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Island in the Sun


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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: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BOH91S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,424 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

As a "period piece" and "social commentary", the film works fairly well.
Reginald D. Garrard
Joan Fontaine is Harry Belafonte's love interest who is sympathetic to his plight, but still condescending towards the people he represents.
Deborah Earle
There was a very good performance by one of my not to favorite actresses too, Joan Collins.
Russell S

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Reginald D. Garrard VINE VOICE on 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 By A Customer on August 1, 1999
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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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Earle on 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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Tawana L. Johnson Carroll on 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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Samuel Augustus Jennings on February 21, 2006
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
This movie exemplifies the racial paranoia of the 1950's. Dandridge and her white lover were even not allowed to kiss in their romantic scenes. In fact, John Justin could say "in love" (not "I love you") only after persistent pressure from Dandridge, who looks totally lost in the summer cottage after he professes his love. In an awkward moment of indecision Dorothy quickly puts on a record then abruptly brushes her cheek against his face when they should be kissing hard.

Dandridge was very angry because her character had not been developed beyond the "cute dumb chick" roles she was trying to avoid, according to Donald Bogle's bio.

The older matronly Fontaine and fiery young Belafonte are totally mismatched. Instead of acually touching they just stand around looking thoroughly confused and misdirected.

Collins' "black blood" dilemna is laughable (pure soap), but at least she is allowed to kiss (and screw!) her husband to be.

Only Mason gives a believable - and exceptional - performance.

This film is racist Hollywood at its best, trying to be daring, but utterly failing.

I saw "Island in the Sun" when it was released in 1957 and bought this video only because it offers one of few opportunties to see the ravishing Dandridge perform during an era when Hollywood had no place for a dramatic Black actress.
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