Island of Lost Men (1939)

63 mins | Adventure | 28 July 1939

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HISTORY

The working titles of this picture were North of Singapore and King of the River . It represented Eugene Zukor's first solo production effort. According to a news item in HR , Eric Blore replaced Herbert Mundin in the role of "Herbert" after Mundin died in an auto accident. In 1933, Paramount made another version of the Norman Reilly Raine-Frank Butler play entitled White Woman (See ... More Less

The working titles of this picture were North of Singapore and King of the River . It represented Eugene Zukor's first solo production effort. According to a news item in HR , Eric Blore replaced Herbert Mundin in the role of "Herbert" after Mundin died in an auto accident. In 1933, Paramount made another version of the Norman Reilly Raine-Frank Butler play entitled White Woman (See Entry). More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
2 Aug 39
p. 3.
Film Daily
7 Sep 39
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Feb 39
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Mar 39
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Mar 39
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Mar 39
pp. 6-7.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Mar 39
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Mar 39
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Aug 39
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
4 Aug 39
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald
5 Aug 39
pp. 88-89.
New York Times
17 Aug 39
p. 16.
Variety
23 Aug 39
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Int dec
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Hangman's Whip by Norman Reilly Raine and Frank Butler (New York, 24 Feb 1933).
SONGS
"Music on the Shore," words and music by Frederick Hollander and Frank Loesser.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
North of Singapore
King of the River
Release Date:
28 July 1939
Production Date:
began early March 1939
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
28 July 1939
Copyright Number:
LP9006
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
63
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
5244
SYNOPSIS

Somewhere north of Singapore, gunrunner Gregory Prin rules an upriver dynasty, an island of lost men. Into Prin's unscrupulous clutches fall a variety of white and native lawbreakers, all seeking the safety of the jungle. Prin sweats and labors his subjects, mistreating them for his own personal enrichment. Young Kim enters this ominous situation in search of her father, General Ling, an official of the Chinese government who has been falsely accused of abscounding with a huge sum of money. Determined to clear her father's name, Kim accepts Prin's invitation to accompany him in search of the general, for she suspects that the old man has fallen into the hands of this brutal tyrant. At Prin's jungle home, Kim meets Chang Tai, a fellow countryman and undercover agent who is also looking for her father. Prin discovers Chang Tai's true identity and orders his death, but his assassin is murdered by natives loyal to Professor Sen, who works for Prin but is plotting to overtake the empire. Prin agrees to work with American Tex Ballister to eliminate Kim and Chang Tai after receiving word that the police are on their way. Unknown to Prin, Chang Tai has recovered the ailing general, whom Prin had hidden in a camp upriver, and Kim has found the stolen Chinese money. Prin lets them escape on the supposition that he will look more respectable if they are absent when the police arrive, but he gives them a boat with little gas and plans to rob and kill them when they are stranded. Prin's right-hand man, Herbert, throws all of Prin's guns into the ... +


Somewhere north of Singapore, gunrunner Gregory Prin rules an upriver dynasty, an island of lost men. Into Prin's unscrupulous clutches fall a variety of white and native lawbreakers, all seeking the safety of the jungle. Prin sweats and labors his subjects, mistreating them for his own personal enrichment. Young Kim enters this ominous situation in search of her father, General Ling, an official of the Chinese government who has been falsely accused of abscounding with a huge sum of money. Determined to clear her father's name, Kim accepts Prin's invitation to accompany him in search of the general, for she suspects that the old man has fallen into the hands of this brutal tyrant. At Prin's jungle home, Kim meets Chang Tai, a fellow countryman and undercover agent who is also looking for her father. Prin discovers Chang Tai's true identity and orders his death, but his assassin is murdered by natives loyal to Professor Sen, who works for Prin but is plotting to overtake the empire. Prin agrees to work with American Tex Ballister to eliminate Kim and Chang Tai after receiving word that the police are on their way. Unknown to Prin, Chang Tai has recovered the ailing general, whom Prin had hidden in a camp upriver, and Kim has found the stolen Chinese money. Prin lets them escape on the supposition that he will look more respectable if they are absent when the police arrive, but he gives them a boat with little gas and plans to rob and kill them when they are stranded. Prin's right-hand man, Herbert, throws all of Prin's guns into the river as revenge for the murder of his pet monkey. Herbert then joins the general, Chang Tai and Kim when they leave, and with Professor Sen's help, they outwit Prin by taking a different boat. After Prin shoots Professor Sen to death, Prin and Tex are left to face a native rebellion with a gun containing only one bullet. Afraid of being tortured, Tex commits suicide. Prin faces the natives alone, believing they still revere him, and is killed by a spear through his chest. The boat carrying the refugees continues peaceably to Singapore. +

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.