Island of Lost Souls 1933

Island of Lost Souls

Critics Consensus

Led by a note-perfect performance from Charles Laughton, Island of Lost Souls remains the definitive film adaptation of its classic source material.

93%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 29

82%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,410

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Movie Info

In this adaptation of H.G. Wells' novel "The Island of Doctor Moreau," Edward Parker (Richard Arlen) is shipwrecked on a remote island presided over by the mysterious Dr. Moreau (Charles Laughton). Edward discovers his host is conducting genetic experiments, and presiding over a race of half-human, half-animal hybrids, including the alluring Panther Woman and the sage Sayer of the Law (Bela Lugosi). The island has become its own society, with Moreau as its god.

Cast & Crew

Bela Lugosi
Sayer of the Law
Richard Arlen
Edward Parker
Leila Hyams
Ruth Thomas
Kathleen Burke
The Panther Woman - Lota
Arthur Hohl
Mr. Montgomery
Stanley Fields
Captain Davies
Paul Hurst
Captain Donahue
Waldemar Young
Screenwriter
Philip Wylie
Screenwriter
Karl Struss
Cinematographer
Fred A. Datig
Casting
Hans Dreier
Art Director
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News & Interviews for Island of Lost Souls

Critic Reviews for Island of Lost Souls

All Critics (40) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (35) | Rotten (5)

Audience Reviews for Island of Lost Souls

  • Dec 01, 2016
    This movie has great casting: Charles Laughton, playing the cruel genius Dr. Moreau who has been experimenting on animals to create a hairy group of man-beasts, Kathleen Burke as the cat-woman Lota, his only beautiful (and only female) creation, and Bela Lugosi as the 'Sayer of the Law', who intones among other things, "Are we not men?" (the line Devo would use in the title of their first album). The aura of the film is chilling as well, set on a tiny tropical island where Moreau carries out vivisections in the 'House of Pain', and eagerly tries to mate Lota with Edward Parker, a newcomer to the island who has been stranded there. Those scenes aren't incredibly erotic, but add some spice and were scandalous for the time. The special effects in 1932 were somewhat limited, but director Erle Kenton's use of shadows, tight shots on the faces of the troglodytes, and scenes were Moreau uses his whip to enforce his will on his creations create an eerie, claustrophobic effect. It's a little slow in getting started but at 71 minutes is otherwise well-paced. Definitely a classic horror film worth watching, if for nothing else, Laughton's brilliant performance.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 17, 2013
    The first and most fortunate adaptation of H.G. Wells' literary work. Released in the same year of Tod Browning's cult film "Freaks", also it does not shy away by showing very realistic and frightening make up effects, even if the former had real actors portraying the creatures, this picture is more elegant and elaborate. A brilliant Charles Laughton not only embodies the blindness and evil caused by hubris, but also humanizes his character.
    Pierluigi P Super Reviewer
  • Sep 02, 2012
    Legendary makeup with a good, but familiar script with a twist.
    ZACHO D Super Reviewer
  • May 05, 2012
    Its a decidedly fun and lurid little film. I love how the brief running time is used to break down the story to its most basic levels. No scene is wasted but it also never feels rushed. While its clearly a pre Hayes Code film (the suggestion of bestiality almost made me faint), its still reserved. Tension is drawn from the constant potential of mayhem and when it finally does unleash, the ending gets fairly disturbing even by today's standards. Oh and Laughton gives a reserved and complex performance that may be a little too good for this movie.
    Alec B Super Reviewer

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