Island of Desire (1952)

102-103 mins | Romance | 30 July 1952

Director:

Stuart Heisler

Producer:

David E. Rose

Cinematographer:

Oswald Morris

Editor:

Russell Lloyd

Production Designer:

John Howell
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HISTORY

The opening credits include the note: "The producers would like to thank the following for their cooperation in the making of this picture: His Excellency the Governor and the government of Jamaica; United States Department of Defense; U.S. Naval Operating Base, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; The Commander, British Forces, Caribbean area."
       Island of Desire was produced by Coronado Productions (England), Ltd. and David E. Rose, but, according to a Sep 1951 HR news item, was also partially funded by RKO Pictures, which distributed the film in the Eastern Hemisphere. United Artists handled Western Hempishere distribution. (For more information on Coronado, see the entry for the 1952 RKO film Sea Devils , below.) Although onscreen credits list Joan Bridge as Technicolor color consultant, the HR review and United Artists press materials add Ian Craig, who may have contributed only to the American version. The picture was shot almost entirely at the Nettlefold Studios outside London in Walton-on-Thames. The London premiere took place on 14 Mar 1952, under the title Saturday Island . An Aug 1951 HR item reported that a hurricane destroyed Jamaican sets, shutting down the production for two weeks, and press materials state that director Stuart Heisler used the opportunity to shoot the hurricane for inclusion in the ... More Less

The opening credits include the note: "The producers would like to thank the following for their cooperation in the making of this picture: His Excellency the Governor and the government of Jamaica; United States Department of Defense; U.S. Naval Operating Base, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; The Commander, British Forces, Caribbean area."
       Island of Desire was produced by Coronado Productions (England), Ltd. and David E. Rose, but, according to a Sep 1951 HR news item, was also partially funded by RKO Pictures, which distributed the film in the Eastern Hemisphere. United Artists handled Western Hempishere distribution. (For more information on Coronado, see the entry for the 1952 RKO film Sea Devils , below.) Although onscreen credits list Joan Bridge as Technicolor color consultant, the HR review and United Artists press materials add Ian Craig, who may have contributed only to the American version. The picture was shot almost entirely at the Nettlefold Studios outside London in Walton-on-Thames. The London premiere took place on 14 Mar 1952, under the title Saturday Island . An Aug 1951 HR item reported that a hurricane destroyed Jamaican sets, shutting down the production for two weeks, and press materials state that director Stuart Heisler used the opportunity to shoot the hurricane for inclusion in the film. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
2 Aug 1952.
---
Daily Variety
20 Jul 1952.
---
Hollywood Citizen-News
13 Aug 1952.
---
Hollywood Reporter
24 Aug 51
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Sep 51
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Apr 52
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jul 1952.
---
The Exhibitor
13 Aug 52
p. 3347.
Variety
26 Mar 1952.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A David E.Rose Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Scr story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Miss Darnell's gowns
Cost supv
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting dir
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
Technicolor col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Saturday Island by Hugh Brooke (New York, 1935).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Saturday Island
Release Date:
30 July 1952
Premiere Information:
London opening: 14 March 1952
Production Date:
began late July 1951 in Jamaica
ended September 1951 at Nettlefold Studios, Walton-on-Thames, England
Copyright Claimant:
Coronado Productions (England), Ltd.
Copyright Date:
31 December 1951
Copyright Number:
LP1850
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
102-103
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15351
SYNOPSIS

During World War II, a troop transport ship stops in a dangerous part of the South Pacific while emergency surgery is performed on an important officer. After the successful operation, Dr. Snyder compliments nurse Elizabeth Smythe on her exceptional skills and desire to become a doctor. On deck, meanwhile, accomplished but youthful Marine Michael J. "Chicken" Dugan is mercilessly teased about his age. Suddenly, a bomb hits the ship and bursts into flames. Mike's heroic efforts to save his fellow Marines go to waste, and eventually he is forced to jump ship into a life raft. In the water, he hears Elizabeth calling for help, and picks her up, informing her that the man she has been holding onto has already died. As they drift during the next four days, Mike remains cheerful about the likelihood of spotting an island, while Elizabeth grows sick and fearful. Elizabeth makes an innocent comment about Mike's youth, and, despite her superior rank, he rudely reminds her that he is the expert sailor and therefore rules their boat. They finally see an island, but when Mike tries to guide the boat ashore, Elizabeth makes a mistake that costs them the boat. Immediately, Mike is delighted with the beautiful island, but Elizabeth, despondent at the idea of harming her career plans, remains concerned only about making a signal fire and avoiding a gila monster. Soon, they discover a wrecked ship containing the thirteen-year-old skeleton of a man named Grimshaw. They read his sad tale in his diary: Grimshaw washes ashore during a hurricane, and all the natives avoid him out of the fear that he controls the weather, except for one woman, Tukuo. Grimshaw ... +


