Island in the Sun (1957): Robert (All the King’s Men) Rossen’s Interracial Melodrama, in which Harry Belafonte Almost Kisses Joan Fontaine

Island in the Sun is Robert Rossen’s widescreen version of Alec Waugh’s novel about racial, sexual, and intergenerational tensions in the West Indies.

It was considered to be audacious and controversial at the time due to its handling of the interracial angle, particularly a scene in which Harry Belafonte touches and almost (but not quite) kisses Joan Fontaine.

Our Grade: C+ (** out of *****)

Island in the Sun
Island in the Sun 1957.jpg

Poster by Jock Hinchliffe

This ensemble-driven tale stars James Mason, Joan Fontaine, Dorothy Dandridge, Joan Collins, Michael Rennie, and Harry Belafonte. (Dandridge and Belafonte had made three films together).

Seen from today’s perspective, this melodrama suffers from a stiff screenplay and some preposterous dialogue, lacking the kind of emotionalism that marked the best genre efforts of that era, movies directed by Nicholas Ray, Douglas Sirk, and Vincente Minnelli.

The whole movie seems compromised, as if director Rossen, better known for the Oscar-winning drama All the King’s Men (1949) was not sure of his own convictions or how to portray them in an intelligent and engaging way on the big screen.

Set on a fictional West Indian island of Santa Marta, the movie interweaves the stories of a dozen characters, most of them troubled, for one reason or another, and at least three interracial couples.

Maxwell Fleury (James Mason) is a wealthy white plantation owner, who suffers from an inferiority complex on a number of levels.   He lives with his beautiful wife Sylvia (Patricia Owen), who is jealous of him and his younger sister Jocelyn (Joan Collins).  For his part, Maxwell thinks Hilary Carson (Michael Rennie) is having an affair with his wife. Colonel Whittingham, the head of police, who investigates a murder that we viewers are privy to.  Meanwhile, Jocelyn is courted by Evan Templeton (Stephen Boyd), a WWII hero who’s the son of the island’s Governor, Lord Templeton.

To prove his worth, Maxwell stirs up matters in the upcoming elections, by opposing David Boyeur (Harry Belafonte), a young black man representing the common people and is seen as threat to the dominant white elite.  The local union leader is the closest that the film comes to having a positive, populist hero. Jocelyn worries about the effects that his campaign might have on her engagement to Evan, a fake.

Mavis Norman (Joan Fontaine), an older white British femme, who shows romantic in David, but other than chat neither is courageous enough to make a move or say something personal. Interestingly, unlike Sirk’s All That Heavens Allows, the age difference between Mavis and Davis doesn’t pose as much a problem as their race and social class differences.

The other interracial romance is between Margot Seaton (a stunning Dorothy Dandridge, in yellow, red, and orange dresses), a black drugstore clerk, and Denis Archer, a white aide to the Governor.

The most preposterous scenes, even by standards of 1950s melodrama involve an older white couple, Julian Fleury and his wife (Diana Wynyard), who are both hiding secrets from their children about the racial origins of their ancestors. The revelations are so outrageous that the only way to react to them is as high-camp, even if most are delivered in a straight, decidedly not juicy manner.

Of the three intersecting romances, the least interesting, dramatically, is the one between Stephen Boyd, as an Oxford-bound war hero, and Joan Collins, though it’s not their fault.

The film is nicely shot in the colorful sites of Barbados and Grenada, standing in for the story’s islands.

Despite its honorable intentions, Island in the Sun comes across as borderline racist, in the way that it treats the locals, as background material, part of the scenery.  They are always seen in groups, working diligently on the fields, and loyally serving their white masters, often with a smile on their faces. (“The lunch is ready, madam”)

Harry Belafonte delivers a nice calypso song, which became a classic tune, and stayed on the charts independently of the picture.

It’s fair to say that there is not a single good performance in a picture that might have too many characters for its own good.

Dorothy Dandridge, making sort of a “comeback,” is totally wasted in a small, thankless part, even though she receives third billing. After becoming the first black woman to be nominated for the Best Actress Oscar, for Carmen Jones, in 1954, Dandridge did not work for three years.  Some say it’s due to the bad advice she got from her lover at the time, director Otto Preminger, who had cast her in Carmen Jones.

James Mason, stuck with a poorly-written part as the insanely jealous husband, might have given one of the few weak performances in an otherwise long and very impressive career.  Early on, suspecting that his wife is having an affair, he tears up her dress before forcing himself on her.

A box-office hit, Island in the Sun, released on June 13, was 1957’s sixth top-grossing film, generating more than $10 million in tickets sale.


