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Isle of the Dead (1945)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Horror, Mystery  |  1 September 1945 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 2,625 users  
Reviews: 63 user | 39 critic

On a Greek island during the 1912 war, several people are trapped by quarantine for the plague. If that isn't enough worry, one of the people, a superstitious old peasant woman, suspects ... See full summary »

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Title: Isle of the Dead (1945)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Marc Cramer ...
Oliver Davis
Katherine Emery ...
Mrs. Mary St. Aubyn
Helene Thimig ...
Madame Kyra
...
St. Aubyn
Jason Robards Sr. ...
Albrecht (as Jason Robards)
Ernst Deutsch ...
Dr. Drossos (as Ernst Dorian)
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Storyline

On a Greek island during the 1912 war, several people are trapped by quarantine for the plague. If that isn't enough worry, one of the people, a superstitious old peasant woman, suspects one young girl of being a vampiric kind of demon called a vorvolaka. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

APPALLING! WEIRD! BAFFLING! (original half-sheet poster) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 September 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Ilha dos Mortos  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The statue of the three-headed dog is of Cerberus who guards the gates of Hades to prevent anybody escaping back across the River Styx. See more »

Goofs

General Pherides has two stars on his collar to denote his rank, whereas Doctor Drossos has epaulettes of knotted embroidery. The Hellenic Army of the Balkans War did not use insignia on collars to denote rank. Rank was indicated on epaulettes. A Lieutenant General's epaulette had two large silver stars on gold embroidery with red edging. A Captain's epaulette has three smaller silver stars on a striped epaulette (red-gold-red). See more »

Quotes

Thea: Laws can be wrong, and laws can be cruel, and the people who live only by the law are both wrong and cruel.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Blood-Drinking Beings (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Not quite what the title etc suggests it would be but still enjoyable
17 August 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

It is 1912 and Greece is deeply involved in the Balkan War. General Nikolas Pherides is in charge of a group of soldiers – driving them to breaking point in what some might call a cruel, twisted sense of patriotism. On a visit to the grave of his wife with visiting American Oliver Davis, Pherides finds the graves vandalised and demands answers from the local residents. He gets them but also accepts their offer of a bed for the night to save them making the long journey back to the troops. However during the night the plague is found on the small island and quarantine is declared to protect the troops. However they quickly find that the plague is not the only danger on the mysterious island.

Although the plot is unnecessarily busy considering the short running time, this is an effective enough drama although I would have liked more of the atmospheric horror to it. The plot involves the plague, suspicious characters, a driven man and possibly the undead; it builds well on the air of mystery and atmosphere although it never really gets close to some of the better Val Lewton films. Likewise the plot, although easy to follow, is not as simple and effective as it could have been and the various threads tend to slow down the film rather than compliment the atmosphere. The atmosphere is still good, although Robson has given it more of a melodramatic use of shadow at times rather than a tense use. That said, some moments are quite chilling and it'll still work on that basis.

Cramer is the main character despite the lower billing; he is a fairly standard, square jawed actor and he isn't that interesting as a result. Karloff is where the show is at and, although he is not playing a monster to the same degree as he often would, he is still very interesting and his performance is good. Support is so-so from the rest of the cast; Drew and Thimig are pretty good but Napier, Robards and Emery are not given the same chance to really shine.

Overall this is an enjoyable film but not the one to come to if you want to see the best that Lewton had to offer. The plot is more drama than atmospheric horror but it does still do this well at points. The cast are mostly good but they do tend to get in the way of Karloff, who is missed every time he goes off the screen.


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