Prisoner of Japan


1h 4m 1942

Film Details

Also Known As
Island of Forgotten Sin
Release Date
Jul 22, 1942
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Atlantis Pictures Corp.; Producers Releasing Corp.
Distribution Company
Producers Releasing Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 4m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,980ft (7 reels)

Synopsis

On the South Pacific island of Nukuloa, American naval officers Lieutenant Morgan and Ensign Bailey, are treated during shore leave to the hospitality of Loti Bowman, a Japanese-American woman who serves them food and plays guitar for them. During their visit, a radio call comes in for David Bowman, who is introduced as the hostess' American husband. Although David receives coded information over the radio suggesting that he is running a busy trading post, actually, he is being held prisoner on the island by the sadistic Japanese spy Matsuru. Later, while David shows Morgan his telescope, Mrs. Bowman, who is employed by Matsuru, manages to coax Bailey into telling her about his unit's secret mission. The mission, Bailey tells her, is to comb the island to search for directional shortwave transmitters that have been sending undetectable signals to the Japanese about the exact location of American ships in the region. Bailey immediately realizes his error in having told Mrs. Bowden this secret, but feels secure with her promise to keep the information secret. Some time later, Toni Chase, an American civilian living on the island, pays a visit to David in the hope that he will help her get off the island, and is perplexed by his casual reaction to news of an imminent threat to an American fleet off the island's coast. She soon realizes the reason for his bizarre behavior when she tries to place a warning call to the Americans and Matsuru prevents her from doing so by shooting the transmitter. Bailey's ship is destroyed in a Japanese bomber attack, and soon after he washes ashore as the sole survivor, Matsuru orders his execution. That night, Maui, a young Japanese boy who gave David directions on how to escape the island, is found murdered. Back at the Bowman house, Toni becomes hysterical when she discovers the extent of Matsuru's operation, and Matsuru silences her by striking her. When Matsuru confesses that he killed the young boy, David pounces on him and, with the help of Loti, who has changed her loyalties, overpowers Matsuru and holds him at gunpoint. While David enters the secret communications center under the house and shoots the radio operators, Matsuru orders one of his guards to execute Loti. David tries unsuccessfully to get a radio response from the American ship convoy and realizes that they must think he is setting a trap for them. In a race against time, David and Toni realize that in order to warn the fleet before the Japanese bombers learn the convoy's location, they must sacrifice their lives and order the American ships to bomb the communications center. Time is crucial, as Matsuru and his radiomen are trying to drill their way into the room. Right after David professes his love for Toni, a bomb lands on the compound and they are killed.

Film Details

Also Known As
Island of Forgotten Sin
Release Date
Jul 22, 1942
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Atlantis Pictures Corp.; Producers Releasing Corp.
Distribution Company
Producers Releasing Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 4m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,980ft (7 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Working titles for this film were Isle of Forgotten Sins and Island of Forgotten Sins. Isle of Forgotten Sins was used by Producers Releasing Corp. as the release title for a 1943 film that was also written by Edgar G. Ulmer. Screenplay writer Robert Chapin's name is misspelled in the onscreen credits as "Chapman." The Variety review credits Lee Kahler with the musical score, but this conflicts with the onscreen credits, which list Leon Erdody in that capacity. The extent of Kahler's contribution to the final film has not been determined. In a 1974 interview, Ulmer stated that he was hired to replace the original writer, Emil Ludwig, who wrote an unusable draft of the script. Ulmer further stated that he collaborated on the screenplay with his wife Shirley and writer Peretz Hirshbein, and that he directed the last two days of the picture's six-day shoot.