Unknown Island (1948)

75.5 or 78.5 mins | Adventure | November 1948

Full page view
HISTORY

The film's working titles were The Unknown Continent and The Unbelievable . In a 6 Jun 1948 NYT news item, producer Albert J. Cohen claimed that the film's budget was $450,000 and that about 35% of that figure had been spent on creating and photographing the prehistoric monsters. According to a 20 Apr 1949 HR news item, " Unknown Island ...looms as the highest grosser in Film Classics history, and may make record film marks compared to budget. Brought in at around $150,000 by director Jack Bernhard, the film is expected to bring to F-C and its production company a total of $850,000, more than five times its cost." Although some contemporary sources claim that the monsters were miniatures animated by single-frame photography, they were actually portrayed by actors in costumes. A modern source stated that actor and stunt man Ray "Crash" Corrigan, who frequently wore ape costumes onscreen, was inside one of the monster's costumes. The source added that some sequences were shot in Palmdale ... More Less

The film's working titles were The Unknown Continent and The Unbelievable . In a 6 Jun 1948 NYT news item, producer Albert J. Cohen claimed that the film's budget was $450,000 and that about 35% of that figure had been spent on creating and photographing the prehistoric monsters. According to a 20 Apr 1949 HR news item, " Unknown Island ...looms as the highest grosser in Film Classics history, and may make record film marks compared to budget. Brought in at around $150,000 by director Jack Bernhard, the film is expected to bring to F-C and its production company a total of $850,000, more than five times its cost." Although some contemporary sources claim that the monsters were miniatures animated by single-frame photography, they were actually portrayed by actors in costumes. A modern source stated that actor and stunt man Ray "Crash" Corrigan, who frequently wore ape costumes onscreen, was inside one of the monster's costumes. The source added that some sequences were shot in Palmdale CA. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
27 Nov 1948.
---
Daily Variety
18 Nov 48
p. 4.
Film Daily
18 Nov 48
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
21 May 48
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Nov 48
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
10 Jul 48
p. 4235.
New York Times
20 Jun 1948.
---
New York Times
8 Jan 49
p. 11.
Variety
24 Nov 48
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Stills
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
MUSIC
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff photographed and created by
Spec eff photographed and created by
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Script supv
COLOR PERSONNEL
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Unknown Continent
The Unbelievable
Release Date:
November 1948
Production Date:
late May--early June 1948 at General Service Studio
Copyright Claimant:
Albert Jay Cohen Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
1 December 1948
Copyright Number:
LP2087
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Cinecolor
Duration(in mins):
75.5 or 78.5
Length(in feet):
6,789
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
13324
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Singapore, Ted Osborne and his fiancée, Carol Lane, charter Captain Tarnowski's boat for an expedition to find and photograph the prehistoric creatures that Ted discovered on a remote island while he was a navy pilot in the South Pacific. Tarnowski suggests that they take along a local drunk, John Fairbanks, who claims to have been on the island. Fairbanks, however, does not want to return there as several of his shipmates were killed by the "monsters," but Tarnowski shanghais him. The steamer leaves and soon they are well beyond regular shipping lanes, a fact which causes dissension among the lascar crew. The expedition reaches the island and, through binoculars from the ship, sees a prehistoric creature. Ted, Carol, John, the Captain and a few others go ashore in a small boat, and as they move inland, they encounter dinosaurs. After they have made camp, one of the seamen is attacked by two of the creatures, and the captain is forced to shoot the man to spare him further agony. This incident provokes more unrest among the lascars, who want to leave and return to the ship. John also advises Ted to get everyone off the island before they are killed, but Ted refuses. A giant sloth-like creature then threatens the camp but is distracted by another beast. Life is further complicated when the lecherous Tarnowski grabs and kisses Carol and is threatened by Ted. Carol insists upon leaving, and although Ted wants more pictures of the giant sloth, he agrees to go the next day. However, Tarnowski refuses to leave until he captures one of the creatures alive. John leads the party farther inland, where they are confronted ... +


In Singapore, Ted Osborne and his fiancée, Carol Lane, charter Captain Tarnowski's boat for an expedition to find and photograph the prehistoric creatures that Ted discovered on a remote island while he was a navy pilot in the South Pacific. Tarnowski suggests that they take along a local drunk, John Fairbanks, who claims to have been on the island. Fairbanks, however, does not want to return there as several of his shipmates were killed by the "monsters," but Tarnowski shanghais him. The steamer leaves and soon they are well beyond regular shipping lanes, a fact which causes dissension among the lascar crew. The expedition reaches the island and, through binoculars from the ship, sees a prehistoric creature. Ted, Carol, John, the Captain and a few others go ashore in a small boat, and as they move inland, they encounter dinosaurs. After they have made camp, one of the seamen is attacked by two of the creatures, and the captain is forced to shoot the man to spare him further agony. This incident provokes more unrest among the lascars, who want to leave and return to the ship. John also advises Ted to get everyone off the island before they are killed, but Ted refuses. A giant sloth-like creature then threatens the camp but is distracted by another beast. Life is further complicated when the lecherous Tarnowski grabs and kisses Carol and is threatened by Ted. Carol insists upon leaving, and although Ted wants more pictures of the giant sloth, he agrees to go the next day. However, Tarnowski refuses to leave until he captures one of the creatures alive. John leads the party farther inland, where they are confronted by several flesh-eating tyrannosauri. When first mate Sanderson tries to turn back, he and the captain begin to fight. One of the crew throws a knife, killing Sanderson, and is shot by the captain. The creatures move toward the party but are scared off by grenades the captain has brought. Later, Tarnowski suffers a recurrence of jungle fever. Although he allows Carol to return to the ship, he orders Ted and John to remain to help with the intended capture. Carol cannot leave, however, as the lascars have taken the small boat, leaving the others marooned on the island. The stranded crew attempt to build a raft, unaware that Tarnowski has found and concealed another small boat. The captain attacks Carol again, but is interrupted by a dinosaur, which he then kills with grenades. In the meantime, Carol has fainted and Tarnowski carries her off, planning to take her back to the ship and abandoning the others. When Ted refuses to look for Carol, John tells him he is a coward and sets off to find her himself. While Tarnowski is sleeping, Carol takes his gun, but is forced to use it on one of the creatures. John arrives in time to save Carol from Tarnowski, and they both return to the beach in time to see Tarnowski fall victim to the giant sloth. Later, as John and Carol look on, the sloth vanquishes a tyrannosaurus. Back on board the ship, Ted realizes that he has lost Carol to John. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.