The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977)




Critic Consensus: The Island of Dr. Moreau takes a reasonably entertaining pass at adapting its classic source material, although key scenes are let down by struggles with special effects.

The Island of Dr. Moreau Photos

Movie Info

In The Island of Dr. Moreau, which is based on a novella by H.G. Wells, Braddock (Michael York) is a decent young Englishman who has unaccountably been saved from being thrown overboard from a ship sailing in a remote area of the Pacific by the mysterious Dr. Montgomery (Nigel Davenport). Dr. Montgomery is accompanying a cargo of animals destined for a tropical island. At first an "honored guest" (prisoner) on that island, he is finds his contacts with the natives increasingly disturbing, for they are not like any men he has ever seen. Eventually it transpires that these "men" are experimental reconstructions from wild animals made by a particularly sinister scientist, Dr. Moreau (Burt Lancaster). He feels that he is in danger from the animal/men and from Dr. Moreau himself and does not know where to turn. This story was also filmed in 1933 as The Island of Lost Souls, starring Charles Laughton as the monomaniacal Dr. Moreau and was remade yet again in 1996 with Marlon Brando in the title role.

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Burt Lancaster
as Dr. Moreau
Michael York
as Braddock
Nigel Davenport
as Montgomery
Richard Basehart
as Sayer Of The Law
Bob Ozman
as Bullman
Fumio Demura
as Hyenaman
Gary Baxley
as Lionman
Dave Cass
as Bearman
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Critic Reviews for The Island of Dr. Moreau

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (3)

Lancaster, despite his ungodly ideas, is given some resonance as a man who thinks his demented work is for the betterment of the human race. York gives one of his best performances, and Barbara Carrera's enigmatic beauty is evocatively treated.

March 26, 2009 | Full Review…

Only Michael York's metamorphosis into a beast has any impact, and the film predictably fails to follow through even on that.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The performers display a kind of disciplined intelligence that keeps them from bursting through the style of the film into comic limbo.

May 9, 2005 | Full Review…

A couple of unnecessary narrative additions aside, The Island of Doctor Moreau is a well-made adaptation of an important sci-fi novel.

September 26, 2018 | Full Review…

There are some really strong performances here and an amazing setting; I think what lets this version down is the element of transformation that has proven troublesome for all the film versions of The Island of Dr. Moreau.

September 26, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Miscast Lancaster fails to be a compelling figure - either tragic or malevolent - and the entire film collapses around him.

September 26, 2018 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Island of Dr. Moreau

This movie does have some good creepiness, but overall, the story and acting aren't very good, and the movie is pretty bad. I recommend seeing the 30s version instead.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

Enjoyable but dated with that distinctive 70's aura. Michael York seems perfectly cast as a shipwreck survivor who stumbles upon Dr. Moreau (Burt Lancaster) and his little island of horrors.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer


I struggled with this and varous other remakes. I was never sure of the overall message it was trying to put out. I might have missed it but there you go.

Barry Lappin
Barry Lappin

Super Reviewer

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