Review: ‘Devil’s Island’

This is the picture that brought protest from the French government shortly after it had been placed on release in January 1939, with result it was withdrawn from circulation throughout the world [but later re-released by Warner in July 1940]. Intrinsically, it is just another meller of the dreaded isle down in the Caribbean.

This is the picture that brought protest from the French government shortly after it had been placed on release in January 1939, with result it was withdrawn from circulation throughout the world [but later re-released by Warner in July 1940]. Intrinsically, it is just another meller of the dreaded isle down in the Caribbean.

It traces the experiences of a French doctor, convicted of treason, who after arriving at Devil’s Island is called upon to perform a brain operation on the commandant’s daughter. The father of the girl fails to keep his promises to release him but the mother, under somewhat dubious circumstances, plots the convict doctor’s escape. No love interest figures, however.

Boris Karloff plays the lead convincingly, making himself as pathetic a character as possible. It is rather clearly indicated, however, that he was guilty of breaking the law. James Stephenson, as the colonel in charge of the prison, is a little too British.

Devil's Island

Production

Warner. Director William Clemens; Screenplay Kenneth Gamet, Don Ryan, Anthony Coldeway, Raymond L. Schrock; Camera George Barnes; Editor Frank Magee; Art Director Max Parker

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1939. Running time: 62 MIN.

With

Boris Karloff Nedda Harrigan James Stephenson Adia Kuznetzoff Rolla Gourvitch Robert Warwick
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