6.7/10
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Islands in the Stream (1977)

PG | | Drama | 2 August 1977 (Denmark)
An isolated sculptor is visited by his three sons just before the start of WWII.

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview:
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Captain Ralph
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Tom
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Lil
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Willy
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Michael-James Wixted ...
Hildy Brooks ...
Helga Ziegner
Jessica Rains ...
Andrea
Walter Friedel ...
Herr Ziegner
Charles Lampkin ...
Constable
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Storyline

An isolated sculptor is visited by his three sons just before the start of WWII.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

2 August 1977 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

The Boys  »

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Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was said in publicity to be one of Paramount Pictures studio most important releases that was filmed in the year of the American Bicentennial in 1976 (but not released until 1977 though). See more »

Goofs

When the boat is slowly cruising up the river in Cuba looking for refugees, a crew member's hand can be seen moving tree branches away from the camera. See more »

Quotes

Thomas Hudson: I know now there's no "one thing" that is true. It is all true.
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Connections

References Planet of the Apes (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

Ernest's fantasy war
11 October 2004 | by See all my reviews

Carved out of the abandoned wreckage of his 'Land, Sea and Air' trilogy by literary salvage experts, 'Islands in the Stream' is Hemingway's wish-fulfilment seascape. In life, he made a nuisance of himself during World War Two: he cruised the Caribbean on an armed boat purporting to hunt German submarines, before getting in the way during the liberation of Paris. In the novel-- published long after Hemingway shot himself-- his alter ego, Tom Hudson, actually contacts the enemy and bests him, while learning lessons about selfishness and sacrifice.

Hudson is not a writer but a sculptor, and needless to say a macho one: he fashions cast-iron abstracts with a blowtorch like a real workman. It is 1940 and he has run away from Europe and its war, but he is sound at heart, treating Julius Harris as an equal. And he knows how to party, carousing in his adopted West Indian hideout on Queen Mary's birthday: a pointer to Hemingway's latter-day Anglophilia, like Hudson's friendship with David Hemmings's cockney "rummy".

Like Papa, Tom is free with advice on how to live. He has problems relating to his three sons and the divorced wife for whom he still carries a torch, but he makes his peace with them en route to a rendezvous with heroic self-sacrifice. Claire Bloom, popping in as the ex-wife, is quietly competent, no more.

It's episodic and quite conventional stuff, slipping down easily. Jerry Goldsmith's lush score is too obtrusive at times, nudging the spectator in the direction Franklin Schaffner wants. Scott's gruff, grizzled Hudson is like most of this great bear's characterisations, simpatico below his rebarbative surface. The adventurous redemption towards the end comes after a whole lot of talk and brooding, sugar-coated by gorgeous Caribbean scenery. The youngest son's struggle to land a big fish is almost all the action you get until an hour has passed.

This film was a letdown at the box office and for the main participants. Schaffner was on the creative descent which took him from 'Patton' to 'Yes, Giorgio' in 13 years. Co-star Hemmings, never the most distinctive of personalities, had begun to lose his Swinging Sixties prettiness, turning into a portly actor-director. For Scott, his Patton, 'Islands in the Stream' was intended as a comeback vehicle... but he was no longer stretching his talent .


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