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Islands in the Stream
IMDB Rating: 6.6/10 from PG votes
Release: 02 Aug 1977 /

Islands in the Stream

Genre: Drama
Director: Franklin J. Schaffner,
Stars:
Synopsis: An isolated sculptor is visited by his three sons just before the start of WWII.

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Critic Reviews


"Islands in the Stream" takes place on an island in the Caribbean just before World War II. George C. Scott plays a sculptor, Thomas Hudson, who married twice, has three sons, and chooses to work in isolated island exile. Claire Bloom plays his estranged wife. The film has an episodic structure, probably because the screenwriter, Denne Bart Petitclerc based his script on a series of short stories by Ernest Hemingway that appeared in a women's magazine under the title "Island (singular) in the Stream." Had Hemingway lived, he would have combined this and additional material to publish the collection as a novel. Petitclerc does a good job of translating the work to the screen.

The episodes could stand alone, yet each is sufficiently connected both in character and time consecutively to create a coherent, full-length film. The first, "The Boys," has the greatest strength. We see the arrival of Hudson's sons and how each brings out a different quality in the relation of parent and child. Scott handles this, and the whole film, with a natural, understated, and thoughtful strength. His admirers should make an effort to see this wonderful performance in this lesser-known production. In the middle episode, Claire Bloom as the second wife complements Scott beautifully in a dialog minuet which unfolds the decline of their marriage.

The film also features excellent performances by David Hemmings and Michael-James Wixted as the sensitive middle son. A check of the IMDb reveals that he never made another movie, and that's a loss.

While the action takes place on a British possession in the West Indies, the producers chose to do the actual filming in Hawaii. The score by Jerry Goldsmith and cinematography by Fred Koenekamp work well. Koenekamp received an Oscar nomination for his work here; he'd previously won it for his work on Patton, also with director Franklin Schaffner and Scott. I recommend seeing this film in widescreen format for Koenekamp's compositions.

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