Saturday Island

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"A South-Seas Shangri-La of romance and adventure beyond your wildest dreams!"
  • Approved
  • 1952
  • 90 hr
  • 6.0  (249)

Saturday Island is a romantic drama film made in 1952 set in the Pacific during World War II. Directed by Stuart Heisler, the movie stars Linda Darnell, Tab Hunter, and Donald Gray. The film tells the story of a group of U.S. Navy officers and their romantic entanglements while stationed on a remote island in the South Pacific during the war.

The film opens with a panoramic shot of the beautiful South Pacific island where the U.S. Navy base is located. The story follows the lives of the sailors stationed on the island and their interactions with the local islanders. Lieutenant Donald Delaney (Donald Gray) is the commanding officer in charge of the base, and he is initially seen as quite distant from his subordinates. However, over time, the sailors come to recognize his dedication to them and his commitment to defending the U.S. against the enemy.

One of the sailors stationed on the island is Lieutenant James “Jim” Haverstick (Tab Hunter), a dashing and sophisticated officer who quickly becomes known as the life of the party. Jim is a man who enjoys the company of women and is something of a player. One of the women that he meets and falls for early in the story is Louise (Linda Darnell), a beautiful Frenchwoman who has been living on the island for a few years. Louise is a strong-willed and independent woman who captures the attention of Jim immediately.

The two become close friends and eventually start a romance. However, with the war raging on and the Navy base operating at full capacity, their relationship becomes fraught with uncertainty. They don’t know what will happen once the war is over, and whether they’ll be able to continue their romance once Jim is called back to the States. Jim is also grappling with some of the harsher realities of the war, which begin to weigh heavily on him throughout the film.

As the film progresses, we see the harsh realities of wartime and the impact it has on the lives of those stationed on the island. Despite the stress and danger of their situation, the sailors try to maintain a sense of normalcy in their lives through relaxation, entertainment, and socializing. There is also quite a bit of tension between the sailors and some of the local islanders, who feel that they have been marginalized by the presence of the base on their island.

Saturday Island is a well-crafted and engrossing film, with strong performances from the cast. Linda Darnell is particularly effective as Louise, capturing both her independence and vulnerability. Tab Hunter, too, is good as Jim, bringing both charm and complexity to the role. The film also does a good job of capturing the sense of wartime, with its particular combination of danger and boredom. The cinematography is also noteworthy, with the South Pacific island serving as a gorgeous backdrop for the film’s many dramatic moments.

One of the most interesting aspects of the film is its exploration of the relationship between the U.S. sailors and the local islanders. The film is notable for its relatively nuanced portrayal of the islanders, who are not simply cast as the enemy (as frequently happened in wartime films of the era). Instead, the film shows them as a complex and multi-dimensional people, with their own hopes, fears, and desires. In this way, the film seems to be suggesting that even in the midst of war, there is room for understanding and empathy between different cultures.

Overall, Saturday Island is a well-realized and thought-provoking film that offers a unique perspective on the romantic entanglements and ethical dilemmas of wartime. The film’s exploration of the relationships between the sailors and the local islanders make it a worthy entry in the war film genre, and one that stands out for its nuanced and complex portrayal of the complexities of war.

Saturday Island
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    90 hr
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.0  (249)