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Goto, l'île d'amour (1969)

A simpleton thief on Goto, an isolated island ruled by a barbaric dictator, climbs ranks from criminal to fly-catcher, dog-keeper and boot polisher, while himself and other islanders get ... See full summary »




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean-Pierre Andréani ...
Fernand Bercher ...
L'instituteur / Professor
Michel Charrel ...
Pierre Collet
Raoul Darblay ...
General Gwino
Rudy Lenoir ...
Le juge d'instruction
Colette Régis ...
La directrice
Michel Thomass ...
Ari Arcadi ...
L'éxecuteur de chiens
Guy Bonnafoux ...


A simpleton thief on Goto, an isolated island ruled by a barbaric dictator, climbs ranks from criminal to fly-catcher, dog-keeper and boot polisher, while himself and other islanders get caught up in throes of temptation, which threatens to change the fate of the island forever. Written by curious_chaos

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Release Date:

29 January 1969 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A Ilha do Amor  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Referenced in Fear, Panic & Censorship (2000) See more »


Concerto No 11 opus 7
Music by George Frideric Handel (as Georg Friedrich Haendel)
Performed by Marie-Claire Alain (organ) with Orchestre de Chambre Jean-François Paillard
Conducted by Jean-François Paillard
Edition Costallat (Disque Erato)
See more »

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User Reviews

GOTO, ISLAND OF LOVE (Walerian Borowczyk, 1968) ***1/2
9 February 2007 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

After having long wanted to watch this, I finally caught up with Borowczyk's feature-film debut on DVD-R while I was in Hollywood in late 2005. As it happens, only days later it was announced for release on R1 DVD - and not long after that, the director himself passed away! Anyway, even if the copy I first watched didn't include the brief color shots that were a part of the original version (and which, thankfully, are intact on the Cult Epics DVD), I was still highly impressed with the film - counting it not just among the most original and remarkable debuts ever but, along with its follow-up BLANCHE (1971), Borowczyk's finest work!

Virtually all of the director's stylistic qualities and thematic interests are already to be found here (save perhaps the religious aspect which would be out of place in such a remote totalitarian setting as the one in which the events unfold); as was to become increasingly evident in subsequent efforts, eroticism is at the core of the plot which is quite simple really, as the film is best approached as an allegorical fable and mood piece - or, if you like, merely a canvas for former animator Borowczyk on which to scrape his ideas, methodically shaping his own distinctive vision (David Thomson in "Time Out" calls it a veritable art film, not because of its occasional pretentiousness but for the way in which one is always conscious of its being essentially a work of artifice).

Typically of Borowczyk, then, the detail is obsessive, memorable and often surreal: the fact that the first name of the entire population starts with the letter G; the three-way portrait of Goto's current ruler and his two predecessors hung on the school-room walls (wherein the only history being taught is that of the island itself); the unusual way in which prisoners - all crimes, whether big or small, seem to be punishable by death - are executed (they're brought before the court in pairs and made to engage in physical combat, with the loser eventually being beheaded while the winner is set free!); equally disturbing is the social structure on the island (the father of the Governor's wife attends to the 'royal' kennels while her mother is one of the prostitutes in the local brothel), etc. Another important aspect of the film which became synonymous with virtually all of Borowczyk's subsequent features is his unnerving juxtaposition of absolute silence and deafening organ music (in this case, the work of Handel).

Things come to a head when Grozo, an ambitious and lecherous man saved from the gallows (played by Guy Saint-Jean), is employed by the Governor - a majestic Pierre Brasseur in one of his last roles - in the kennels (as well as Goto's official fly-catcher and boot-polisher!); his envy of both the latter's position and wife sends him on a spiral of murder and deception till he has replaced him on the 'throne' and intends to take Glossia (the graceful Ligia Branice, Borowczyk's own wife, who's actually having an affair with her dashing horse-riding instructor and who had even planned to flee the island by boat!) for himself; by the end of the film, however, he's all alone, desperate and on the verge of madness. In conclusion, though admittedly obscure and deliberately paced, the film is nevertheless vivid, constantly imaginative and, ultimately, haunting.

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