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Outcast of the Islands (1951) DVD

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Outcast of the Islands (1951)


Carol Reed


Joseph Conrad (novel), William Fairchild


Ralph Richardson, Trevor Howard, Robert Morley
Partially filmed on location in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Outcast of the Islands is a reasonably faithful adaptation of Joseph Conrad's novel. Trevor Howard plays a degenerate British expatriate who wanders aimlessly around a Malayan island. Most of the film involves the search for Howard by those on whom he's turned his back. None of the characters is particularly likable; even Howard loses audience sympathy for his plight by betraying one of his closest friends (Ralph Richardson), a ship's captain who'd raised Howard from boyhood. The unrelenting pessimism of Outcast of the Islands was such that the American distributors felt the need to ease the characters' pain by editing the picture down from 102 minutes to 94.

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  1. Brave attempt to capture the essence of a Joseph Conrad novel 4 Star Review

    Posted by on Jun 4th 2015

    Carol Reed's film version of OUTCAST OF THE ISLANDS captures the lethargic atmosphere of its setting and possessive egotism of Joseph Conrad's anti-hero protagonist very effectively. Cinematography by John Wilcox and Edward Scaife feature optimal clarity and definition. Sound recording, screenplay and sets are splendidly realized. But Brian Easdale's music is leading and overexaggerated. Ralph Richardson's overly permissive Captain Lingard, Wendy Hiller's repressed Mrs. Almayer, Wilfrid Hyde-White's arrogantly snide Vinck, and Kerima's voluptuous, amoral Aissa are acting standouts, offsetting Robert Morley's hammy Almayer. As Willems, inveterate opportunist and egotistical manipulator, Trevor Howard is thoroughly detestable. One of the better Conrad film adaptations to date.

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