Island in the Sun

Island in the Sun

Director: Robert Rossen Cast: James Mason, Joan Fontaine, Dorothy Dandridge


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Political intrigue and romantic gamesmanship send an already torrid Caribbean community to the boiling point in this drama. Maxwell Fleury (James Mason) and David Boyeur (Harry Belafonte) are two men running for political office in a British-controlled island in the West Indies. Maxwell is the son of a wealthy and socially prominent white family, while David is a black labor leader with a groundswell of popular support but little money. A scandal erupts in the press alleging that Maxwell is of mixed racial ancestry, but Maxwell is actually pleased about the news, thinking that it may endear him to black voters. Maxwell is not pleased, however, when he hears that his wife Sylvia (Patricia Owens) has been having an affair with the urbane but rootless Carson (Michael Rennie), taking the matter seriously enough to murder Carson himself. Maxwell's younger sister Jocelyn (Joan Collins) is also in hot water, romantically speaking; she has set her sights on Eun Templeton (Stephen Boyd), the son of the Island's governor, and she hopes to snare him into marriage by allowing him to get her pregnant. Elsewhere on the island, David is secretly having an affair with a white woman, Mavis Norman (Joan Fontaine), while David's former girlfriend, Margot Seaton (Dorothy Dandridge), has become involved with a white man, Denis Archer (John Justin). Based on the novel by Alex Waugh, Island in the Sun also features songs from Harry Belafonte, including "Lead Man Holler" and the title tune.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/03/1998
UPC: 0086162277139
Original Release: 1957
Rating: NR
Source: 20th Century Fox

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Mason Maxwell Fleury
Joan Fontaine Mavis Norman
Dorothy Dandridge Margot Seaton
Joan Collins Jocelyn Fleury
Michael Rennie Hilary Carson
Harry Belafonte David Boyeur
Diana Wynyard Mrs. Fleury
John Williams Col. Whittingham
Stephen Boyd Eun Templeton
Patricia Owens Sylvia Fleury
Basil Sydney Julian Fleury
John Justin Denis Archer
Ronald Squire The Governor
Hartley Power Bradshaw

Technical Credits
Robert Rossen Director
William C. Andrews Art Director
Malcolm Arnold Score Composer
Reginald Beck Editor
Harry Belafonte Songwriter
Irving Burgess Songwriter
John De Cuir Production Designer
David Ffolkes Costumes/Costume Designer
Alfred Hayes Screenwriter
Freddie Young Cinematographer
Darryl F. Zanuck Producer

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Island in the Sun 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had the chance to watch this film last night and even though “Island in the Sun” was produced in 1957 it should be recognized as indisputable breakthrough! There have been plenty of movies like this, but keep in mind that interracial relationships were political detonate at the time - and yet some of the film's observations remain upsetting even today. In this film the wealthy whites are ridicule here once again, lording their money-driven power over the black Caribbean field workers in this timely but talky issue-film. Belafonte also stars here as a native son on the fictional West Indies island of Santa Marta who wants to wrestle control of the government from the ruling white British regime, here embodied by political candidate James Mason (who harbors a deep, dark secret of his own -- pun completely intended). Joan Fontaine essays a white woman who happens to be in love with Harry Dorothy Dandridge plays a local girl in love with a white man (John Justin) and Joan Collins portrays Mason’s sister, trying to get English lord Stephen Boyd to fall for her. The location (Barbados) of this film was just beautiful, and so is Harry Belafonte's voice, singing Jamaican songs at sunset. His relationship with Joan Fontaine is fantastic--if not especially romantic. The love story sidebars are soapy but not dull and they give the film what passion it has. Personally what I really wanted to see was more of Belafonte. He was at a peak here, and since he didn't get to use his own singing voice in "Carmen Jones", this is a great chance to watch and hear him perform unfettered. Also recommend is “Stormy Weather” because it is a important piece of history, being one of Hollywood’s first pictures to star an entirely African-American cast. Though some racial stereotyping is on-hand here and there.