the supporting cast are not faced with sketchy characterisations like with West of Shanghai and there is no annoying comic relief like in The Invisible Menace. James Stephenson makes for an understated and urbane villain, something that he seemed very well-suited for, while Boris Karloff is forceful and dignified in a role different to what we are used to seeing from him. All in all, a very impressive film, worth checking out. 8/10 Bethany Cox


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