35 user 7 critic

Island in the Sun (1957)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 2 August 1957 (Ireland)
3:31 | Trailer
Set during the 1950s on a British-ruled Caribbean island, this drama deals with local politics, interracial relationships, social inequality, racism, adultery, and murder.


Robert Rossen


Alfred Hayes, Alec Waugh (novel)





Cast overview:
James Mason ... Maxwell Fleury
Joan Fontaine ... Mavis Norman
Dorothy Dandridge ... Margot Seaton
Joan Collins ... Jocelyn Fleury
Michael Rennie ... Hilary Carson
Harry Belafonte ... David Boyeur
Diana Wynyard ... Mrs. Betty Fleury
John Williams ... Colonel Whittingham
Stephen Boyd ... Euan Templeton
Patricia Owens ... Sylvia Fleury
Basil Sydney ... Julian Fleury
John Justin ... Denis Archer
Ronald Squire ... Governor Templeton
Hartley Power Hartley Power ... Bradshaw


Set on a fictitious island in the Carribean during colonial British rule, it focuses on the life of a young charismatic and handsome black male with political aspirations. He finds himself confused on returning home when his romantic liaison with a white female tends to conflict with his political views. As rumor has it, an interracial screen kiss caused quite a commotion in the U.S. when this movie was released. The plot is further strengthened by a look at the lives of a white expatriate family also living on the island. The family has to deal with problems of infidelity, racism, and murder. Written by Warren D. Mottley <trident@toj.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The place is the West Indies . . . the sun hides many things.


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


In August 1957, this movie was being being shown in some locations on a double bill with Monkey on My Back. See more »


The story takes place on the island of Santa Marta, the oldest surviving city in Colombia, and the second oldest in South America, but for story purposes, identified as being British owned, and seeking its independence; 21st Century revisionists prefer to refer to its native inhabitants as "African Americans" for reasons of what they apparently consider political correctness. See more »


Maxwell Fleury: [reading from a newspaper] "Presumably they did not know that Julian Fleury's mother, who died in childbirth, was a Jamaican with native ancestry" Is it true?
Julian Fleury: It's true.
Maxwell Fleury: What were you lashing out when you tried to slap me? Your own guilt, your betrayal of us?
Julian Fleury: Betrayal? Your mother never knew?
Maxwell Fleury: She knew. Didn't you mother?
Mrs. Fleury: I knew.
Julian Fleury: But how?
Mrs. Fleury: An anonymous letter. Came ten years ago.
Julian Fleury: And you never mentioned it?
Julian Fleury: I saw no reason to. I wanted to keep things as they were.
See more »


Featured in Biography: Dorothy Dandridge: Little Girl Lost (1999) See more »


Island in the Sun
Written by Harry Belafonte and Irving Burgie
Performed by Harry Belafonte
See more »

User Reviews

Succeeds on several different levels; a personal favorite
29 March 2005 | by algrant01See all my reviews

While there are many other more "contemporary" films which examine race relations issues equally as competently if not more so - considering this one was produced back in 1957 it should be recognized as genuine breakthrough! Sure, you may have heard about some of its cop outs, but bear in mind that interracial relationships were political dynamite at the time - and yet some of the film's observations remain poignant even today. But the ultimate beauty of this film is that even if you could care less about the racial issues, it still excels as a mystery / "whodunit" with some intriguing plot twists, as a mini musical with Harry Belafonte performing at the top of his game, and even as a sort of Travel Channel feature-of-the-week, which might leave you booking reservations to your own tropical paradise. So tune out the naysayers for a moment and give this one a fair shot. It may not be technically perfect, but most will be entertained, one way or another.

27 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 35 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

2 August 1957 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Island in the Sun See more »

Filming Locations:

Trinidad, Trinidad and Tobago See more »


Box Office


$2,250,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed