12 user 14 critic

Devil's Island (1939)

Approved | | Drama, Thriller | 7 January 1939 (USA)
Unjustly condemned to Devil's Island and condemned to death, Dr. Gaudet's life is spared when his surgical skills save the life of the commandant's daughter.


William Clemens


Kenneth Gamet (screen play), Don Ryan (screen play) | 2 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Boris Karloff ... Dr. Charles Gaudet
Nedda Harrigan ... Madame Lucien
James Stephenson ... Col. Armand Lucien
Adia Kuznetzoff Adia Kuznetzoff ... Pierre
Rolla Gourvitch Rolla Gourvitch ... Collette
Will Stanton ... Bobo
Edward Keane ... Dr. Duval
Robert Warwick ... Demonpre
Pedro de Cordoba ... Marcal
Tom Wilson ... Emil
John Harmon ... Andre
Richard Bond ... Georges
Earl Gunn Earl Gunn ... Leon
Sidney Bracey ... Soupy (as Sidney Bracy)
George Lloyd ... Dogface


For treating a wounded revolutionary, respected brain surgeon Dr. Gaudet is sentenced to the hellish French penal colony on Devil's Island. There, he rebels against the inhuman conditions and incurs the wrath of the brutal commander, Colonel Lucien. When Lucien's daughter is injured in an accident and only Gaudet can save her, the tables are turned. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Drama of Inhuman Cruelty! See more »


Drama | Thriller


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Filmed late June-early August 1938 (copyright 1939), Boris Karloff's first screen role since The Invisible Menace (1938) in late 1937. His next two features were Mr. Wong, Detective (1938) (copyright 1938) and Son of Frankenstein (1939) (copyright 1939). See more »


When the horse and carriage run away, it is obviously a dummy who falls out, not the commandant;s daughter. See more »


Dr. Charles Gaudet: My only crime was saving a life. You call that treason?
See more »


Remake of Devil's Island (1926) See more »


La Marseillaise
(1792) (uncredited)
Written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Variations in the score throughout
See more »

User Reviews

Devil's Island (1939) ***
14 July 2005 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

DEVIL'S ISLAND proved an interesting change-of-pace for Karloff but one which, I agree, is hampered by its second-feature status: as it stands, potentially controversial issues like miscarriage of justice, as well as prison brutality and corruption, are not dealt with in much detail and the expected showdown between Karloff and the callous warden (James Stephenson, who would die only 2 years later and whose best role was his Oscar-nominated turn in William Wyler's THE LETTER [1940]) never occurs. Instead, we're made to believe that the warden's wife is so grateful for ex-brain surgeon Karloff's having saved their daughter's life that she is perfectly willing to see her husband's ruined by reporting his mistreatment of the prisoners to higher authority - when, prior to the girl's accident, she didn't seem to bother much with them since she used to frequently ride up to the labor camp, in her finest attire, as if going on a Sunday picnic! A brave and well-made B-movie all around but, ultimately, it doesn't really tread new ground and certainly doesn't carry the sheer emotional power of I AM A FUGITIVE FROM A CHAIN GANG (1932).

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Release Date:

7 January 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Song of Hell See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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