Island in the Sky (1938)

61-62 or 65 mins | Drama | 1 April 1938

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HISTORY

According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, the studio purchased the story "Island in the Sky" by Leonard Lee, which was published in McCall's (Mar 1936). Although that story takes place at a nightclub in a skyscraper, as does the film, the story is completely different from the film. However, according to Var , Lee filed a suit on 23 May 1938 alleging breach of contract against the studio for omitting his name from the screen credits after agreeing to credit him. No information has been located concerning the disputation of the suit. According to the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection, also at UCLA, Saul Elkins, Alfred Golden and José López Rubio worked on outlines based on the Lee story. Various news items in Sep 1937 noted that a film of the same name was to be about explorations then taking place at the Grand Canyon, in which a wooded plateau was discovered where animals had been isolated since the last glacial age, but no further information about that project has been located. According to a HR news item, this film was scheduled to start production early in Sep 1937 with H. Bruce Humberstone as director and Brian Donlevy and Rochelle Hudson in the leading roles, but it was postponed and Maurice Rapf was assigned to write a new script. A LAT Jul 1937 news item stated that in addition to Donlevy and Hudson, J. Edward Bromberg and John Carradine were to be in the ... More Less

According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, the studio purchased the story "Island in the Sky" by Leonard Lee, which was published in McCall's (Mar 1936). Although that story takes place at a nightclub in a skyscraper, as does the film, the story is completely different from the film. However, according to Var , Lee filed a suit on 23 May 1938 alleging breach of contract against the studio for omitting his name from the screen credits after agreeing to credit him. No information has been located concerning the disputation of the suit. According to the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection, also at UCLA, Saul Elkins, Alfred Golden and José López Rubio worked on outlines based on the Lee story. Various news items in Sep 1937 noted that a film of the same name was to be about explorations then taking place at the Grand Canyon, in which a wooded plateau was discovered where animals had been isolated since the last glacial age, but no further information about that project has been located. According to a HR news item, this film was scheduled to start production early in Sep 1937 with H. Bruce Humberstone as director and Brian Donlevy and Rochelle Hudson in the leading roles, but it was postponed and Maurice Rapf was assigned to write a new script. A LAT Jul 1937 news item stated that in addition to Donlevy and Hudson, J. Edward Bromberg and John Carradine were to be in the cast. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
19-Mar-38
---
Daily Variety
10 Mar 38
p. 3.
Film Daily
21-Sep-37
---
Film Daily
9 May 38
p. 23.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Sep 37
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jan 38
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jan 38
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Feb 38
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Mar 38
p. 3.
Los Angeles Examiner
25-Sep-37
---
Los Angeles Times
15-Jul-37
---
Motion Picture Daily
15 Mar 38
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald
12 Mar 38
p. 35.
Motion Picture Herald
19 Mar 38
p. 40.
New York Times
14 May 38
p. 18.
Variety
16 Mar 38
p. 15.
Variety
25-May-38
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Exec prod
WRITERS
Orig story
Contr to trmt
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus dir
DETAILS
Release Date:
1 April 1938
Production Date:
24 January--mid February 1938
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
1 April 1938
Copyright Number:
LP8376
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
61-62 or 65
Length(in feet):
6,100
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
4100
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Assistant district attorney Michael Fraser and his secretary, Julie Hayes, visit the fashionable nightclub "Island in the Sky," located on the seventieth floor of the Courtland Building in New York. Without informing Julie of his plans, Michael tells owner Marty Butler that they are going to be married. Taken aback, Julie agrees to marry him the next day, but their plans are interrupted when Michael is called to investigate the murder of Stephen Vincent. Vincent's son Peter is indicted, and after he refuses to testify on his own behalf, he is convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to die October 12. Believing Peter to be innocent, Julie promises his fiancée, Lucy Rhodes, that she will help Peter and, to Michael's dismay, puts off the wedding. After Julie learns from a real estate agent that Vincent had asked him to find a house for him to buy in a secluded area that would be ready no later than October 15, and that Vincent gave as his business address the address of the "Island in the Sky," Julie goes there to investigate. She learns from a cleaning woman that Johnny Doyle, a leading racketeer during prohibition, used to have an office there and that he will soon be paroled from prison after having served five years. When Butler overhears her call the prison and find out that Doyle will be paroled next Tuesday, the fifteenth of October, he sends two men to follow her to the prison, and they run her car off the road into a ditch. Three days later, on the day Peter is to be executed, Julie revives and finds herself ... +


Assistant district attorney Michael Fraser and his secretary, Julie Hayes, visit the fashionable nightclub "Island in the Sky," located on the seventieth floor of the Courtland Building in New York. Without informing Julie of his plans, Michael tells owner Marty Butler that they are going to be married. Taken aback, Julie agrees to marry him the next day, but their plans are interrupted when Michael is called to investigate the murder of Stephen Vincent. Vincent's son Peter is indicted, and after he refuses to testify on his own behalf, he is convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to die October 12. Believing Peter to be innocent, Julie promises his fiancée, Lucy Rhodes, that she will help Peter and, to Michael's dismay, puts off the wedding. After Julie learns from a real estate agent that Vincent had asked him to find a house for him to buy in a secluded area that would be ready no later than October 15, and that Vincent gave as his business address the address of the "Island in the Sky," Julie goes there to investigate. She learns from a cleaning woman that Johnny Doyle, a leading racketeer during prohibition, used to have an office there and that he will soon be paroled from prison after having served five years. When Butler overhears her call the prison and find out that Doyle will be paroled next Tuesday, the fifteenth of October, he sends two men to follow her to the prison, and they run her car off the road into a ditch. Three days later, on the day Peter is to be executed, Julie revives and finds herself in a hospital. With the connivance of Happy, a police officer working for Michael, Julie escapes from the hospital, and the two go to the prison, where Julie learns that Doyle is really Peter's father. When Peter was two-years-old and his mother died, Doyle left him with Vincent and continued to supply them with money. Doyle, formerly Butler's partner, decided to go straight while he was in prison and planned to live with Vincent and Peter in the country. Butler knew that Doyle's share of their racketeering money, $200,000, was in Vincent's safe, which was robbed the night Vincent was murdered. When the warden refuses to let Doyle out early so that he could prove Peter innocent, Doyle grabs a gun in the warden's desk and escapes with Julie as a willing hostage. After collecting members of his old gang, Doyle goes with Julie and Happy to the "Island in the Sky" and waits outside while Julie gets a table. She calls Michael, and after he arrives, Doyle has his men block the elevators so that Butler cannot escape. After Butler overhears Julie and Michael discuss the murder, he locks them in a closet. Doyle confronts Butler, and while a cohort holds a hidden radio microphone that had been broadcasting the band, Butler confesses over the air that he killed Vincent. One of Butler's men then shoots Doyle, who wounds Butler before he dies. Michael breaks out of the closet, and while Julie calls the governor to stop Peter's execution, Michael captures Butler. Julie and Michael plan to go to Albany the next day to meet with the governor and decide to continue on to Niagara Falls for their honeymoon. +

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

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