Lost Isles

This is an absolutely engaging read! Part of the #CriterionBlogathon HUGE event… Grand Old Movies writes a witty, enlightening & critical piece that had me laughing and cringing all the way through!

Grand Old Movies


H.G. Wells famously disliked Paramount’s 1932 adaptation of his 1896 novel The Island of Dr. Moreau (which Paramount execs re-titled, more colorfully, Island of Lost Souls). Wells thought the film slighted, or just plain ignored, the philosophical issues he raised in a work he described as “an exercise in youthful blasphemy.” In his tale of the madly vivisecting Doctor tucked away on an unknown island, where he gives free reign to what he calls his interest in the “plasticity of living forms,” Wells examined notions of colonialism, race, slavery, unchecked science, rampant individualism, human identity, the ethical treatment of animals, and (where much of the blasphemy enters) humanity’s relationship with a distant, cruel, and capricious god. The novel is ironic, cynical, pessimistic; compulsively readable while yet appalling in the cool, clinical tone Wells uses to depict its horrors. In spite of the sensational subject matter, it’s not exactly Hollywood…

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