One of Joseph Conrad's easier stories to translate to the screen, OUTCAST OF THE ISLANDS offers Howard in a memorable role as a trading-post operator in the Far East who is suddenly dismissed from his post. He goes to his old friend Richardson, a salty sea captain, who takes Howard to
another trading post he operates with his partner Morley who, in turn, is married to Richardson's adopted daughter, Hiller. Once in the islands, Howard finds working with the pompous, overbearing Morley stifling and he is soon in conflict with his nominal boss, while Hiller finds the rebellious
Howard attractive. He alienates her by falling in love with a beautiful native girl, Kerima. Playing on this attachment, a local politician uses Howard to betray the trading post to competitors, but Howard is himself betrayed in the end and exposed. Howard and Kerima flee to another island where
Richardson later finds him thoroughly disillusioned and no longer in love with his native siren. Kerima tries to persuade Howard to kill Richardson, whom she feels is interfering with her love life, but Howard refuses. Richardson realizes that Howard has given up on life and is no longer
interested in having anything to do with civilization. He leaves Howard and Kerima alone, and the Englishman is forever known as the "outcast of the islands."
Howard is spellbinding as the rootless Englishman and superbly supported by those consummate actors Richardson and Morley, with some piquant scenes created by Hiller. Kerima is a sultry dark beauty who caused, in her love scenes with Howard, some anxious moments for the censors. The Breen Office
(then Hollywood censor) objected more to scenes showing naked native boys swimming than to the Kerima-Howard clinches. The film was originally released in England at 102 minutes but was cut to 93 minutes when released in the US.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: One of Joseph Conrad's easier stories to translate to the screen, OUTCAST OF THE ISLANDS offers Howard in a memorable role as a trading-post operator in the Far East who is suddenly dismissed from his post. He goes to his old friend Richardson, a salty sea… (more)