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Island in the Sun (1957)

6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 668 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 5 critic

Set on a fictitious island in the Carribean during colonial British rule, it focuses on the life of a young charismatic and handsome black male with political aspirations. He finds himself ... See full summary »

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Title: Island in the Sun (1957)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Maxwell Fleury
...
Mavis Norman
...
...
Jocelyn Fleury
...
Hilary Carson
...
David Boyeur
Diana Wynyard ...
Mrs. Fleury
...
Colonel Whittingham
...
Euan Templeton
Patricia Owens ...
Sylvia Fleury
Basil Sydney ...
Julian Fleury
John Justin ...
Denis Archer
Ronald Squire ...
Governor Templeton
Hartley Power ...
Bradshaw
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Barbara Upton ...
Colonel's Secretary
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Storyline

Set on a fictitious island in the Carribean during colonial British rule, it focuses on the life of a young charismatic and handsome black male with political aspirations. He finds himself confused on returning home when his romantic liaison with a white female tends to conflict with his political views. As rumor has it an interracial screen kiss caused quite a commotion in the U.S. when the film was released. The plot is further strengthened by a look at the lives of a white ex-pat family also living on the island. The family has to deal with problems of infidelity, racism and murder. Written by Warren D. Mottley <trident@toj.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The place is the West Indies . . . the sun hides many things.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 August 1957 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Heiße Erde  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,250,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$8,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of Diana Wynyard. See more »

Quotes

Mavis Norman: Does it make any difference, having an aim in life?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Inventing the Abbotts (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Mama Look a Boo Boo
(uncredited)
Written by Lord Melody
See more »

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User Reviews

 
1950s tale of interracial relationships and racial tensions on a British Caribbean island.
30 April 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was a very unique movie for Hollywood in the 1950s because it explored interracial relationships from both a political as well as romantic perspective. No doubt, it made audiences extremely uncomfortable.

The cast is very strong (with Dorothy Dandridge, Joan Fontaine, John Williams and James Mason--who never disappoints,) and the storyline both intriguing and unpredictable. Harry Belafonte portrays a proud, outspoken labor leader who fights racial injustice on a British Caribbean island, but this is only a secondary plot line. The "forbidden fruit" of interracial relationships is explored from several different perspectives giving this movie an important place in the history of American Cinema. Although racism and class-ism are common elements, the characters are empathetically portrayed. This movie was released in Jim Crow America and, younger viewers may not fully appreciate its' unique portrayal of Blacks in non-subservient roles. Blacks were typically cast as inarticulate maids and butlers, but Dorothy Dandridge (nominated as Best Actress for Carmen Jones in 1954) and Harry Belafonte (a top ten pop singer) were particularly stunning and sophisticated, an anomaly for Black actors in films roles at the time. Nevertheless, Belafonte's acting is often stilted, revealing that this was an early role while Dandridge's character lacks depth--though her acting superb, given that she has been given so little with which to work.

An important side note is that Harry Belafonte was a top-selling West Indian Calyso singer (Day-0-The Banana Boat Song) at the time that this movie was released and performed the title song. In addition to making a strong political statement about the need for racial justice--via his character in this film--he also was a high-profile figure within the Civil Rights Movement, marching with the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King.


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