During World War II, a troop transport ship stops in a dangerous part of the South Pacific while emergency surgery is performed on an important officer. After the successful operation, Dr. Snyder compliments nurse Elizabeth Smythe on her exceptional skills and desire to become a doctor. On deck, meanwhile, accomplished but youthful Marine Michael J. "Chicken" Dugan is mercilessly teased about his age. Suddenly, a bomb hits the ship and bursts into flames. Mike's heroic efforts to save his fellow Marines go to waste, and eventually he is forced to jump ship into a life raft. In the water, he hears Elizabeth calling for help, and picks her up, informing her that the man she has been holding onto has already died. As they drift during the next four days, Mike remains cheerful about the likelihood of spotting an island, while Elizabeth grows sick and fearful. Elizabeth makes an innocent comment about Mike's youth, and, despite her superior rank, he rudely reminds her that he is the expert sailor and therefore rules their boat. They finally see an island, but when Mike tries to guide the boat ashore, Elizabeth makes a mistake that costs them the boat. Immediately, Mike is delighted with the beautiful island, but Elizabeth, despondent at the idea of harming her career plans, remains concerned only about making a signal fire and avoiding a gila monster. Soon, they discover a wrecked ship containing the thirteen-year-old skeleton of a man named Grimshaw. They read his sad tale in his diary: Grimshaw washes ashore during a hurricane, and all the natives avoid him out of the fear that he controls the weather, except for one woman, Tukuo. Grimshaw and Tukuo soon fall in love, but after another storm hits, the natives sacrifice Tukuo to their gods and flee the island. Within months, Grimshaw is crazed with loneliness, and shoots himself after hallucinating about a monstrous lizard. Elizabeth is terrified at this image, but Mike sets out making the island livable, building huts and a signal fire. Elizabeth softens somewhat, especially after domesticating a wild pig, Barbecue, but insists that their hut have a wall to separate them. Soon, she comes to admire Mike's extreme capability. He teaches her to fish, wield a spear and make clothing from palm fronds. The more time they spend together, however, the more deeply Mike falls in love with Elizabeth, and he eventually lashes out when she does not respond in kind. One day, he spies a shark in the water while she is swimming, and attacks it with a knife. Afraid the blood in the water is Mike's, Elizabeth cries, and although she embraces him when he swims ashore, she pushes him away when he holds her for too long. For days, Mike refuses to speak to her, and one day she finds him building a boat with which to sail for help. She begs him not to leave her alone, and he responds that he is going crazy with unrequited love. Dazed that the young man would love "an old maid," Elizabeth finally breaks down and kisses him. One year later, the happy couple watches a British Royal Air Force plane crash in the nearby jungle. They rescue pilot William Peck, whose arm has been torn off. Elizabeth performs surgery and nurses him back to health, and within weeks, the worldly, sophisticated Bill has fallen in love with her. Mike notices Bill's attentions and jealously urges Elizabeth to reveal their relationship to Bill, but, conflicted about her affection for both men, she does not. One day, Mike eavesdrops as Bill grabs Elizabeth and declares his love. She explains that she owes her life to Mike, and unable to bear hurting him, cannot leave him. When Bill replies that he will fight for her, Mike leaps out and starts a fistfight with Bill, holding one hand behind his back. While they are fighting, however, a Marine boat appears on the horizon to rescue them. They are taken on board, where the captain announces that Mike has been declared a hero and is wanted in Washington, D.C. Realizing that he must leave Elizabeth, Mike sadly informs Bill that he has been wrong to try to keep her, and has no claim on her. Before he disembarks, Mike asks the captain to marry Elizabeth and Bill. Elizabeth weeps to see him leave, but relaxes into Bill's embrace, knowing she is with the right man. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.