Four different love affairs simultaneously wreak havoc in the lives of the inhabitants of a tropical paradise. A wealthy plantation owner plots murder when he suspects his wife of having an adulterous relationship. At the ... more »same time, his sister-in-law is drawn to his enemy, a dedicated black labor leader, and a governor's aide is torn over his scandalous affair with a native woman. Darling and exquisitely filmed on location, this rich romantic story with it's focus on race, passion and politics, was one of the most talked about films of its day.« less
Reginald D. Garrard | Camilla, GA USA | 07/30/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After many years of trying to finally catch this one on "the telly", I recently was afforded the opportunity. As a "period piece" and "social commentary", the film works fairly well. One most realize that miscegenation was still a taboo in the 50's when this film was made; thus, it was considered a violation of "the natural order of things" in much of the Deep South. While the "romance" between Dorothy Dandridge ("Margot Seaton") and John Justin ("David Archer") was displayed, all that Harry Belafonte ("David Boyeur") and Joan Fontaine ("Mavis Norman") could muster were some occasional glances and a verbal exchange about the pros and cons of interracial relations.In light of the controversy surrounding the recent "Monster's Ball", we may not have matured as much as we think.Many of the other roles are filled by those that were under contract to Twentieth Century-Fox, the releasing company: Joan Collins (Jocelyn Fluery"), previously seen in "Land of the Pharoahs", Michael Rennie ("Hilary Carson"), earlier featured in "The Robe" and the classic "The Day the Earth Stood Still", and Patricia Owens ("Sylvia Fluery")from"The Fly". Even James Mason ("Maxwell Fluery") had been featured in the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz vehicle for Fox "Forever, Darling".Future "Ben-Hur" villain Stephen Boyd ("Euan Templeton") is on hand as the romantic interest for Collins.While the acting is equal to the talented cast, it is character veteran John Williams that steals the show. As "Colonel Whittingham", the police investigator of a character's demise, he seems as a precursor to television's "Columbo". Crafty, witty, and verbally adept, his "flatfoot" is not one's typical cop.In all, the film is enjoyable, not only for the performances but for the lush scenery and the glimpse at how movies "dared" to do something different in the 50's."
Island in the Sun
Tawana L. Johnson Carroll | D-Town | 06/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Island in the Sun makes you wish you where on the that Island. What can I say, Dorothy Dandridge, Harry Belafonte, and Joan Collins were youngest and most attractive in this movie. This movie displays interacial relationships, pre-marital sex, marital affairs, and even murder. There's so many scandals going on in this movie you can hardly keep with all of them. The movie ending is so peaceful....almost like it started.....with a view of the Island.....It's a must see!"
Island in the sun is great, but lacked true romance.
Tawana L. Johnson Carroll | 08/02/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I loved watching Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge getting a chance to act in this film. [instead of being a deletable sequence] It has intrigue, suspence, scandal, mistrust, lies, murder and romance. The romance however is lacking. Simply because Hollywood didn't want to offend by showing interrical couples [D.D. & John Justin, H.B & Joan Fontaine kissing.] So at crucial points in the film it seems strained, fake and a little silly. But, Nevertheless you get to see a colorful splice of life portrayed by some of Hollywoods greatest legends."
A Film That Captures the Turbulence of its Time
Deborah Earle | USA | 11/03/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Island in the Sun" is a beautiful film that was partially filmed in Barbados. It includes scenes of the sugar mill where my mother played as a child, which is now owned by my aunt, Shirley King, who, at present, is Secretary to the country's Prime Minister, Owen Arthur, and it gives the viewer a splendid shot of the beach where my parents walked with my older sister and me when I was a toddler.
The interracial romances may have raised a few eyebrows at the time, and I am all too familiar with life in the state that banned this film upon its original release. The majority of Americans probably couldn't relate to an educated Black populace
struggling for its independance, or shouting down the orations of a white politician they didn't trust, as was played by James Mason. But the charismatic character, David, played by a strapping Harry Belafonte, is typical of many Blacks in the Carribean. What Americans often fail to appreciate is the fact that the slaves of the Carribean were freed and educated sooner than they were in the United States, and that few who understand the culture of most Carribean Islands would bat an eyelash at the thought of their being in positions of leadership.This film was made to entertain an America that still had a long way to as far as improvement in race relations was concerned. Consequently, Dorothy Dandridge's Margot could not kiss her White lover.
But in showing the corruption of the White establishment, exemplified by Joan Collins, James Mason, et. al, we see the justification for the fight for the full citizenship of the Blacks of the island. Joan Fontaine is Harry Belafonte's love interest who is sympathetic to his plight, but still condescending towards the people he represents. Ultimately David sacrifices their relationship to appease those who would consider him a sell-out if he married a White woman while fighting on behalf of Blacks. Dorothy Dandridge, who is free of similar preasures, although not free of criticism, marries the man she loves.
This is a terrific presentation, filled with beautiful tropical scenery, and multiple tales about jealousy, murder,bigotry, scandalous behavior, sacrifice, of the rising status of some, and the declining status of others.It is also a tale of finding one's proper place in life, and remaining true to oneself.--A great movie! One of the best of 1957!"
A place like this can hide many things!
Jenny J.J.I. | That Lives in Carolinas | 01/05/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I had the chance to watch this film last night and even though "Island in the Sun" was produced in 1957 it should be recognized as indisputable breakthrough! There have been plenty of movies like this, but keep in mind that interracial relationships were political detonate at the time - and yet some of the film's observations remain upsetting even today.
In this film the wealthy whites are ridicule here once again, lording their money-driven power over the black Caribbean field workers in this timely but talky issue-film. Belafonte also stars here as a native son on the fictional West Indies island of Santa Marta who wants to wrestle control of the government from the ruling white British regime, here embodied by political candidate James Mason (who harbors a deep, dark secret of his own -- pun completely intended). Joan Fontaine essays a white woman who happens to be in love with Harry; Dorothy Dandridge plays a local girl in love with a white man (John Justin); and Joan Collins portrays Mason's sister, trying to get English lord Stephen Boyd to fall for her.
The location (Barbados/Grenada) of this film was just beautiful, and so is Harry Belafonte's voice, singing Jamaican songs at sunset. His relationship with Joan Fontaine is fantastic--if not especially romantic. The love story sidebars are soapy but not dull and they give the film what passion it has. Personally what I really wanted to see was 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.
I also recommend is "Stormy Weather" because it is a important piece of history, being one of Hollywood's first pictures to star an entirely African-American cast. Though some racial stereotyping is on-hand here and there. "