Island of Desire (1917)

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This picture was Fox's attempt to cash in on an Hawaiian craze that swept the U.S. in the mid-teens. It opens up on the Isles, with Bruce Chalmers (George Walsh), who is a newspaper editor there. He takes over an assignment from a colleague, who was become ill, and travels to the South Seas. There, on a small island, he finds a mariner and his daughter (Margaret Gibson), who are collecting precious pearls. A pair of schemers -- a Chinese man (William Buress) and an Australian (Herschel Mayall) -are also very interested in the pearls, and urge Chalmers to help them in their plot to nab them. Since Chalmers falls in love with the girl, he is not very helpful. Fist fights ensue, a volcano erupts, an island sinks into the ocean and Chalmers heads back home with the girl and the pearls. But none of this explains why George Walsh was obliged to wear his hair unfashionably long for this film, especially in an era during which men were uniformly clean-cut.