A ship-wrecked man floats ashore on an island in the Pacific Ocean. The island is inhabited by a scientist, Dr. Moreau, who in an experiment has turned beasts into human beings. Written by
I watched this movie by accident, due to a last-minute program change by the TV station. I had missed the first couple of minutes including the title, so I was just as unprepared as the shipwrecked Andrew (Michael York) when he set foot on this beautiful tropical island. To his horror, he finds out that an aging scientist, presumed long dead by the world, has populated the island with his "children," the results of his experiments in combining human and animal genes. What I found most astonishing was the authentic feel to the characters. Starting with Andrew. His initial repulsion develops into a discerning appreciation, without ever condoning the monstrosity of Dr. Moreau's project. The old scientist himself (Burt Lancaster, a rather shallow performance in comparison) is not an evil lunatic but a genius who got carried away, convinced to the end of his own noble goals and best intentions. However, the most amazing aspect is the differentiated portrayal of Moreau's more or less "successful" creatures. The movie manages to make your heart go out for them in their struggle to be human against their nature. The most poignant moment is the Lionman's farewell cry for his Master. An overall very satisfying movie, despite some weaknesses in the development of the plot towards the end (it feels like the director suddenly ran out of time). Quality science-fiction with good entertainment value. 7/10
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