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Island of Doomed Men (1940)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 20 May 1940 (USA)
Undercover agent Mark Sheldon gets paroled to a remote tropical island with a diamond mine manned by slave labor run by sadistic Stephen Danel.

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Writer:

(original screenplay) (as Robert D. Andrews)
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
Lorraine Danel
...
Mark Sheldon
...
Brand
...
Siggy
...
Doctor Rosener
...
Captain Cort
...
Eddie
Earl Gunn ...
Mitchell
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Storyline

Sadistic Stephen Danel owns a penal island, and when he is not humiliating and mistreating his wife, he is torturing his convict prisoners and using them for slave labor. Government agent Mark Sheldon is sent to infiltrate the island and bring Danel to justice. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A beautiful woman... THE VICTIM... of this connoisseur of CRUELTY! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

20 May 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dead Man's Isle  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Existing prints bear 1955 re-release title credits, with lettering in the middle of the screen so that they would not be cropped in wide screen projection. See more »

Quotes

Stephen Danel: I've been away for a long time. You should be very glad to see me.
Lorraine Danel: I hate the sight of you!
Stephen Danel: I know that. Lorraine, you have been in Mr. Smith's arms. Nothing like that must ever happen again, it embarrasses me. You're my wife, and he's a murderer.
Lorraine Danel: And what are you?
Stephen Danel: I'm your husband.
[Takes a jewelry box from his pocket]
Stephen Danel: Lorraine, remember this stone?
Lorraine Danel: You can't bribe me with that!
Stephen Danel: Why should I bribe you?
Lorraine Danel: You've tried everything else and failed. No matter what you do, you'll always fail!
[...]
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User Reviews

 
Condoomed Men!
9 March 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Island of Doomed Men is directed by Charles Barton, written by Robert D. Andrews and features cinematography by Benjamin Kline. It stars Peter Lorre, Rochelle Hudson and Robert Wilcox.

Federal agent Mark Sheldon (Wilcox), by a strange quirk of fate, is framed for murder and sentenced to serve time on the Pacific Island penal colony he was to investigate anyway! Once there he finds harsh conditions and the camp run by a sadistic task master named Stephen Danel (Lorre). Catching the eye and befriending Danel's beautiful wife, Lorraine (Hudson), herself a prisoner of Danel's tyrannical behaviour, Sheldon knows he must act quick if he is to survive the Island of Doomed Men!

Neither good nor bad, Barton's film is standard fare that features strong themes fighting to impact during the relatively short running time (just under 70 minutes). Much of it is a sweaty prison drama driven by Lorre doing another one of his insane antagonist portrayals. Within the narrative is sadism, spouse and animal abuse, bondage and corruption of power, but these are just shards of potency in an otherwise very talky piece. Performances around Lorre are adequate and Barton and Kline have a decent eye for mood via the black and white photography.

Not very memorable and not nearly as throat grabbing as thematics suggest it could have been, but enjoyable while it's on and certainly one for Lorre completists. 6/10


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