3 January 2012 | MartinTeller
Hell's Island (1955)
A guy gets hired to find someone's ruby and some stuff happens. Sorry to be so vague, but it's a nondescript kind of movie. Very familiar scenario with the usual shadowy characters, convoluted backstory, femme fatale, double-crosses, witnesses suddenly getting killed, and so forth. It's executed well enough but has little spark. Earlier Phil Karlson directed John Payne in 99 RIVER STREET and KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL, both much more exciting and memorable films. Not that Payne is bad here, nor is the direction, it's just a meh movie. It is a joy to see Francis L. Sullivan... although he doesn't much screen time, he does have a hell of an exit scene. As for the visual style, it's a VistaVision Technicolor production... unfortunately my copy was fullscreen, faded and damaged, so I can't really comment. Worthwhile if you really need a noir fix, but pretty bland.