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      Isle of Missing Men

      1942 1h 7m Adventure List
      Reviews 40% Audience Score Fewer than 50 Ratings Convicts try to escape from an island prison, with a woman involved. Read More Read Less Watch on Prime Video Stream Now

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      Isle of Missing Men

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      Critics Reviews

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      Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews Drowns in a story that can't manage to pass a sobriety test. Rated: C Sep 4, 2013 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Audience Member another good prison/escape film Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/21/23 Full Review Audience Member Veteran Teutonic producer & director Richard Oswald made nearly a 100 silent and sound films in his native Germany before he sought voluntary exile in Hollywood after Adolf Hitler and the Nazis rose to power in 1933. Oswald and Robert Chapin adapted the Gina Kaus and Ladislas Fodor play "The White Lady" and retitled it "Isle of Missing Men." This low-budget, 67 minute, black & white, B-movie about deception and betrayal takes place on an obscure, uncharted island near Australia that serves as a penal colony in the South Pacific. The storyline concerns a attractive but mysterious lady who pulls the wool over an unsuspecting bachelor's eyes. Although "Isle of Missing Men" takes place against the backdrop of World War II, the politics of the war are never discussed in any detail. The last five minutes of this romantic Monogram Pictures' release contain several reversals not only in the narrative but also in the attitude of various characters. Oswald directs this tolerable little potboiler with efficiency so that the action never bogs down. Governor Merrill Hammond (John Hammond of the "Bulldog Drummond" franchise) has been dying to meet Diana Bryce (Helen Gilbert of "The Secret of Dr. Kildare") who booked passage aboard the S.S. Bombay in Calcutta in route to Australia. The night before he is scheduled to be dropped off at the island of Caruba, Hammond gets the chance to talk to the sultry blond. Hammond persuades Diana to spend a week on Caruba and then catch a supply ship back to Melbourne where she intends to meet her brother. Little does the amorous Prison Governor of Caruba suspect that Diana is playing him for a sucker. Hammond allows Diana to occupy a bungalow that he had built years ago for his wife who died because the climate didn't agree with her. The night that Hammond and Diana meet, a Japanese bomber drops a load of bombs on the S.S. Bombay. Shrouded as it is in the fog, the ship escapes without a scratch. Earlier, Hammond had asked a destitute anti-Nazi author, Richard Heller (Egon Brecher of "Berlin Correspondent"), to join him on the island where he could live and write more books. Unfortunately, poor Heller dies later that evening. When Diana and he reach the island, Hammond introduces her to George Kent (Bradley Page of "Top Sergeant"), the lieutenant governor of the colony, and Bob Henderson (Kenneth Duncan of "Code of the Outlaw"), his secretary. Hammond arranges for them to dine with Diana and he, along with colony physician Dr. Henry Brown (Alan Mowbray of "Footlight Fever"), who displays considerable cynicism. The doctor has had his hands full lately not only with prisoner Number 49 who was shot while trying to escape in a canoe and an outbreak of typhus. Dr. Brown and George Kent don't see eye to eye on how to treat inmates afflicted with typhus. Hammond isn't particularly happy with the attempted escape and doesn't understand why a guard shot prison Number 49 when there was no chance that the convict could have escaped. Hammond and Kent are at odds with each other throughout the film. Kent is particularly suspicious about Diana's arrival. What is a charming young lady doing on an island with convicts. "Mild curiosity and Mr. Hammond's courtesy," she explains. After dinner, Diana sits down to play the piano when she is startled by the sight of Thomas 'Dan' Bentley, alias Curtis (Gilbert Roland of "Our Betters"), at the window. Kent brandishes a revolver and catches Curtis before he can get far. He explains that he was participating on a clean-up detail when he heard the music and decided to investigate. After everybody leaves, Curtis sneaks back to the bungalow. Diana and he hug and kiss, and she assures him that he can have whatever she has to make good his escape. She explains how she came to be with Hammond. Naturally, Curtis is overjoyed to see her. He approves of the way that she has the prison governor "wrapped around her little finger." He tells her that he has been convicted of murder, but he claims that he is innocent and acted only in self-defense when he killed a man. He has been locked up on the island for two years but faces eight more years to serve. "I lost my head. When