29 May 2010 | tavm
Island in the Sun was an uneven social/political drama from producer Darryl F. Zanuck
Because this movie was made at a time when there was still a Hays Code and that much of America was segregated, you won't get much passion out of the interracial teamings of either Dorothy Dandridge/John Justin (though there's some close embraces) nor Harry Belafonte/Joan Fontaine (he's too intense, she's too reserved). Also, the romance between Joan Collins and Stephan Boyd isn't much to write about either (though they do share a kiss). Anyway, this is mainly about James Mason's plantation character and his debates with Belafonte's labor leader character, his jealousy of his wife's (Patricia Owens) supposed affair with a counsel diplomat (Michael Rennie), and his and sister Collins' reaction to a family secret revealed from a reporter and confirmed by their parents (Diana Wynyard and Basil Sydney). Along the way, there's an officer (John Williams) cracking a murder case...With what I just mentioned, there should have been some fireworks but-other than some exciting close calls staged by director Robert Rossen-it's mostly dull with droning dialogue provided by Alfred Hayes as adapted from Alec Waugh's novel. Still, there are a couple of good songs written and performed by Belafonte and a nice dance by Dandridge and also a compelling confrontation between Mason and Belafonte at a speech rally. So on that note, Island in the Sun is at the least worth a look. P.S. The DVD has excellent commentary by historian John Stanley.