Directed by Robert Rossen
Produced by Darryl F. Zanuck
Written by Alfred Hayes, based on Island in the Sun by Alec Waugh
Music by Malcolm Arnold
Cinematography Freddie Young
Edited by Reginald Beck

Production company: Darryl F. Zanuck Productions

Distributed by 20th Century Fox

Release date: June 12, 1957

Running time: 119 mins
Budget $2,250,000
Box office $5 million (rentals)


James Mason as Maxwell Fleury, the family’s son
Harry Belafonte as David Boyeur, a black politician
Joan Fontaine as Mavis Norman, an upper class white woman
Joan Collins as Jocelyn Fleury, the alluring sister of Maxwell
Dorothy Dandridge as Margot Seaton, beautiful Indian drug store clerk
Michael Rennie as Hilary Carson, a retired war hero
Patricia Owens as Sylvia Fleury, Maxwell’s wife
John Justin as Denis Archer, governor’s aide
Stephen Boyd as Euan Templeton, governor’s young son
Diana Wynyard as Mrs. Fleury, mother of Maxwell and Jocelyn
Basil Sydney as Julian Fleury, husband of Mrs. Fleury and father of Maxwell and Jocelyn
John Williams as Colonel Whittingham, head of police
Ronald Squire as Governor Templeton, governor of the island, and Euan’s father.
Hartley Power as Bradshaw, American journalist visiting Santa Marta.

