Isle of Missing Men (September 18, 1942)

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Isle of Missing Men
 

Released on September 18, 1942: A sultry blonde visits a South Pacific penal colony for a mysterious reason and mesmerizes all the men except one.

Directed by Richard Oswald

The Actors: John Howard (Merrill Hammond), Helen Gilbert (Diana Bryce), Gilbert Roland (Thomas 'Dan' Bentley, alias Curtis), Alan Mowbray (Doctor Henry Brown), Bradley Page (George Kent), George Chandler (ship's bar steward), Ernie Adams (Captain Sanchez of the Mariposa), Geraldine Gray (Sally, ship's passenger), Egon Brecher (Richard Heller), Kitty O'Neil (nurse Pauline), Kenne Duncan (Bob Henderson), Charles Williams (Jo-Jo), Dewey Robinson (prisoner Tony), Alex Havier (Sani the bungalo servant), James Conaty (prisoner), George Eldredge (ship's Captain), Gibson Gowland (old man), Frank Moran (prisoner)

 

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Sultry, Sexy and Irresistible

Some people get a job after finishing with their schooling and retire from that same job many years later. I have been fortunate to have had almost as many jobs as I have birthdays, not because I was such a poor worker that I couldn't hold a job, but rather because either I was fortunate enough to join a company just as they were going out of business, or my restless spirit would not permit me to sit still in any job once I had 'conquered' it - I felt the unrelenting urge to move on to the next challenge. From carnival worker to insurance salesman to steel mill grunt to restaurant manager and more, I always enjoyed taking on a new 'profession' and learning new skills. My love of learning always trumped my need for security and stability. Anyway, all that to say this: One day I was taking photographs of a young lady for a calendar, and as she was posing I would give instructions - 'tilt your head a bit to the left, now smile big with lots of teeth, now smile with no teeth showing, now tilt your head back just a bit, now give me a sultry look, now look straight into the camera lens,' and so on. After the shoot the fellow who wanted the pictures was talking to me and he asked if I noticed the girl when I asked her to look sultry - he said that she looked a touch puzzled, and he knew that she had no idea in the world what a 'sultry' look was. At the time I realized that a lot of young folk who hadn't been exposed to a wide expanse of this world lived with a much narrower vocabulary and library of memories than I had been blessed with. What exactly is a 'sultry' look? If I had been doing this movie web site at the time I could have shown her any of the pictures below that had actress Helen Gilbert in them - THAT is sultry. Helen Gilbert was born in Warren, Ohio, about a mile from where I live, in 1915 but didn't stay in Ohio long. She was an accomplished cellist playing at the Hollywood Bowl and with her spell-binding beauty and sultry piercing eyes she is totally irresistible. I cannot tell you how many men lost their wits when she was around and proposed to her, but she was married seven times in twelve years, and thank goodness I wasn't around back then or it might have been eight. One of her husbands was a burly bodyguard for a famous mobster who was killed less than a year later by . . . . no, not a mobster in a blazing gun fight . . . . he was killed by Lana Turner's daughter Cheryl . . . yup, no kidding. In this amazing story she is Diana Bryce, a mysterious gal who seems to have every man near her hypnotized and in total servitude to her wishes . . . except for one. She is aboard a ship in the South Pacific when the Governor of a penal island nearby pushes his way into her life and invites her to stay for a week with him, and she bends to his will and accepts. Whoa, did I say that she bent to his will? . . . heck, she wanted to visit that island from the git-go, and she wanted him to ask her to visit the island all along. It only appeared to be his idea . . . . what a woman! Why is she so intent on visiting this penal colony in the South Pacific? Why is she allowing the Governor of the island to fall for her? Why is she asking the island doctor to commit murder for her? Why is the island doctor in her spell and agreeing? What the heck are you waiting for? Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with lots of warm melted butter drizzled on it and enjoy the show!

Helen Gilbert enters the bar in Isle of Missing Men
Helen Gilbert enters the bar in Isle of Missing Men
John Howard is Merrill Hammond, Governor of the penal island in the Sough Pacific
John Howard is Merrill Hammond, Governor of the penal island in the Sough Pacific
Alan Mowbray and Helen Gilbert in Isle of Missing Men
Gilber Roland is prisoner Curtis
John Howard meets Helen Gilbert and asks her to spend a week on the penal island with him
John Howard meets Helen Gilbert and asks her to spend a week on the penal island with him
Cobina Wright Sr. as Regina
Alan Mowbray and Helen Gilbert in Isle of Missing Men
Alan Mowbray and Bradley Page
Alan Mowbray and Bradley Page
Alan Mowbray and Kitty O'Neil
Alan Mowbray and Kitty O'Neil
Alan Mowbray as Doctor Henry Brown
Alan Mowbray as Doctor Henry Brown
Bradley Page and Alan Mowbray
Bradley Page and Alan Mowbray
Bradley Page and John Howard
Bradley Page and John Howard
Bradley Page as George Kent, second in command
Bradley Page as George Kent, second in command
Egon Brecher as author Richard Heller
Egon Brecher as author Richard Heller
Ernie Adams as Captain of the Mariposa
Ernie Adams as Captain of the Mariposa
George Chandler, George Eldredge and John Howard aboard ship
George Chandler, George Eldredge and John Howard aboard ship
George Chandler and John Howard
George Chandler and John Howard
Gilbert Roland and Helen Gilbert
Gilbert Roland and Helen Gilbert
Gilbert Roland as Dan Bentley in Isle of Missing Men
Gilbert Roland as Dan Bentley in Isle of Missing Men
Helen Gilbert, Bradley Page and Alan Mowbray in Isle of Missing Men
Helen Gilbert, Bradley Page and Alan Mowbray in Isle of Missing Men
Helen Gilbert and Gilbert Roland kiss
Helen Gilbert and Gilbert Roland kiss
Helen Gilbert and Gilbert Roland discuss his escape
Helen Gilbert and Gilbert Roland discuss his escape
Helen Gilbert as the mysterious Diana Bryce
Helen Gilbert as the mysterious Diana Bryce
Helen Gilbert gets Alan Mowbray to kill her husband
Helen Gilbert gets Alan Mowbray to kill her husband
Helen Gilbert makes her appearance in the bungalow on the penal colony
Helen Gilbert makes her appearance in the bungalow on the penal colony
John Howard, Bradley Page and Helen Gilbert
John Howard, Bradley Page and Helen Gilbert
John Howard and Egon Brecher
John Howard and Egon Brecher
John Howard and George Eldredge
John Howard and George Eldredge
John Howard and Helen Gilbert arrive on the penal island in the South Pacific
John Howard and Helen Gilbert arrive on the penal island in the South Pacific
John Howard as Merrill Hammond, Governor of the penal colony on a South Pacific Island
John Howard as Merrill Hammond, Governor of the penal colony on a South Pacific Island
Kenne Duncan and Bradley Page
Kenne Duncan and Bradley Page
John Howard and Geraldine Gray in Isle of Missing Men
John Howard and Geraldine Gray in Isle of Missing Men