Monsoon [DVD] [1943]

Monsoon, better known as Isle of Forgotten Sins, was Edgar G. Ulmer's South Seas adventure movie, made with virtually no money at PRC in 1943. It was also, in some respects, Ulmer's version of a John Ford adventure movie, with John Carradine and Frank Fenton playing a pair of two-fisted divers, who, in another movie, might have been John Wayne and Victor McLaglen at the end of the 1930s. The source print is fairly clean in the early and middle reels, with some white vertical scratches on the print, but also a fair amount of detail and contrast in most of the scenes. There's been a bit too much light pumped through at times, which whites out some of the details, but otherwise, this is a better-than-decent presentation of a fascinating movie, filled with very interesting players, characters, and performances. One wishes the print were better -- from 12 minutes in, there are lots of small scratches that escalate to missing frames and some very choppy moments at the tail end of the final reel. But what's here is passable for the price, and also given the fact that there will never likely be a better version (unless Allday Entertainment, the Ulmer specialty house, releases one). The six chapters standard to Alpha's DVDs aren't really adequate to break down the somewhat involved plot of the 81-minute movie, but at least the simple menu is, as usual, easy to use.
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Isle of Forgotten Sins
Cult-favorite director Edgar G. Ulmer has quite a disparate cast to work with in Isle of Forgotten Sins. The story is typically brawny adventure fare, concerning a band of hardy South Sea pearl divers. But instead of a group of he-man protagonists, the leading players include the likes of pudgy Frank Fenton, scrawny John Carradine and septugenarian Sidney Toler. They play their parts well, but they aren't terribly convincing as rough-and-ready adventurers. For the record, the plot is motivated by $3 million in gold, which went down to the bottom of the sea during a storm. A second monsoon wipes out most of the cast members, though enough survive for a happy ending. The female cast members are as curiously chosen as the males, with Gale Sondergaard as a cabaret girl and Veda Ann Borg as a villainous native. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • John Carradine
    John Carradine - Clancy
  • Gale Sondergaard
    Gale Sondergaard - Marge
  • Sidney Toler
    Sidney Toler - Krogan
  • Rita Quigley
    Rita Quigley - Diane
  • Veda Ann Borg
    Veda Ann Borg - Luana
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