Outcast of the Islands 1951
1h 42min | Drama, Adventure | 25 February 1952 (UK)
A man occupies a position of trust with a merchant in an East Asian port. He’s sacked when he’s caught stealing, but he pretends to commit suicide and a captain he befriended agrees to take him to a secret trading post.
This movie got short shrift critically, because it followed Carol Reed’s three greatest films, “Odd Man Out,” “The Fallen Idol,” and “The Third Man.” It’s been a while since I saw it, but if you get a chance and you’re a fan of Reed’s adventurous filmmaking, check it out. A riveting performance by Trevor Howard — this, plus his performances in 3rd Man and Brief Encounter show an astonishing range. Robert Morley is wonderful as well.
My most memorable moments that still haunt me years after I saw the film: Morley “singing” a lullaby to his daughter (“Schlaf, kindchen, Schlaf”) as Howard approaches in the night — and said daughter calling “Pig!” after Howard’s character later in the same scene. The bonfire, and Morley’s torture. And Howard spotting Kerima standing in the water among the posts — beautiful photography.
An unjustly forgotten film. May it play at a repertory theater near you.
Director: Carol Reed
Writers: Joseph Conrad (novel), William Fairchild
Stars: Ralph Richardson, Trevor Howard, Robert Morley
Release Date: 25 February 1952 (UK)
Also Known As: Der Verdammte der Inseln
Filming Locations: Shepperton Studios, Shepperton, Surrey, England, UK