xosotin chelseathông tin chuyển nhượngcâu lạc bộ bóng đá arsenalbóng đá atalantabundesligacầu thủ haalandUEFAevertonxosokeonhacaiketquabongdalichthidau7m.newskqbdtysokeobongdabongdalufutebol ao vivofutemaxmulticanaisonbetbsport.fitonbet88.oooi9bet.bizhi88.ooookvip.atf8bet.atfb88.cashvn88.cashshbet.atbóng đá world cupbóng đá inter milantin juventusbenzemala ligaclb leicester cityMUman citymessi lionelsalahnapolineymarpsgronaldoserie atottenhamvalenciaAS ROMALeverkusenac milanmbappenapolinewcastleaston villaliverpoolfa cupreal madridpremier leagueAjaxbao bong da247EPLbarcelonabournemouthaff cupasean footballbên lề sân cỏbáo bóng đá mớibóng đá cúp thế giớitin bóng đá ViệtUEFAbáo bóng đá việt namHuyền thoại bóng đágiải ngoại hạng anhSeagametap chi bong da the gioitin bong da lutrận đấu hôm nayviệt nam bóng đátin nong bong daBóng đá nữthể thao 7m24h bóng đábóng đá hôm naythe thao ngoai hang anhtin nhanh bóng đáphòng thay đồ bóng đábóng đá phủikèo nhà cái onbetbóng đá lu 2thông tin phòng thay đồthe thao vuaapp đánh lô đềdudoanxosoxổ số giải đặc biệthôm nay xổ sốkèo đẹp hôm nayketquaxosokq xskqxsmnsoi cầu ba miềnsoi cau thong kesxkt hôm naythế giới xổ sốxổ số 24hxo.soxoso3mienxo so ba mienxoso dac bietxosodientoanxổ số dự đoánvé số chiều xổxoso ket quaxosokienthietxoso kq hôm nayxoso ktxổ số megaxổ số mới nhất hôm nayxoso truc tiepxoso ViệtSX3MIENxs dự đoánxs mien bac hom nayxs miên namxsmientrungxsmn thu 7con số may mắn hôm nayKQXS 3 miền Bắc Trung Nam Nhanhdự đoán xổ số 3 miềndò vé sốdu doan xo so hom nayket qua xo xoket qua xo so.vntrúng thưởng xo sokq xoso trực tiếpket qua xskqxs 247số miền nams0x0 mienbacxosobamien hôm naysố đẹp hôm naysố đẹp trực tuyếnnuôi số đẹpxo so hom quaxoso ketquaxstruc tiep hom nayxổ số kiến thiết trực tiếpxổ số kq hôm nayso xo kq trực tuyenkết quả xổ số miền bắc trực tiếpxo so miền namxổ số miền nam trực tiếptrực tiếp xổ số hôm nayket wa xsKQ XOSOxoso onlinexo so truc tiep hom nayxsttso mien bac trong ngàyKQXS3Msố so mien bacdu doan xo so onlinedu doan cau loxổ số kenokqxs vnKQXOSOKQXS hôm naytrực tiếp kết quả xổ số ba miềncap lo dep nhat hom naysoi cầu chuẩn hôm nayso ket qua xo soXem kết quả xổ số nhanh nhấtSX3MIENXSMB chủ nhậtKQXSMNkết quả mở giải trực tuyếnGiờ vàng chốt số OnlineĐánh Đề Con Gìdò số miền namdò vé số hôm nayso mo so debach thủ lô đẹp nhất hôm naycầu đề hôm naykết quả xổ số kiến thiết toàn quốccau dep 88xsmb rong bach kimket qua xs 2023dự đoán xổ số hàng ngàyBạch thủ đề miền BắcSoi Cầu MB thần tàisoi cau vip 247soi cầu tốtsoi cầu miễn phísoi cau mb vipxsmb hom nayxs vietlottxsmn hôm naycầu lô đẹpthống kê lô kép xổ số miền Bắcquay thử xsmnxổ số thần tàiQuay thử XSMTxổ số chiều nayxo so mien nam hom nayweb đánh lô đề trực tuyến uy tínKQXS hôm nayxsmb ngày hôm nayXSMT chủ nhậtxổ số Power 6/55KQXS A trúng roycao thủ chốt sốbảng xổ số đặc biệtsoi cầu 247 vipsoi cầu wap 666Soi cầu miễn phí 888 VIPSoi Cau Chuan MBđộc thủ desố miền bắcthần tài cho sốKết quả xổ số thần tàiXem trực tiếp xổ sốXIN SỐ THẦN TÀI THỔ ĐỊACầu lô số đẹplô đẹp vip 24hsoi cầu miễn phí 888xổ số kiến thiết chiều nayXSMN thứ 7 hàng tuầnKết quả Xổ số Hồ Chí Minhnhà cái xổ số Việt NamXổ Số Đại PhátXổ số mới nhất Hôm Nayso xo mb hom nayxxmb88quay thu mbXo so Minh ChinhXS Minh Ngọc trực tiếp hôm nayXSMN 88XSTDxs than taixổ số UY TIN NHẤTxs vietlott 88SOI CẦU SIÊU CHUẨNSoiCauVietlô đẹp hôm nay vipket qua so xo hom naykqxsmb 30 ngàydự đoán xổ số 3 miềnSoi cầu 3 càng chuẩn xácbạch thủ lônuoi lo chuanbắt lô chuẩn theo ngàykq xo-solô 3 càngnuôi lô đề siêu vipcầu Lô Xiên XSMBđề về bao nhiêuSoi cầu x3xổ số kiến thiết ngày hôm nayquay thử xsmttruc tiep kết quả sxmntrực tiếp miền bắckết quả xổ số chấm vnbảng xs đặc biệt năm 2023soi cau xsmbxổ số hà nội hôm naysxmtxsmt hôm nayxs truc tiep mbketqua xo so onlinekqxs onlinexo số hôm nayXS3MTin xs hôm nayxsmn thu2XSMN hom nayxổ số miền bắc trực tiếp hôm naySO XOxsmbsxmn hôm nay188betlink188 xo sosoi cầu vip 88lô tô việtsoi lô việtXS247xs ba miềnchốt lô đẹp nhất hôm naychốt số xsmbCHƠI LÔ TÔsoi cau mn hom naychốt lô chuẩndu doan sxmtdự đoán xổ số onlinerồng bạch kim chốt 3 càng miễn phí hôm naythống kê lô gan miền bắcdàn đề lôCầu Kèo Đặc Biệtchốt cầu may mắnkết quả xổ số miền bắc hômSoi cầu vàng 777thẻ bài onlinedu doan mn 888soi cầu miền nam vipsoi cầu mt vipdàn de hôm nay7 cao thủ chốt sốsoi cau mien phi 7777 cao thủ chốt số nức tiếng3 càng miền bắcrồng bạch kim 777dàn de bất bạion newsddxsmn188betw88w88789bettf88sin88suvipsunwintf88five8812betsv88vn88Top 10 nhà cái uy tínsky88iwinlucky88nhacaisin88oxbetm88vn88w88789betiwinf8betrio66rio66lucky88oxbetvn88188bet789betMay-88five88one88sin88bk88xbetoxbetMU88188BETSV88RIO66ONBET88188betM88M88SV88Jun-68Jun-88one88iwinv9betw388OXBETw388w388onbetonbetonbetonbet88onbet88onbet88onbet88onbetonbetonbetonbetqh88mu88Nhà cái uy tínpog79vp777vp777vipbetvipbetuk88uk88typhu88typhu88tk88tk88sm66sm66me88me888live8live8livesm66me88win798livesm66me88win79pog79pog79vp777vp777uk88uk88tk88tk88luck8luck8kingbet86kingbet86k188k188hr99hr99123b8xbetvnvipbetsv66zbettaisunwin-vntyphu88vn138vwinvwinvi68ee881xbetrio66zbetvn138i9betvipfi88clubcf68onbet88ee88typhu88onbetonbetkhuyenmai12bet-moblie12betmoblietaimienphi247vi68clupcf68clupvipbeti9betqh88onb123onbefsoi cầunổ hũbắn cáđá gàđá gàgame bàicasinosoi cầuxóc đĩagame bàigiải mã giấc mơbầu cuaslot gamecasinonổ hủdàn đềBắn cácasinodàn đềnổ hũtài xỉuslot gamecasinobắn cáđá gàgame bàithể thaogame bàisoi cầukqsssoi cầucờ tướngbắn cágame bàixóc đĩa开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育亚新体育亚新体育亚新体育爱游戏爱游戏爱游戏华体会华体会华体会IM体育IM体育沙巴体育沙巴体育PM体育PM体育AG尊龙AG尊龙AG尊龙AG百家乐AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人<AG真人<皇冠体育皇冠体育PG电子PG电子万博体育万博体育KOK体育KOK体育欧宝体育江南体育江南体育江南体育半岛体育半岛体育半岛体育凯发娱乐凯发娱乐杏彩体育杏彩体育杏彩体育FB体育PM真人PM真人<米乐娱乐米乐娱乐天博体育天博体育开元棋牌开元棋牌j9九游会j9九游会开云体育AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人爱游戏华体会华体会im体育kok体育开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育欧宝体育ob体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育开云体育开云体育棋牌棋牌沙巴体育买球平台新葡京娱乐开云体育mu88qh88