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Island in the Sun (2006)

James Mason , Joan Fontaine , Robert Rossen  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: James Mason, Joan Fontaine, Dorothy Dandridge, Joan Collins, Michael Rennie
  • Directors: Robert Rossen
  • Writers: Alec Waugh, Alfred Hayes
  • Producers: Darryl F. Zanuck
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: January 10, 2006
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BOH91S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,568 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Island in the Sun" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Widescreen Feature
  • Audio Commentary
  • Dorthy Dandridge: Little Girl Lost
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Fox Flix: South Pacific & Carmen Jones

Editorial Reviews

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 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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Film That Captures the Turbulence of its Time November 3, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
"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.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A PRETTY GOOD SOAP with A GREAT CAST! July 30, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
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.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Island in the sun is great, but lacked true romance. August 1, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
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.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Island in the Sun June 29, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
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!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A place like this can hide many things! January 5, 2007
Format:DVD
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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Book to Film
Having read the book recently, I wanted to see the film also. The book was reworked by the film screenwriters and the changed scenes in the movie are more realistic and... Read more
Published 23 days ago by ComRat
5.0 out of 5 stars Evaluation of Island in the Sun
It was a pretty good story and it was obvious the director went out of his way to include a lot of gorgeous tropical scenery in the movie. Not a great movie, but enjoyable.
Published 25 days ago by charles w. parker
1.0 out of 5 stars HELP!! I MADE A MISTAKE!
I MEANT TO PURCHASE THIS FILM IN DVD FORMAT! I CAN'T USE IT LIKE THIS! I HAVE NO COMPUTER AT HOME, ONLY AT THE LIBRARY! HOW DO I CORRECT THIS PURCHASE AND BUY THE DVD? HELP!!
Published 1 month ago by carole york
5.0 out of 5 stars Why Can't They Make Movies Like This Anymore?
Besides a star studded cast and great setting, this story also offers an interesting take on the rise of grassroot political consciousness by native populations against the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Chris Lo Pinto
5.0 out of 5 stars RACIAL BARRIERS
This movie is a old time favorite. It starts tearing down the walls of racial mixing and interracial relationships. And, here we are today still facing our indifferences. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kathy Price
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Island in the Sun DVD
An excellent film of its era. The location of Barbados was good. I recognise Barbados as I was raised there
Published 4 months ago by Ms. Pamela A. Stark
4.0 out of 5 stars The Island
in the sun should be Grenada, Windward Islands, which I know well. But the time has changed in Grenada. Read more
Published 8 months ago by K.Michael Marquardt
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
I like this movie very much,great plot and cast.I had heard of this movie,but never had seen it.After watching a Belafonte documentary I wanted to see it.Great movie,I love it.
Published 10 months ago by Jack M. Blackburn
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice movie.
This movie still stands to this point in time. Touched on many levels of life and what history have given to us. This movie had a lot to say and teach. Good movie. Read more
Published 11 months ago by nutmeg3
5.0 out of 5 stars No problems
Was going to Jamaica and saw this movie recommended. Not exactly about Jamaica about an island nation. Good movie. Arrived very fast. Reasonable cost. Pleased.
Published 13 months ago by Heidi R. Wright
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