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ISLE OF FURY (director: Frank McDonald; screenwriters: William Jacobs/Robert Andrews/based on the W. Somerset Maugham novel The Narrow Corner; cinematographer: Frank Good; editor: Warren Low ; music: Howard Jackson; cast: Humphrey Bogart (Val Stevens), Margaret Lindsay (Lucille), Donald Woods (Eric Blake), E.E. Clive (Dr. Hardy), Paul Graetz (Capt. Deever), Sidney Bracey (Sam), George Regas (Otar), Tetsu Komai (Kim Lee), Miki Morita (Oh Kay), Gordon Hart (Antvar ‘Chris’ Anderson); Runtime: 60; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Bryan Foy; Warner Bros.; 1936)

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

OIt’s not as bad a film as Bogie thinks. The B-film melodrama is well-handled by director Frank McDonald (“Thunder Pass”/”The Big Tip Off”/”The Underwater City”). Writers William Jacobs and Robert Andrews adapt it from the W. Somerset Maugham novel The Narrow Corner. It’s set on the remote South Seas island of Tankara.

Val Stevens (Humphrey Bogart) is a fugitive wanted for murder. Eric Blake (Donald Woods) is an American detective tracking the fugitive. On the night Val marries local island girl Lucille (Margaret Lindsay), Woods’s chartered boat is shipwrecked and Woods and Captain Deever (Paul Graetz) are rescued by Val. The fugitive runs a pearl diving business, and plans on living a peaceful life on the island with his unsuspecting wife. To do so Val must go diving to kill a giant octopus scaring his natives from diving, prevent his untrustworthy foreman (George Regas) from robbing his pearls, convince the cop, who fell in love with his wife, that he’s a good guy, and therefore report him as dead, and stop the sleazy Captain Deever from turning him in for the reward.

E.E. Clive plays the suspicious biblical quoting doctor, who seems to run things on the island with his philosophizing. Bogie plays the reformed hero, who must overcome his criminal past.

Though the plot has failings, it works fine as a modest action drama.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”