Retrospektive 2018

Island of Doomed Men

Charles Barton
USA 1940
68 min

Freed from his Fox contract as the popular Mr. Moto, Peter Lorre leapt to Columbia to release his darkest demons into this stand-out performance as the sadistic owner of a remote penal colony o the Florida coast, a white slaver who delights in delivering ruthlessly equal punishment on his prisoner subjects and poor domestic pets, while reserving stranger psycho-sexual torture for his long suffering wife. With ISLAND OF DOOMED MEN Columbia pushed hard against the Hays Code with a seedy and deliberately perverse portrait of criminal injustice embodied by Lorre’s twisted despot and highlighted by suggestive yet indelible images of savage violence. Abbott and Costello director Charles Barton gives free reign to Lorre’s unhinged screen presence which almost overwhelms the film, relegating all other characters to second tier including Thirties starlet Rochelle Hudson in the difficult role of a fragile Beauty held in the grip of Lorre’s suavely menacing Beast. (Haden Guest)


  • Peter Lorre - Roderick Raskolnikov
  • Rochelle Hudson
  • George E. Stone
  • Charles Middleton
  • Robert Wilcox
  • Don Beddoe
  • Kenneth MacDonald
  • Robert Hardy Andrews
  • Benjamin H. Kline
Columbia Pictures
35 mm
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