I was arrested, I was afraid of a scandal and I gave the name Curtis." Dan didn't want Diana smeared by the sensationalism. Diana observes that Dan isn't the same man. "There's a tramp steamer due here day after tomorrow. Everything is arranged with the captain. He has a forged passport for me and clothes. With his help, I can get to a safe port. He better not double-cross me." Diana urges Curtis to seek a new trial, but Dan insists that a new trial would take far too long. "I'm going to be free my own way. I'm going to live like a man again." The ever suspicious Kent barges into the bungalow because he says that he heard Diana talking to somebody. She points out that she was reading aloud from a book of Shakespeare's sonnets. Kent isn't entirely satisfied with her explanation. He hears somebody approaching the bungalow and threatens to shoot until he learns that Hammond has come to see Diana. The prison governor has brought a detective novel for Diana to read. Kent leaves, while Dan hides in another room and hears Diana refusal to stroll in the moonlight with Hammond. Later, Curtis is caught by a guard in the jungle and they clash. The authorities find the jewelry and money that Diana had given him. Kent's snooping around puts Diana in a bad light, but Hammond doesn't suspect any ulterior motives on her part. Nevertheless, despite his desire to see her stay on Caruba, Hammond urges her to leave the island. When she decides to stay for the rest of the week, Hammond takes her to Dr. Brown to get her vaccinated any the many maladies that infest Caruba. Diana notices that Dr. Brown is nervous about the prospect of giving her a shot. Like Hammond, Brown has tumbled head over heels for Diana Bryce. Indeed, he allows her to persuade him to fake the death of inmate 129, her husband. Earlier, Brown's obese Nurse Pauline (Kitty O'Neil of "Back Street") had him sign the death certificates of two inmates who had succumbed to typhus. Diana noticed this and convinces Brown, in spite of his friendship and loyalty to Hammond, to stage Dan's death. After he leaves her in his office, Diana looks at her husband's records. He has been convicted on three occasions, once for forgery, another time for bigamy, and the third time for second degree murder. The unrelenting Kent assembles more evidence that implicates Diana and Curtis. Hammond refuses to act on this new information. Meanwhile, Brown takes Kent to solitary where they find Curtis dying from typhus. Curtis appears to die. Brown arranges to have two trustees accompany him to bury Curtis' body. For once Kent doesn't probe Curtis' death. Curtis meets Diana at the dock when the tramp steamer Mariposa docks. She realizes that he isn't the man that she once loved. Curtis dismisses this attitude and assures her that they can be rich. The unscrupulous Captain Sanchez (Ernie Adams of "The Pride of the Yankees") takes everything that Diana has to offer to conceal Curtis aboard the Mariposa. While Sanchez handles business, Diana and Curtis go below the dock to the boat that will transport Curtis to the ship. Hammond shows up at the dock without calling attention to his presence and hears Diana admit that Curtis is not the man that she married. Hammond returns to his office and Sanchez and he discuss the future voyage. Hammond points out that the crew of thirteen is an unlucky number and changes Sanchez's papers from 13 to 14. The Mariposa leaves Caruba and Hammond hands his resignation to Kent. Since then Kent has learned that Curtis faked his death and has cabled the port of call to have him arrested. Aboard the Mariposa, Curtis demands that Sanchez return Diana's loot. They get into a fight. Curtis brandishes a revolver. He shoots one of Sanchez's sailors. Another sailor and Curtis brawl. During the struggle, Curtis shoots himself in the stomach and dies. Back on Caruba, Hammond plans to re-enlist in the U.S. Navy and hands Kent his resignation. Later, Diana confides in Kent that she came to the island to help a prisoner escape and she is prepared to accept her punishment. Incredibly, Kent allows Diana to leave with Hammond who has sacrificed everything, including his career, to help Diana. Throughout "Isle of Missing Men," Hammond has chided Kent to show mercy rather than rigid intolerance. In the end, Kent changes his attitude. He allows Diana to leave the island with Hammond and Dr. Brown decides to propose marriage to Nurse Pauline. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/17/23 Full Review Read all reviews
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      Cast & Crew

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Convicts try to escape from an island prison, with a woman involved.
      Richard Oswald
      Richard Oswald
      Edward Eliscu, Robert Chapin
      Production Co
      Richard Oswald Productions
      Original Language
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Oct 29, 2016
      1h 7m
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