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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Worth sitting through the racial tensions to hear Harry Belafonte sing
The wealthy whites are the hissable ones once again, lording their money-driven power over the black Caribbean field workers in this timely but talky issue-film. The Barbados locations are just beautiful, and so is Harry Belafonte's buttery voice, crooning Jamaican songs at sunset (his acting isn't bad either, and his relationship with Joan Fontaine is surprisingly chummy--if not especially romantic). The love story sidebars are soapy but not dull, and they give the film what passion it has. The heated racial debates haven't dated, giving the film some relevance, but who needs them? (Certainly not the principal audience targeted for this windswept travelogue). What we really want to see is more of Belafonte. He was at a peak here, and since he didn't get to use his own singing voice in "Carmen Jones", this is a great chance to watch and hear him perform unfettered. **1/2 from ****
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