A typically thin Sonja Henie outing, Iceland is not the best of the skating star's vehicles, but it will serve her fans very well. Clearly, in a Henie movie, the skating is the main attraction, and here Iceland is tops. While modern skaters perform feats that are more dazzling, Heni's skill as a skater is every bit as impressive as today's best. What makes Henie a pleasure to watch, however, isn't just her skill; it's her charm and personality when she's on the ice. Curiously, that same charm and personality don't translate as easily to her dramatic and comedic scenes; she's fine, but when she speaks, she simply loses some of her unique, winning quality. Iceland therefore keeps the skating front and center at every opportunity, and supplements that with the 'swinging, swaying" music of then-popular band leader Sammy Kaye. The tunes are good, the playing is diverting; but when the script takes over, the film falls into dullness. John Payne is on hand for romantic complications, fine but not as engaging as one might wish. Jack Oakie provides comic relief, and Felix Bressart and Sterling Holloway turn in fine character bits. Throw in some beautiful costumes and the result is an uneven but ultimately pleasant film.
by Craig Butler review