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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Isle Of Forgotten Sins (1943)

Set in the South Pacific, two deep sea divers (John Carradine, Frank Fenton) plot to steal the treasure chest of gold from a sunken ship. Unbeknownst to them, two other men (Sidney Toler, Rick Vallin) plan to take the gold away from them once it's brought up. Throw in the madam of a brothel (Gale Sondergaard) and her working girls and an approaching hurricane and what you end up with is ..... a tedious poverty row (it was filmed in a week) imitation of John Ford's THE HURRICANE. The cult director Edgar G. Ulmer (DETOUR, THE BLACK CAT) was often able to overcome severe budget limitations, uneven screenplays and weak actors with his sharp and droll direction. This film isn't one of them. When the anticipated monsoon hits, it's pretty tacky, a mixture of unimpressive miniatures with close ups of the actors inserted in. Possibly the most notable thing about the film is the casting of character actors John Carradine and Gale Sondergaard, usually playing villains, as the romantic leads! The villain here is Sidney Toler, who was playing Charlie Chan during this time. There's also the odd casting of "B" movie tough broad Veda Ann Borg as a Dorothy Lamour native girl clone. The less said about atrocious score by Leo Erdody the better.

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