ISLAND OF DESIRE
(director/writer: Stuart Heisler; screenwriters: Stephanie Nordli /based on a Hugh Brooke story “Saturday Island” in “The Saturday Evening Post”; cinematographers: Oswald Morris/Arthur Ibbetson; editor: Russell Lloyd; music: William Alwyn; cast: Tab Hunter (Marine Corporal Michael J. ‘Chicken’ Dugan), Linda Darnell (Lt. Elizabeth Smythe), Donald Gray (William Peck), John Laurie (Grimshaw), Sheila Chong (Tukua), Russell Waters (Dr. Snyder), Lloyd Lanelle (Officer of the Watch), MacDonald Parke (Ship’s Captain); Runtime: 93; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: David E. Rose; UA; 1952-UK)
“The wooden Tab teamed with the steamy Linda as love birds never registered as credible.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Stuart Heisler(“The Glass Key”/”The Star”/”The Lone Ranger”) directs this World War II drama that plays out as an old-fashioned love story. Heisler and Stephanie Nordli adapt it from Hugh Brooke’s short story in The Saturday Evening Post entitled “Saturday Island.”
An attractive Canadian nurse, Lt. Elizabeth Smythe (Linda Darnell), and a young American hunky marine corporal, Michael J. ‘Chicken’ Dugan (Tab Hunter), are on a hospital ship during WW 2, when they are torpedoed and left as sole survivors. They find themselves marooned on a South Pacific island, living among the natives. Eventually they overcome their initial hostility to each other and fall in love. Their bliss is interrupted when they are joined by a third party. He’s the British Royal Air Force pilot, William Peck (Donald Gray), whose plane crashes in the nearby jungle and the couple rescue him. Liz uses her nursing skills to amputate the pilot’s arm that was crushed during the crash.
The location shots in Jamaica are pleasing to the eye, but the wooden Tab teamed with the steamy Linda as love birds never registered as credible.
REVIEWED ON 10/28/2015 GRADE: C+