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Isle of the Dead

Isle of the Dead

Isle of the Dead

Blu ray

Warner Archive

1945 / 1.33:1 / 72 min.

Starring Boris Karloff, Ellen Drew, Katherine Emery

Cinematography by Jack MacKenzie

Directed by Mark Robson

The Swiss symbolist Arnold Böcklin produced several versions of Isle of the Dead in the late 1800’s—none of them suggested a typical tourist attraction but more than a few artists used that gloomy seascape as a port of inspiration; Rachmaninov composed a symphony, Dalí produced a surrealist tribute, and Strindberg sketched the fragments of a play, Toten-Insel. There’s even a hint of the painting’s portentous cliffs in Welles’ Xanadu. In 1945, Val Lewton, Mr. Dark Shadows himself, conceived an entire film built around Böcklin’s haunted island.

Directed by Mark Robson, Isle of the Dead is thematically rich, even for a Lewton project; set in Greece at the end of the Balkan wars, a plague joins forces with the supernatural to wreak havoc

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