Island of Lost Souls
Island of Lost Souls (1933)

This first film version of H.G. Wells' Island of Dr. Moreau stars Charles Laughton as Moreau, a dedicated but sadly-misguided scientist who rules the roost on a remote island. Shipwrecked sailor Richard Arlen finds himself on… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: September 1, 1993
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Critic Score: 95% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Michael Sragow
New Yorker

A tight, gruesome shocker, featuring Karl Struss's spooky cinematography and Charles Laughton's creepy portrayal of the mad vivisector Dr. Moreau ...

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

It's a grand, hokey chiller, dripping with sex and sadism and photographed in dense, Sternbergian shadows by the great cinematographer Karl Struss.

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Matthew Sorrento
Film International

The film precedes the articulated mind and language of Boris Karloff's creature in Bride of Frankenstein; the beasts' killing of their mad creator also anticipates the monster's destruction of Dr. Pretorius.

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TIME Magazine

Laughton, as he managed to do in Devil and the Deep and The Sign of the Cross, gives the role of the villain a peculiarly horrifying quality by humanizing it far beyond the demands of the script.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

Not a great success at the time, probably because its horror is more intellectual than graphic, this adaptation of HG Wells' The Island of Dr Moreau is nevertheless a remarkably powerful film.

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Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy

What pushes it over the edge into the realm of actual genius... is Laughton's absurdly good performance as Moreau, one of the great pieces of horror movie acting.

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Variety Staff

While the action is not designed to appeal to other than the credulous, there are undoubtedly some horror sequences which are unrivaled.

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Mordaunt Hall
New York Times

Although the attempt to horrify is not accomplished with any marked degree of subtlety, there is no denying that some of the scenes are ingenously fashioned and are, therefore, interesting.

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R. L. Shaffer

An eerie, atmospheric pre-code horror tale, adapted from H.G. Wells classic book, The Island of Dr. Moreau.

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More reviews for Island of Lost Souls

Flixster Audience Score: 82% Flixster User Reviews
Pierluigi Puccini
The first and most fortunate adaptation of H.G. Wells' literary work. Released in the same year of Tod Browning's cult film "Freaks", also… More
Ken Stachnik
Hands down the best adaptation of the Island of Dr. Moreau. Now that's not saying a lot as the other adaptations are REALLY weak, but seeing Laughton and… More
Stella Dallas
love laughton and he is dead creepy here but the bad makeup effects really put me off. the movie was banned for years for it's suggestion of bestiality… More
Tim Salmons
Island of Lost Souls, being based on the H.G. Wells novel The Island of Dr. Moreau, is a masterpiece of the genre. Charles Laughton is absolutely flawless as… More
Jacob Ethington
In the world of 1930s films, the pre-code era is looked upon as one of the greatest times for filmmaking. Hollywood hadn't cracked down on immoral thins… More
AJ Verser
This is the best movie about dr. moreau and the island of lost souls. If you're interested in mad scientist and haunted islands you should see this movie.