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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

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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

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Release Date:

7 January 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Song of Hell  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Several actors hired to perform in this movie, "Devil's Island (1939)," were not seen, despite most having character names. These were Lawrence Grant (First Official), Jack Mower (Sergeant), John J. Richardson, Jack Wise (Convict) and Theodore von Eltz (Second Official). 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

Col. Armand Lucien: [to Gaudet] Perhaps you'll lose some of that mutinous spirit when you get an axe and a saw in those soft hands.
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

 
Not "KARLOFF" but "Boris Karloff"
19 December 2015 | by See all my reviews

At this point in his career, Boris Karloff (1887-1969) was often billed simply as "Karloff" (in all capitals), but for this 1939 WB prison drama he is Boris Karloff. He started in films in 1916 and up until 1931 he was a bit player in B films. Then came "Frankenstein" (1931), "The Mummy" (1932) and "The Mask of Fu Manchu" (1932) and he was off on a whirlwind career that lasted for decades, usually playing the villain. In this film Karloff plays the hero, one of his earliest turns as the guy in the white hat.

The film is unremarkable, apart from the heavy handed musical score that is intrusive. Karloff does a good job as the wronged physician, and the rest of the cast do their job adequately. Some of the scenes highlight awful conditions, including the guillotine scene.

The film is reminiscent of John Ford's "The Prisoner of Shark Island" (1936) in which Dr. Samuel Mudd is wrongly convicted and sent to prison in Key West where he helped with an outbreak of yellow fever and then was pardoned. Comparing the two, I liked Shark Island better.

Looking at other films about Devil's Island, my preferences are for "Papillon" (1973) and "We're no Angels" (1955).


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