Saturday Island (1952) | When Tab Hunter met The Virgin Mary and a Mysteron at Guantánamo Bay

Saturday Island (1952)A South-Seas Shangri-La of romance and adventure beyond your wildest dreams!
OK! So if I was ever stranded on a tropical island, I could think of no one better than having Tab Hunter’s 20-year-old marine corporal as my companion.

His Michael ‘Chicken’ Dugan is a natural survivalist. He can make tools, fish, build a weatherproof hut, knows which fruits are edible or not, and can even turn calico into weaveable fabric.

Too bad Linda Darnell’s educated and older nurse Elizabeth Smythe can’t see just how wonderful this youngster is – or how sexy (Tab’s tanned and shirtless throughout).

And it’s this internal drama that drives this colourful adventure set during World War Two, in which the couple make their way to a deserted island on a raft after the sinking of a US military hospital ship.

This was Tab’s first big-screen role, and he exudes such wholesome boyish innocence that you can’t help but feel for his character when Donald Gray’s clipped British pilot Bill Peck crashes his plane on the island and is brought back to health (minus an arm) by an infatuated Darnell.

Saturday Island (1952)

The taglines for the film – which was released in the US with the racier title, Island of Desire – promised: ‘Excitement — Throbbing love under a tropic moon — then the typhoon hits with sudden savagery!’ Well, not quite, but it does make for a great love story-cum-adventure – made more so by the gorgeous scenery (including Ocho Rios in Jamaica, where Dr No was filmed, and Guantanamo Bay US Naval base, when it was still a major transportation facility) and by the novelty of seeing Donald Gray in the flesh. Genre fans will, of course, remember him as the voice of Captain Black, Colonel White and the Mysterons in TV’s Captain Scarlet. Darnell, meanwhile, was a big Hollywood studio star best known for classic fare like 1950’s No Way Out and 1947’s Forever Amber, but I will always associate her with playing the Virgin Mary in 1943’s The Story of Bernadette.

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Network’s new DVD release of Saturday Island includes a brand-new transfer from the original colour film elements, in it’s as-exhibited theatrical 1.37:1 aspect ratio.

Special features

• Original theatrical trailer
• Image gallery
• Press release PDF

Saturday Island is released on DVD in the UK from Network Distributing

 

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About Peter Fuller

Peter Fuller is an award-winning print, radio and television journalist and producer, with over 30 years experience covering film and television, with a special interest in world cinema and popular culture. He is a leading expert on the life and career of Vincent Price and actively promotes the actor's legacy through publications, websites and special events.

Posted on December 2, 2015, in British Film, Classic, Might-See and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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