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The Island Princess (1954)

La principessa delle Canarie (original title)
1470. The Canary Islands try to resist the Spanish invaders. Their inhabitants are divided, their chief and his daughter Guayarmina (for whom a Spanish officer has fallen in love) wanting ... See full summary »


, (as Antonio Cibotto) | 8 more credits »
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Credited cast:
Sumo sacerdote (high priest)
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Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Su Excelencia


1470. The Canary Islands try to resist the Spanish invaders. Their inhabitants are divided, their chief and his daughter Guayarmina (for whom a Spanish officer has fallen in love) wanting the peace, while the priest and resistance leader are for war. After several battles the islanders are chased to Tirma mountain by the Spanish army. Written by BSK

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Plot Keywords:

spanish | murder | island | battle | See All (4) »




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Release Date:

30 December 1954 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Island Princess  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Featured in Marcello Mastroianni: I Remember (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

THE ISLAND PRINCESS (Paolo Moffo and Pietro Francisci, 1954) **
2 August 2008 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

I’d never heard of this peplum before it turned up recently on late-night Italian TV; however, with a bit of research, I realized that it was listed on the “Leonard Maltin Film Guide”. In any case, what particularly drew me to the film was the fact that it starred Marcello Mastroianni – soon to become one of Italy’s foremost leading men and international stars; he’s appropriately dashing in the garb of the Spanish armada but, then, his distinctive voice is dubbed by someone else (films from this country were famously shot M.O.S.)!

Anyway, it turned out to be a very ordinary spectacle – even without taking into consideration the extremely choppy (and muddy) quality of the print on display: in fact, while the film’s ‘official’ running-time is given as 105 minutes, the copy I watched ran for a measly 76! Incidentally, the action sequences (though little of these actually remain in the film as shown on TV!) are here credited to Pietro Francisci – best-known for helming the two Steve Reeves Hercules vehicles from later on in the decade which brought him stardom and cemented the popularity of the peplum genre; for the record, a solo genre effort by Francisci – ATTILA (1954), with Anthony Quinn in the title role – was released within days of this one!

The plot involves the Spanish conquistadores’, ahem, conquest of the Canary Islands; no sooner have they landed that one of the leaders of the expedition (Mastroianni, of course) meets and falls for a local girl (peplum regular Silvana Pampanini)…without realizing that she’s the current ruler’s daughter! While the old man is willing to negotiate peace terms with the Spaniards, a hotheaded young warrior wants none of it and conspires with the King’s chief adviser to oust their forces from the land. To begin with, they organize an ambush of the Armada who, naturally, retaliate by burning down one of their villages; then, the King is poisoned so that the girl assumes command – and take the rebellious warrior for a husband, since she needs a strong man by her side at such a precarious moment!

Needless to say, Pampanini has conflicting emotions about all of this: she loves Mastroianni but can’t bear the treatment of her people by the Spanish (despite being merely the direct result of their own provocation!); eventually, she gives in to the warrior’s demands…but, then, thinks back on it and leaves him reeling at the altar during the wedding ceremony! At the end, the two parties engage in open battle (again, it’s so extensively trimmed as to be confusing and deeply unsatisfying) – with the lovers finally re-united against an evocative backdrop of sea and sand, where the fleeing warrior had just then been cornered and dispatched.

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