Outcast of the Islands

Film

Action and adventure

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5
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Time Out says

With all its faults, still one of the cinema's sharpest stabs at Conrad. Chief problem is the script, which tends to turn the whole thing towards picaresque tropical adventure by introducing character after character without ever quite pinning down the moral conflicts illuminated by their interaction. The recurring Conrad theme (clash between noble and ignoble) was probably doomed anyway, since Richardson gives a bizarrely stilted performance as Lingard, thereby depriving Willems (superbly played by Howard) of the sounding-board that measures his descent into moral degradation. A pity, since individual scenes have a power rare in Reed's work, and the last shot - of Aissa, the sultry beauty who both destroys and is destroyed by Willems, squatting balefully in the rain and seeming to melt back into the earth - perfectly encapsulates Conrad's ambivalent view of the man who is hopelessly wrong in all his actions yet represents a bold gesture towards life.
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Release details

UK release:

1951

Duration:

102 mins

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Average User Rating

5 / 5

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Martin Ingrouille

A neglected film, with superb passages and an outstanding performance from Trevor Howard. It recalls Black Narcissus in its telling of the the attraction of otherness and the esacpe from the banality and sterility of western culture. Its sexy and has brilliant location shooting. The river sequences and parts of the theme have clearly influenced Coppola's Apocalypse Now. One sequence has Robert Morley sewed up in a hammock swinging beneath the trees through a fire as Trevor Howard jabs at him with long handled knife as the natives jeer - extraordinary. Howard plays the quintessential Conradian hero - a complex flawed personality sucked into a moral maelstrom - he is counterpointed by the too-good Richardson whose naivety and wishful thinking are ultimately to blame.

Martin Ingrouille

A neglected film, with superb passages and an outstanding performance from Trevor Howard. It recalls Black Narcissus in its telling of the the attraction of otherness and the esacpe from the banality and sterility of western culture. Its sexy and has brilliant location shooting. The river sequences and parts of the theme have clearly influenced Coppola's Apocalypse Now. One sequence has Robert Morley sewed up in a hammock swinging beneath the trees through a fire as Trevor Howard jabs at him with long handled knife as the natives jeer - extraordinary. Howard plays the quintessential Conradian hero - a complex flawed personality sucked into a moral maelstrom - he is counterpointed by the too-good Richardson whose naivety and wishful thinking are ultimately to blame.