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Paradise Island (1930)

Passed | | Action, Adventure, Music | 15 July 1930 (USA)
Ellen Bradford comes to the south sea island of Tonga to marry her fiancée and finds out he is a drunk. She also finds out that she is the only white woman on the island and, as such, has ... See full summary »


Bert Glennon


M.B. Deering (story), Monte M. Katterjohn (scenario and dialogue) (as Monte Katterjohn)

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Cast overview:
Kenneth Harlan ... Jim Thorne
Marceline Day ... Ellen Bradford
Tom Santschi ... Dutch Mike Lutze
Paul Hurst ... Beauty
Betty Boyd ... Poppi
Victor Potel ... Swede
Gladden James ... Roy Armstrong
Will Stanton ... Limey


Ellen Bradford comes to the south sea island of Tonga to marry her fiancée and finds out he is a drunk. She also finds out that she is the only white woman on the island and, as such, has three men taking a deep interest in her. She has written off her fiancée, and has learned real quick like that "Dutch Mike" Lutze is not to be trusted in any way. That leaves Jim Thorne, the only man who has ever bested Lutze in anything and, while Jim is an adventurer and pirate-at-heart, he knows how to be a gentleman, especially to the only white woman in town or on the island. Lutze is offended. They play poker for a plantation, Ellen, and all the pearls in the Pacific. Loser gets Poppi. Lutz has a marked deck of cards. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


ACTION!...ROMANCE!...ADVENTURE! (original poster - all caps) See more »








Release Date:

15 July 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Ilha do Paraíso See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Tiffany Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The jungle village set had previously been used in Tiffany's Technicolor production of Mamba (1930). See more »


Jim Thorne: Ahhh... he's turned pansy!
See more »


Drinking Song
Lyrics by Val Burton
Music by Will Jason
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User Reviews

The film had MANY problems...yet, oddly, I enjoyed it.
30 September 2014 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

The film is set somewhere in the Pacific on some Polynesian Island. To demonstrate this, the filmmakers inserted lots of grainy old stock footage...and it really was obvious. Soon you see that a baddie named Mike Lutz has been cheating a dumbbell, Mr. Armstrong, out of his fortune. As for Armstrong, he's an alcoholic and a womanizer--which is not good because his fiancée, Miss Bradford (Marceline Day), is on her way to the island to marry him. When she arrives, evil Mike makes a play for her but the hero, Thorn (Kenneth Harlan) arrives to save the day--whisking her off to his plantation to stay. It's obvious that Thorn is smitten with Miss Bradford, but because he's the heroic type, he's quite the gentleman. In fact, he tries to help Armstrong throughout the film--even though Armstrong really is a hopeless jerk-face. Through the course of saving the Jerk-face, Thorn gets on evil Captain Lutz's bad side and Lutz plans on revenge. Can Thorn save the day or will Thorn steal everything...including Miss Bradford?

The film is a bit silly and in many ways it plays out like a Popeye cartoon- -with a bunch of sailor beating the crap out of each other. Think of Thorn as Popeye and Lutz as Bluto...and, perhaps, Armstrong as Wimpy...though instead of being addicted to burgers, he's addicted to booze and broads. And, of course, the skinny Miss Bradford is Olive. Additionally, there is a lot of singing--something you wouldn't expect in a South Seas adventure like this one! A few of the songs are completely ridiculous (such as the one Thorn sings with his crew as their ship comes in to port) and one actually was good (the one where he translates the Polynesian song into English), as Harlan had a beautiful voice. He wasn't exactly handsome and perhaps that is why he didn't go on to become a big star--though with a voice like that, I am still rather surprised.

Overall, the film has a lot of crappy stock footage, occasionally offensive stereotypes ('...all the locals are lazy'), a very simplistic plot, one of the DUMBEST sidekicks in movie history (Beauty is a 100% idiot) and some occasionally limp acting. But, it also has a likable leading man and, somehow, the film engaged my interest. Yes, I knew that there'd be a final big showdown between Thorn and Lutz...and I actually found myself caring! Worth seeing if your standards and expectations are both low.

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