Island in the Sun

Watch Island in the Sun

  • NR
  • 1957
  • 1 hr 58 min
  • 6.1  (1,387)

Island in the Sun is a 1957 drama film directed by Robert Rossen and set on the fictional island of Santa Marta in the British West Indies during the post-World War II era. It features an ensemble cast of some of the most prominent actors of its time, such as James Mason, Joan Fontaine, Dorothy Dandridge, Harry Belafonte, and Michael Rennie.

The movie explores the social and racial tensions of a society that is in the midst of change, as the colonial era draws to a close and the struggle for independence gains momentum. Against this backdrop, the lives of several characters intersect, revealing their personal dramas and desires, as well as the larger forces that shape their destiny.

At the center of the story is Maxwell Fleury (James Mason), a wealthy white plantation owner who is about to marry a much younger woman, Sylvia (Joan Fontaine), despite the disapproval of his mother, who sees her as a gold digger. However, their relationship is complicated by the arrival of a highly attractive black woman, Mavis Norman (Dorothy Dandridge), who was once Maxwell's lover and still harbors feelings for him. Mavis's presence stirs up racial tensions among the black community, where she is seen as a traitor for having had a relationship with a white man, and also triggers jealousy and resentment among the white women of the island, who perceive her as a threat to their privileged status.

Meanwhile, other characters face their own challenges and conflicts. David Boyeur (Harry Belafonte), a local politician, is fighting for the rights of his people, as well as for the love of Margot Seaton (Joan Collins), a white woman who is engaged to a British officer. Margot, for her part, is torn between her loyalty to her class and race, and her attraction to David, who represents a new, more egalitarian society.

As the various threads of the story unravel, the characters are forced to confront their prejudices, fears, and desires in a rapidly changing world, where old certainties are falling apart and new possibilities are emerging. The movie delves into themes such as interracial romance, class conflict, political corruption, and the legacy of slavery, painting a vivid portrait of a society on the brink of transformation.

Island in the Sun was a groundbreaking film in its day, addressing issues of race and social justice at a time when such topics were still taboo in mainstream cinema. It was also notable for featuring a predominantly black cast, including Dorothy Dandridge, who was one of the few black actresses to achieve mainstream success during the era of segregation.

The film's lush cinematography, exotic locations, and stirring calypso soundtrack add to its appeal, creating a vibrant and sensual atmosphere that captures the spirit of the Caribbean. Island in the Sun is a powerful and thought-provoking drama that remains relevant today, as the struggle for racial equality and social justice continues to be a pressing issue around the world.

Island in the Sun is a 1957 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 58 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.1.

Island in the Sun
Where to Watch Island in the Sun
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 58 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.1  (1,387)