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Sinners in Paradise
Starring: John Boles, Madge Evans, Bruce Cabot, Milburn Stone, Willie Fung, and Gene Lockhart
Director: James Whale
When a plane bound for China crashes in the South Sea, the surviving passengers--a motly group of killers, criminals, and the criminally annoying--are stranded on an uncharted island. They soon discover they aren't alone, but that the mysterious Mr. Taylor (Boles) and his Chinese servant Ping (Fung) are already living there... shunning civilization for reeasons of their own.
"Sinners in Paradise" is a movie that time has passed by. Not only is it a story that I've seen done far, far better (Will Eisner told this type of story several times in his "Spirit" comic strip, and although he may have been drawing inspiration partly from Whale's picture, his tales are better), but the dramatic portions of the story come across as eye-rollingly stupid to contemporary audiences.
This film was far from James Whale's finest work. None of the creativity that was so evident in the productions of "Frankenstein" and "Bride of Frankenstein" or "Showboat" can be seen here. Although this film probably had a budget far smaller than any of those other films, it still would have been nice to see [i]something[/i] that was a little beyond "get the shot and move on."
A bit hokey but still entertaining. The cast is decent, Gene lockhart comes off as the most professional. Cheaply made "B" film, but that isn't nevessarily a negative. Look at M Night Shyamalon, he gets huge budgets and makes films worse than this. They did a lot with the budget and it held my interest.