AustLit logo
image of person or book cover 4766528024581549670.jpg
Source: Australian National Maritime Museum
form y separately published work icon Mystery Island single work   film/TV   mystery   thriller   crime  
Issue Details: First known date: 1937... 1937 Mystery Island
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

A mystery thriller adapted from a story by Captain T. D. Bairnsfather, of Station 2KY, concerning ten people shipwrecked on an island in the South Pacific, one of whom is a murderer, and another a detective. The ship's captain is the only one amongst them who knows this person's identity but he has lost his memory.

The critical reception for the film was less than positive, with one review indicating that while 'the story presents good dramatic possibilities… the opportunity seems to have passed by. Suspense is lacking, and neither the action nor the players themselves do very much to provide it' (Sydney Morning Herald 8 March 1937, p.4).

Notes

  • One of the film's more critically received features was the theme song, 'Mystery Isle' (written by Australian jazz pioneer Frank Couglan). It was sung in the film by Brian Abbott and Jean Laidley and drew much praise. The Sydney Morning Herald critic also records that 'Miss Laidley has a good speaking voice and sings her one song to excellent effect, reaching a standard which would put to shame many American or English film crooners' (p.4).
  • Tragically, two of the cast members, Brian Abbott and Desmond Hay (aka Desmond Hay-Simpson), were drowned at sea when they attempted to sail back to Sydney. The film also suffered a further setback when around 2,000 feet of film was lost in rough seas. These scenes then had to be re-shot later.
  • The photograph of cast and crew (above) was taken on board the SS Morinda as it sailed from Walsh Bay, Sydney to Lord Howe Island (Australian Maritime Museum at www.flikr.com).
  • Further reference:

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

First known date: 1937

Works about this Work

The Three Mysteries Nicole Cama , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Signals Quarterly , September - November no. 104 2013; (p. 30-37)
'Mystery Island' 1937 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 8 March no. 30944 1937; (p. 4)

— Review of Mystery Island Harry Lauder II , 1937 single work film/TV
'Mystery Island' 1937 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 8 March no. 30944 1937; (p. 4)

— Review of Mystery Island Harry Lauder II , 1937 single work film/TV
The Three Mysteries Nicole Cama , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Signals Quarterly , September - November no. 104 2013; (p. 30-37)
Last amended 30 Jan 2014 10:51:56
Settings:
  • South Pacific, Pacific Region,
Newspapers:
    Powered by Trove
    X