Review: ‘Hell’s Island’

Screenplay [from a story by Martin Goldsmith and Jack Leonard] unfolds in the Caribbean port of Puerto Rosario, where the adventuring twirls around the search for a missing ruby. Phil Karlson gives narrative a hard glossing in his direction, occasionally letting down his pace but generally delivering a briskly-told tale in which capable players lend realism to colorful characters.

Screenplay [from a story by Martin Goldsmith and Jack Leonard] unfolds in the Caribbean port of Puerto Rosario, where the adventuring twirls around the search for a missing ruby. Phil Karlson gives narrative a hard glossing in his direction, occasionally letting down his pace but generally delivering a briskly-told tale in which capable players lend realism to colorful characters.

Mike Cormack (John Payne) is handed the assignment of finding the valuable jewel after it disappears following an attempt to smuggle it out of Puerto Rosario. Barzland (Francis L. Sullivan), a ruthless paralytic, selects him because he once was engaged to the flyer’s wife (Mary Murphy), who jilted him. Main events disclose the femme actually is the heavy in the case.

Payne socks over a hard-hitting role in excellent fashion, and Murphy takes on her first heavy role very competently. A top supporting cast is well fulfilled by Sullivan; Walter Reed, as his triggerman; Arnold Moss, seeking to help the heroine but murdered by her; Paul Picerni, her husband; and Eduardo Noriega, police inspector who helps Payne.

Hell's Island

Production

Paramount. Dir Phil Karlson; Producer William H. Pine, William C. Thomas; Screenplay Maxwell Shane; Camera Lionel Lindon; Editor Archie Marshek; Music Irvin Talbot (sup.) Art Dir Hal Pereira, Al Roelofs

Crew

(Color) Extract of a review from 1955. Running time: 79 MIN.

With

John Payne Mary Murphy Francis L. Sullivan Eduardo Noriega Arnold Moss Walter Reed
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