Erle C. Kenton

Island of Lost Souls

Island of Lost Souls

A twisted treasure from Hollywood’s pre-Code horror heyday, Island of Lost Souls is a cautionary tale of science run amok, adapted from H. G. Wells’s novel The Island of Dr. Moreau. In one of his first major movie roles, Charles Laughton is a mad doctor conducting ghastly genetic experiments on a remote island in the South Seas, much to the fear and disgust of the shipwrecked man (Richard Arlen) who finds himself trapped there. This touchstone of movie terror, directed by Erle C. Kenton, features expressionistic photography by Karl Struss, groundbreaking makeup effects that have inspired generations of monster-movie artists, and the legendary Bela Lugosi in one of his most gruesome roles.

Film Info

  • Erle C. Kenton
  • United States
  • 1932
  • 70 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • English
  • Spine #586

Special Features

  • New digital restoration of the uncut theatrical version, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary featuring film historian Gregory Mank
  • New conversation between filmmaker John Landis, Oscar-winning makeup artist Rick Baker, and genre expert Bob Burns
  • New interviews with horror film historian David J. Skal; filmmaker Richard Stanley, the original director of the ill-fated 1996 adaptation; and Gerald Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh of the band Devo
  • Short 1976 film by Devo, featuring the songs "Secret Agent Man" and "Jocko Homo"
  • Stills gallery
  • Theatrical trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by writer Christine Smallwood

New cover by Aesthetic Apparatus

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New digital restoration of the uncut theatrical version, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary featuring film historian Gregory Mank
  • New conversation between filmmaker John Landis, Oscar-winning makeup artist Rick Baker, and genre expert Bob Burns
  • New interviews with horror film historian David J. Skal; filmmaker Richard Stanley, the original director of the ill-fated 1996 adaptation; and Gerald Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh of the band Devo
  • Short 1976 film by Devo, featuring the songs "Secret Agent Man" and "Jocko Homo"
  • Stills gallery
  • Theatrical trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by writer Christine Smallwood

New cover by Aesthetic Apparatus

Island of Lost Souls
Cast
Charles Laughton
Dr. Moreau
Richard Arlen
Edward Parker
Leila Hyams
Ruth Thomas
Bela Lugosi
Sayer of the Law
Kathleen Burke
Lota, the Panther Woman
Arthur Hohl
Montgomery
Stanley Fields
Captain Davies
Paul Hurst
Captain Donahue
Hans Steinke
Ouran
Tetsu Komai
M'ling
George Irving
Consul
Bob Kortman
First Mate Hogan
Harry Ekezian
Gola
Buster Brodie
Pig man
Rosemary Grimes
Samoan girl
Charles Gemora
Gorilla
Jack Bardette
Beast-men
Joe Bonomo
Jules Cowles
John George
Julius Graubart
Otto Lederer
Robert Milasch
Constantine Romanoff
Duke York
Credits
Director
Erle C. Kenton
Associate producer
E. Lloyd Sheldon
Adaptation
Philip Wylie
Based on The Island of Dr. Moreau by
H. G. Wells
Screenplay
Waldemar Young
Cinematographer
Karl Struss
Makeup
Wally Westmore
Art director
Hans Dreier
Special photographic effects
Gordon Jennings
Sound
M. M. Poggi
Sound
Loren L. Ryder
Assistant director
Russell Matthews
Assistant cameramen
Paul Cable
Assistant cameramen
Cliff Shirpser
Assistant cameramen
Fleet Southcott
Camera operators
George T. Clemens
Camera operators
Otto Pierce
Music
Arthur Johnston
Music
Sigmund Krumgold

From The Current

Three Reasons: Island of Lost Souls
Island of Lost Souls: The Beast Flesh Creeping Back
Island of Lost Souls: The Beast Flesh Creeping Back

An Erle C. Kenton–directed Paramount feature based on the 1896 H. G. Wells novel The Island of Dr. Moreau, Island of Lost Souls (1932) is the story of a mad scientist’s attempts to convert wild animals into human beings by way of vicious medical …

By Christine Smallwood

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Hans Dreier

Art Director

One of the most prolific film artists in Hollywood history, the German-born art director Hans Dreier worked on more than five hundred films from 1919 to 1951, amassing twenty-three Academy Award nominations and three Oscars. A student of engineering and architecture, Dreier began his career as an architect for the German government before being hired to design sets for UFA, the home of the German film industry, during the silent era. Like many of his moviemaking countrymen, Dreier eventually moved to Los Angeles, bringing with him all the expressionist tools of his trade—dramatically exaggerated spaces and chiaroscuro—and working closely with cinematographers like Victor Milner and such directors as Josef von Sternberg and Ernst Lubitsch to create vivid visual experiences. Dreier’s astonishingly vast and varied body of work extends from the intense, romantic shadows of early von Sternberg to the psychological grit of Anthony Mann’s American West, with many lighthearted pit stops in between, from Lubitsch's Ruritanian comic-musical landscapes to Preston Sturges’ just-off-center, whacked-out Americana.