Island in the Sun (film)
|Island in the Sun|
|Directed by||Robert Rossen|
|Produced by||Darryl F. Zanuck|
|Written by||Alfred Hayes
|Music by||Malcolm Arnold|
|Editing by||Reginald Beck|
|Distributed by||Twentieth Century Fox|
|Release dates||12 June 1957|
|Running time||119 mins|
|Box office||$5,056,396 (US rentals)|
Island in the Sun is a 1957 drama film. It features an ensemble cast including James Mason, Harry Belafonte, Joan Fontaine, Joan Collins, Dorothy Dandridge, Michael Rennie, Stephen Boyd, Patricia Owens, John Justin, Diana Wynyard, and Basil Sydney. The film is about race relations and interracial romance set in the fictitious island of Santa Marta. Barbados and Grenada were selected as the sites for the movie based on the novel by Alec Waugh. The film was controversial at the time of its release.
The film follows several characters both black, white as well as mixed. Maxwell Fleury (James Mason) is a white plantation owner's son who suffers from an inferiority complex and makes rash decisions to prove his worth. He lives with his beautiful wife, Sylvia (Patricia Owens). Maxwell is tormented by extreme jealousy of his wife, and is envious of his younger sister Jocelyn (Joan Collins). Jocelyn is being courted by Euan Templeton (Stephen Boyd), a war hero visiting the Governor of the island, his father Lord Templeton (Ronald Squire).
The film also follows David Boyeur (Harry Belafonte), a young black man emerging as a powerful politician representing the common people and seen as a threat to the white ruling class. Mavis Norman (Joan Fontaine), a woman from the elite white class strikes up a romantic interest in Boyeur and much of the film explores the tension between these two.
Finally, the film takes a look at the interracial romance between Margot Seaton (Dorothy Dandridge), a mixed race drug store clerk, and Denis Archer (John Justin), aide to the Governor.
Other characters include Hilary Carson (Michael Rennie) who Maxwell Fleury thinks is having an affair with his wife; Colonel Whittingham (John Williams), the head of police, who investigates the murder of Hilary Carson central to the plot; a journalist named Bradshaw (Hartley Power); and finally Julian Fleury (Basil Sydney) and his wife (Diana Wynyard) who are both hiding secrets from their children.
The characters and their relationships with each other are all shown to be complex and the issues being addressed were rather taboo for 1957. Furthermore, the film can be enjoyed for the lush, beautiful scenery and unpredictable plot dynamics.
Belafonte breaks his character to sing a calypso title song.
- James Mason as Maxwell Fleury, the family's son, who is a successful, but hot-tempered plantation owner.
- Harry Belafonte as David Boyeur, a black politician representing the common people, who falls in love with Mavis Norman.
- Joan Fontaine as Mavis Norman, an upper class white woman, who's a member of the richest family on the island; also the lover of David Boyeur.
- Joan Collins as Jocelyn Fleury, the alluring sister of Maxwell, who's the romancer of Euan Templeton.
- Dorothy Dandridge as Margot Seaton, the beautiful Idian drug store clerk, who is pursued by governor-aide, Denis Archer.
- Michael Rennie as Hilary Carson, a retired war hero, who is assumed to be having an affair with Sylvia Fleury.
- Patricia Owens as Sylvia Fleury, the wife of Mawxwell, who Maxwell assumes is having an affair with Hilary Carson.
- John Justin as Denis Archer, the governor's aide, and the romancer of Margot Seaton.
- Stephen Boyd as Euan Templeton, the governor's young son, who's also courting Jocelyn Fleury.
- Diana Wynyard as Mrs. Fleury, the mother of Maxwell and Jocelyn, who's hiding things from her children.
- Basil Sydney as Julian Fleury, the husband of Mrs. Fleury and father of Maxwell and Jocelyn, who also is hiding things.
- John Williams as Colonel Whittingham, the head of police, who investigates Hilary Carson's murder.
- Ronald Squire as Governor Templeton, the governor of the island, and Euan's father.
- Hartley Power as Bradshaw, an American journalist visiting Santa Marta.
|This section requires expansion. (June 2010)|
As of 2009 a proposal was floated to demolish the remains of the real mansion used in the film. The mansion is located in Farley Hill, Barbados. The mansion was gutted by fire just after the filming of the movie and all that remains are the foundations and exterior walls of the building.
The film was Dorothy Dandridge's "come-back" movie, as she hadn't made a film since 1954's Carmen Jones, with Dandridge playing the lead. In 1955, she had been offered supporting roles in The King and I and The Lieutenant Wore Skirts but Otto Preminger, her lover and Carmen Jones' director, advised her to turn down the roles. This was Dandridge's first film role in three years: she was third billed, but appeared in only a supporting role.
Premiering in June 1957, "Island in the Sun" was a major box office success. The film earned $5,550,000 worldwide, and finished as the sixth highest-grossing film of 1957.
It was the 8th most popular movie in Britain of that year.
The title song "Island in the Sun" was written by Harry Belafonte and Irving Burgie. There are now over 40 cover versions recorded by various artist like The Merrymen, José Carreras, Caterina Valente in German, Henri Salvador in French ("Une île au soleil") and The Righteous Brothers, just to name a few.
- Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p250
- "Top Grosses of 1957", Variety, 8 January 1958: 30
- Goddard, Richard (22 March 2009). "Farley Hill Great House National Theatre for the Performing Arts". Barbados Advocate. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
- Government of Barbados: Places of Interest - Farley Hill National Park
- LINDSAY ANDERSON, and DAVID DENT. "Time For New Ideas." Times [London, England] 8 Jan. 1958: 9. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 11 July 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Island in the Sun (film).|
- Island in the Sun at the Internet Movie Database
- Island in the Sun (film) at the TCM Movie Database
- Island in the Sun (film) at allmovie