A mad doctor conducts ghastly genetic experiments on a remote island in the South Seas, much to the fear and disgust of the shipwrecked sailor who finds himself trapped there.


Erle C. Kenton


Waldemar Young (screenplay), Philip Wylie (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 win. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Charles Laughton ... Dr. Moreau
Richard Arlen ... Edward Parker
Leila Hyams ... Ruth Thomas
Bela Lugosi ... Sayer of the Law
Kathleen Burke ... The Panther Woman
Arthur Hohl ... Montgomery
Stanley Fields ... Captain Davies
Paul Hurst ... Donahue
Hans Steinke Hans Steinke ... Ouran
Tetsu Komai Tetsu Komai ... M'ling
George Irving ... The Consul


After his ship goes down, Edward Parker is rescued at sea. Parker gets into a fight with Captain Davies of the Apia and the Captain tosses him overboard while making a delivery to the tiny tropical island of Dr. Moreau. Parker discovers that Moreau has good reason to be so secretive on his lonely island. The doctor is a whip-cracking task master to a growing population of his own gruesome human/animal experiments. He does have one prize result, Lota the beautiful panther woman. Parker's fortunes for escape look up after his fiancée Ruth finds him with the help of fearless Captain Donohue. However, when Moreau's tribe of near-humans rises up to rebel, no one is safe... Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Charles Laughton as Dr. Moreau, the half-crazed scientist. See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #586. See more »


On the first ship, a man carries a large bucket of slop and accidentally spills some slop on Captain Davies. In the next shot, as Davies punches the man and knocks him down, the slop bucket is sitting on the deck behind him. See more »


[first lines]
Mr. Montgomery: Mr. Hogan. Mr. Hogan! Derelict afloat with a man on board.
Mr. Hogan: Whereabouts?
Mr. Montgomery: Off your port bow.
Mr. Hogan: Aye.
See more »


Featured in A Century of Science Fiction (1996) See more »

User Reviews

Nothing Is Lost With Laughton!
26 February 2000 | by BaronBl00dSee all my reviews

This is the first screen adaptation of the H. G. Wells' novel The Island of Dr. Moreau, and also the best. It is a bit shocking and one can easily see why the British censors, who were notoriously squeamish where horror films were concerned, did not let it appear in Britain for almost 30 years after its release. The story is about a man brought to an island where a strange doctor and his medical "failures" live. Charles Laughton plays the god-like doctor who creates and distorts life in his "House of Pain." Laughton is a marvel to behold with his goatee and his ever-expressive eyes, supplying enough ham to feed an army! He steals every scene he is in with his menacing demeanor and his subtle yet evocative speech. The rest of the cast is pretty good, and Bela Lugosi even makes an appearance as the "Sayer of the Law." The film has some good sets and deals with the issue of man wanting god-like powers rather well. This is easily one of the best non-Universal horror offerings of the 1930's. But again the real thrill of the movie is seeing Charles Laughton decked out in white cracking a whip and leering throughout the picture. His demise also supplies one of the horror screen's most terrifying moments filmed off-stage! Definitely one not to miss!

12 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 115 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »


Official Sites:

Official site




English | Cantonese

Release Date:

December 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Island of Dr. Moreau See more »


Box Office


$300,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed