. 1943

Director: Edgar E. Ulmer

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

In Isle of Forgotten Sins(aka Monsoon, 1943) John Carradine is Mike, Frank Fenton is Jack, hard-helmet divers & tough adventurers, sailin' & fightin' 'round the world.

Isle of Forgotten SinsGale Sondergaard is Mike's girl Marge, who runs a bordello, though the film pretends it's only a gambling joint called The Isle of Forgotten Sins with small rooms upstairs for all the girls.

Carradine rarely gets to be such a leading man figure, & even here he's a criminally minded sort, but nevertheless the film's protagonist & a solid antihero. Mike & Jack constantly do each other dirt, but at base are great partners.

They figure out that a pianist named Johnny Pacific (Rick Vallin) & his sugardaddy Krogan (Sidney Toler) were the presumed-lost purser & captain of a scuttled ship that carried three million in gold. Soon they have stolen the treasure map, & are off to recover the gold before the crooked purser & captain can get it.

Meanwhile, one of Marge's least trustworthy girls, Luana (Veda Ann Borg), murders a trick & runs off with his wallet. The rest of the girls have to get off the tropic island of Pango fast, so hop on Mike & Jack's boat. Luana worms her way on board though nobody trusts her, & she'll get more scoundrelly as the story progresses.

Turns out the purser & captain set our two guys up & the thin plot will thicken when the thieves who rob the thieves are robbed by the original thieves who . . . Then our bad boys finally defeat the badder boys & with their girlfriends get the gold.

Except that a monsoon comes & they lose the gold, but at least Mike & Marge are still tight so it's as happy an ending as endearing crooks can expect & there's always another exploit or pipedream awaiting in the future.

A fine character array makes it a bit of fun, & the amorality of hero & heroine a bit unexpected of vintage Hollywood. But the treasure tale is common & silly & doesn't add up to much. The wonderfully phony hardhat diving sequences & the monsoon climax seem to be the real point of the film, some nice visuals stitched together with a minimalist pulp adventure.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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