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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.

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(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Dr. Charles Gaudet
... Madame Lucien
... Col. Armand Lucien
Adia Kuznetzoff ... Pierre
Rolla Gourvitch ... Collette
... Bobo
... Dr. Duval
... Demonpre
... Marcal
Tom Wilson ... Emil
... Andre
... Georges
Earl Gunn ... Leon
... Soupy (as Sidney Bracy)
... Dogface
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

He escaped from a life worse than death . . . Devil's Island . . . the last haven of horror for the fiercest criminals on earth ! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 January 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Song of Hell  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Guard Drugged by Gaudet: [Refering to Gaudet as he relieves his fellow guard] How's the star boarder?
Guard Accepting Bribe: Very quiet.
Guard Drugged by Gaudet: [Cynically] They all quiet down after a while.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
(1792) (uncredited)
Written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Variations in the score throughout
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User Reviews

 
A harsh and corrupt regime
19 March 2018 | by See all my reviews

In the tradition of waste not at movie studios the sets made for The Life Of Emile Zola get recycled for this short B film Devil's Island. Boris Karloff steps away from the horror genre and has the lead here. We get both the courtroom and the Devil's Island sets, Jack Warner was being most economical.

As cinema this film will never rank with something like Papillon or even Passage To Marseilles which Warner Brothers did a few years later. Karloff plays a doctor who does a Samuel Mudd here, treats a wounded escaping prisoner and is charged with treason and given ten years hard labor at the notorious Carribean prison.

It's a harsh and corrupt regime there that commandant James Stephenson runs. Even when Karloff saves the life of his daughter it's back to hard labor for him. But he develops a friend and ally in Stephenson's wife Nedda Harrigan.

The ending is rather tacked on and artificial and things get tied up too neatly to be real. But it is nice seeing Karloff not conducting any sinister experiments for a change.


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