Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Friday, September 19, 2008


SINNERS IN PARADISE (1938). Director: James Whale.

A motley group of individuals take off for China in a sea plane and wind up crash landing near an island deserted but for Dr. Jim Taylor (John Boles) and his manservant (Willie Fung). The passengers include a nurse, Anne (Madge Evans); an heiress, Iris (Marion Martin); a mobster, Robert (Bruce Cabot), who's running from hit men; a blithering senator (Gene Lockhart); and others. The doctor has a secret and refuses to let the stranded passengers use his boat to get to the mainland; he eventually relents but there's only room on the boat for six people and the bickering turns into fighting and murder. Alas, the movie is not as good as it sounds; with all that's going on it's still a colossal bore. Some of the performances aren't bad, however. Other cast members include Milburn Stone, Morgan Conway, and Don "Red" Barry.

Verdict: One of James Whale's least interesting pictures. **.

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