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      Island of Lost Souls

      Released Jan 12, 1933 1h 10m Horror List
      88% Tomatometer 41 Reviews 82% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings In this adaptation of H.G. Wells' novel "The Island of Doctor Moreau," Edward Parker (Richard Arlen) is shipwrecked on a remote island presided over by the mysterious Dr. Moreau (Charles Laughton). Edward discovers his host is conducting genetic experiments, and presiding over a race of half-human, half-animal hybrids, including the alluring Panther Woman and the sage Sayer of the Law (Bela Lugosi). The island has become its own society, with Moreau as its god. Read More Read Less
      Island of Lost Souls

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      Critics Consensus

      Led by a note-perfect performance from Charles Laughton, Island of Lost Souls remains the definitive film adaptation of its classic source material.

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (41) Critics Reviews
      SMH Staff Sydney Morning Herald It has the appalling, monstrous quality of a nightmare. Oct 8, 2020 Full Review Michael Sragow New Yorker A tight, gruesome shocker, featuring Karl Struss's spooky cinematography and Charles Laughton's creepy portrayal of the mad vivisector Dr. Moreau ... Feb 16, 2015 Full Review Keith Phipps AV Club Island Of Lost Souls is a horror film based on the premise that the divide between humanity and the animal world is one that should never be crossed, but also one that's impossible to determine. Rated: A Feb 23, 2012 Full Review Sean Axmaker Stream on Demand Shot almost entirely within the studio, from ships in misty water tanks to a densely-fabricated jungle, it suggests the primitive and the perverse, a feral world as claustrophobic as it is intimidating. Oct 9, 2022 Full Review Martin Dickstein Brooklyn Daily Eagle If The Island of Lost Souls is also a little too silly for words, i.e., if it fails to achieve anything but "horror," that is something against which you should be warned. Oct 8, 2020 Full Review P.S. Harrison Harrison's Reports What it presents is more ugly and revolting than horrifying. Oct 8, 2020 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (188) audience reviews
      Blu B A Classic Horror Movie. This is by far the most superior version. It's not even close. The acting is solid led by a very stong performance by Charles Laughton. He balances being sophisticated, twisted, and charming perfectly despite not being menacing. Everyone else is solid all around. This is by far the best version of Edward despite not having much backstory this one gives him the most out of all of them though. The cinematography and editing are both really strong. This has great set design with memorable shots and the monsters of the island are good and varied. Easily the best version of all of them while not necessarily the best monster makeup I've ever seen. I think what makes this one work best is they still look majority like humans with most of them having only mild deformities so it looks better. This stays focused the entire way mostly on Edward and doesn't attempt o really give the beasts any backsory. Relying mostly on Moreau through dialouge to do so and are more tools of his than anything. It results in a more focused story on the underlying commentary of trying to play god. This never feels like it is ever menadering either and follows a natural flow the entire way even when it cuts away to his girlfriend. The pacing is solid also. While this is very short and the ending which is really good is only 5 minutes or so this never feels rushed or underdevloped despite a slow burn the entire way and lack of any music outside of the title cards. It stays focused on the human connection, the underlying message, has no bizarre weird stuff, and is very well executed. Anyone who is a fan of horror movies, any actors in this, the director, or wants to see the best version of the novel adapted should watch this. Not even close in terms of this being the best one. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 10/14/23 Full Review Christopher S The inventiveness of creativity is on full view here. Without the fallback of CGI, this film manages to give us several looks at human-like creatures that become part of the delight of this film. An interpretation of Isle of Dr Moreau, HG Wells hated this film because he thought it focused too much on lewdness. One of the central characters, a panther woman, spends much of the movie trying to learn from and love the protagonist. You feel the tenuous hold that Moreau has over all the creatures of the island, and find it hard to believe that he could possibly be so callous. He's a mad scientist that presents himself as an academic with impeccable manners. Watch this to give yourself a refreshing break from the overstimulating, overdone films of today. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 09/18/23 Full Review Josh G While it's impressive for the time it seems to be short and not very suspenseful. It has a neat story the novel does better, the make up effects are good but not great. A mediocre universal monster film. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 04/27/23 Full Review Steve D Too dated to work anymore. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 04/09/23 Full Review CodyZamboni A watchable, cheesy horror film, balanced with a few good shocking moments. Other assets include alluring pre code action with Panther Lady, and good performaces from Charles Laughton and his man beasts. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 07/26/23 Full Review Michael C Before "Are you not entertained?", there was "Are we not men?". The first film adaptation of the late HG Wells' popular novel "The Island of Dr. Moreau" remains the best of the three film adaptations. The late Charles Laughton is terrific as the mad scientist trying to reverse evolution. He is helped by an excellent supporting cast. The late Richard Arlen is also very good as Richard Parker. The movie also benefits from a well written script. The dialogue was well written and the story was clear and easy to follow. How can I forget the late Bela Lugosi. Seeing him in this particular movie makes the fact that he fell victim to typecasting and changing times all the more sad. Lugosi was a very good actor who did not deserve his tragic fate. He certainly shows his talent in this movie. "Island of Lost Souls" is a very well made and entertaining movie. I certainly recommend it. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/16/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis In this adaptation of H.G. Wells' novel "The Island of Doctor Moreau," Edward Parker (Richard Arlen) is shipwrecked on a remote island presided over by the mysterious Dr. Moreau (Charles Laughton). Edward discovers his host is conducting genetic experiments, and presiding over a race of half-human, half-animal hybrids, including the alluring Panther Woman and the sage Sayer of the Law (Bela Lugosi). The island has become its own society, with Moreau as its god.
      Director
      Erle C. Kenton
      Screenwriter
      Waldemar Young, Philip Wylie
      Production Co
      Paramount Pictures
      Genre
      Horror
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Jan 12, 1933, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Aug 6, 2016
      Runtime
      1h 10m