Isle of Destiny

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Isle of Destiny
June Lang in Isle of Destiny.jpg
June Lang in a publicity still for the film
Directed by Elmer Clifton
Produced by Franklyn Warner
Written by Allan Vaughan Elston (story)
Arthur Hoerl (screenplay)
Robert Lively (screenplay)
M. Coates Webster (screenplay)
Starring See below
Music by C. Bakaleinikoff
Cinematography Edward Linden
Edited by Robert O. Crandall
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release date
  • March 8, 1940 (1940-03-08)
Running time
95 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Isle of Destiny is a 1940 American South Seas comedy adventure film directed by Elmer Clifton. The film was the only feature film filmed in the Cosmocolor process (the 1938 A Western Welcome being a short subject[1]) with prints struck by Cinecolor. The film was shot on Santa Catalina Island, California and produced by Franklyn Warner originally for Grand National Pictures in 1939. However, by the time of the film's production, Grand National had gone bankrupt, and so RKO bought the distribution rights to the film.


The glamorous heiress and daredevil pilot Virginia Allerton is test-flying her seaplane "The Lady Bird" after some modifications are made by her mechanic Max Raft, who is also on board the plane. They experience problems mid-air when they are caught in a tropical storm, and all the ships in the South Sea area are alerted to their distress.

Virginia's brother, Lt. George Allerton, is stationed with the U.S. Marine Corps on the island of Palo Pango nearby when he hears of his sister's distress. Virginia and Max head with the plane to the island to take refuge from the storm.

Upon their arrival at the island, Virginia and Max are welcomed by two U.S. Marines: "Stripes" Thornton and "Milly" Barnes. Also present is a man named Barton, who runs the trading post and is in the business of smuggling guns. He invites Virginia to stay at his house for the night, and also challenges her to a flying race to Guam, betting $5,000 that he will win. Both Marines are soon smitten by Virginia, and she becomes attracted to Stripes.

Virginia is unaware that Barton is planning to use her as cover for his shipment of guns about to take place on the steamer Albotros, commanded by Captain N. Lawson. To help him, Barton has an assistant, Doc Spriggs, an old eccentric gentleman who believes in reincarnation.

The race begins and Barton tries to outrun Virginia by taking a perilous shortcut over an island. Barton plays a trick on Virginia when faking his plane crashing into the jungle. Virginia lands on the water to rescue him and damages her plane in the process. It turns out Barton lives nearby and Virginia and Max are invited to be the guests of him and his Caribbean wife Inda.

Inda believes that Barton is attracted to Virginia and becomes jealous of her. Max happens to find evidence of Barton's gun smuggling operation in his plane, and a fight between the men ensues. Inda defends her husband and kills Max with a poisoned dart she fires at him with a blowgun. Barton flees the island and goes back to Palo Pango. He lies to Stripes, telling him he has no idea where Virginia is, but Stripes finds a poisoned dart stuck into the hull of the plane and becomes suspicious. He deploys Milly and they track Barton in search of Virginia.

Stripes hides aboard Barton's plane and manages to tell the others where they land. He finds Virginia in Barton's jungle home, but Inda alerts Barton and they are quickly surrounded. Still, Stripes manages to hold Barton captive and they escape toward Barton's plane. The plane won't start and Barton runs off. There is a shoot-out and Milly, who has arrived to the island, joins in to help Stripes with his hand grenades.

Barton captures Virginia and brings her with him in his escape, but Inda spots the two of them, and furious with jealousy, gives the order to have him shot. A ship of Marines arrive on the scene and save the day, helping them back to Palo Pango.

Virginia and Stripes marry and fly off to Honolulu together on a honeymoon, leaving Milly, now promoted to sergeant, behind.[2]




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