Island of Lost Women

Tagged: Film

Film (1959). Jaguar Productions/Warner Brothers. Produced by George C Bertholon, Albert J Cohen and Alan Ladd. Directed by Frank Tuttle (credited as Frank W Tuttle). Written by Ray Buffum from a story by Prescott Chaplin. Cast includes June Blair, Diane Jergens, Alan Napier, Jeff Richards, John Smith and Venetia Stevenson. 71 minutes. Black and white.

En route to an international news conference in Melbourne, Victoria, commentator Mark Bradley (Richards) and pilot/friend Joe Walker (Smith) are forced down by engine trouble on a uncharted Pacific Island. There they find Dr Alan Lujan (Napier), who reluctantly introduces them to his three attractive daughters Venus (Stevenson), Mercuria (Blair) and Urania (Jergens). Lujan has relocated them here to avoid the nuclear World War Three he thinks inevitable. His Power Source is a solar-powered furnace. To protect the privacy of his refuge, Lujan decides the visitors must not leave, and destroys their aeroplane. Predictably, the two oldest daughters fall in love with the men and secretly help them build a large raft to escape. But an accident causes the solar "reactor" to run implausibly wild, destroying much of the island and attracting the attention of a search plane. Lujan resignedly returns with the others to civilization.

A borderline sf production, Island of Lost Women has minor plot similarities to Forbidden Planet (1956). Despite the exploitative title and advertising campaign, it is innocent even for the 1950s. Actor Napier found genre fame late in life as Alfred Pennyworth, butler/assistant to Bruce Wayne in Batman (1966-1968). [GFi]

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