ON THE ISLE OF SAMOA. Columbia, 1950. Jon Hall, Susan Cabot, Raymond Greenleaf, Al Kikume. Directed by William A. Berke.

   Jon Hall made a career out of making movies (and television shows) taking place in jungles, deserts, and South Seas islands, and obviously this is one of them. Checking out his biography on IMDB, among other items of interest I learned that he was of Swiss/Tahitian descent, and that his mother was a Tahitian princess, and I believe that explains a lot.

   And which makes a movie like this one right up his alley, except that as a B-movie it rated a sub-B budget and (as the old saying goes) it probably escaped rather than being released. Hall is also a villain, which is hard to take, given that I remember him most as the star (and hero) of Ramar of the Jungle on TV, episodes of which I believe are available on DVD. I’ve hesitated in picking them up, however, as I’ve been disappointed before in watching what was wonderful when I was ten or twelve and might not be quite so wonderful today.

   As badly-tempered Kenneth Crandall in this short film, barely over 60 minutes long, he flees the successful burglary of a nightclub in Australia in a stolen plane, only to crash on an uncharted island during a hurricane (which was more likely a typhoon, if anyone had taken the time to check). The island is inhabited by beautiful women, strong men and one aged missionary (Raymond Greenleaf), who does his best to convince Crandall to renounce his evil ways. But even with the beautifully vacuous Moana (Susan Clarke) as a love interest, Crandall stays remarkably thuggish and unpersuaded.


   The only suspense in this film is how long he will resist. To avoid giving away the ending, let me suggest to you that he may never see the error of his ways, and he dies before his heart (and mind) ever softens at all.