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Island in the Sun (1957)

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Set during the 1950s on a British-ruled Caribbean island, this drama deals with local politics, interracial relationships, social inequality, racism, adultery and murder.

Director:

Robert Rossen

Writers:

Alfred Hayes, Alec Waugh (novel)
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Cast

Credited cast:
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. 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
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Barbara Upton Barbara Upton ... Colonel's Secretary
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Storyline

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 the film was released. The plot is further strengthened by a look at the lives of a white ex-pat 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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 August 1957 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Heiße Erde See more »

Filming Locations:

Trinidad, Trinidad and Tobago See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,250,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$8,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of Hartley Power. See more »

Quotes

Mavis Norman: Does it make any difference, having an aim in life?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Almost Paradise (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Mama Look a Boo Boo
(uncredited)
Written by Fitzroy Alexander (as Lord Melody)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A soapy film about an island in the final days of colonialism
20 February 2017 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"Island in the Sun" was filmed in Barbados and Grenada, though it's about a fictional British colonial island...roughly like Barbados or Grenada! In many ways, it's a film about the racism inherent in colonialism and in other ways is a soap opera set on a tropical island. It also features something shocking for its time...and interracial romance between Joan Fontaine and Harry Belafonte...something which, sadly, caused a bit of a commotion when it debuted.

The movie is odd in that it seems to have many, many plots...too many for my taste. Much of it involves the Fleury family-- especially the incredibly strange character played by James Mason. But in addition to the Fleurys, there are many others--and the common thread to all of this is soapy romance. Many of the romances are interracial and the stories thrust seems to be that with the ending of colonialism comes the elimination of racial boundaries in love.

As I mentioned, I actually think the film has too many plots. I also thought Mason's character was enough for one film....so either the film should have been all about him OR they should have eliminated him completely. Regardless, it's a confusing sort of film--with many excellent moments but not nearly enough focus. Decent but the film could have been so, so much better...especially since so many things that are brought up in this film are important and deserve a better presentation.


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