Outcast of the Islands (1951)

Not Rated   |    |  Drama, Adventure


Outcast of the Islands (1951) Poster

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.


6.9/10
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  • Outcast of the Islands (1951)
  • Outcast of the Islands (1951)
  • Outcast of the Islands (1951)
  • Outcast of the Islands (1951)
  • Outcast of the Islands (1951)
  • Outcast of the Islands (1951)

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User Reviews


26 February 2006 | tonstant viewer
8
| Powerful, but misses the point of the novel
This exciting film is well-worth watching. It is visually rich, and the acting is consistently surprising, even from such known quantities as George Coulouris and Wilfred Hyde-White. Trevor Howard shows great emotional flexibility, a quality we don't necessarily associate with him, and Robert Morley twinkles a good deal less than usual. Whether Sir Ralph Richardson looks good throwing a punch is something you'll have to decide for yourself.

However, the camera falls in love with picturesque young boys diving into water, which delays, over-ornaments and distracts from Conrad's austere story-telling.

More importantly, two of the female characters, Mrs. Almayer and Mrs. Willems, are turned from native women into transplanted Englishwomen, leaving Aissa the only native girl involved.

This has the effect of turning the movie into a tract on the horrors of miscegenation, when Conrad's novel is clearly focused on Peter Willems' double betrayal of Tom Lingard. Willems' taking up with a native woman is treated by the film as unique, instead of the usual thing in these climes. It is shown as embodying Willems' personal moral decline, which the book would regard as nonsense.

So if you can find the film, by all means watch it and enjoy its many virtues, but the movie has less to do with one of the great novels then it pretends to.

P.S. TCM now has this film in its library!

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