Synopsis by Mark Deming
Political intrigue and romantic gamesmanship send an already torrid Caribbean community to the boiling point in this drama. Maxwell Fleury (James Mason) and David Boyeur (Harry Belafonte) are two men running for political office in a British-controlled island in the West Indies. Maxwell is the son of a wealthy and socially prominent white family, while David is a black labor leader with a groundswell of popular support but little money. A scandal erupts in the press alleging that Maxwell is of mixed racial ancestry, but Maxwell is actually pleased about the news, thinking that it may endear him to black voters. Maxwell is not pleased, however, when he hears that his wife Sylvia (Patricia Owens) has been having an affair with the urbane but rootless Carson (Michael Rennie), taking the matter seriously enough to murder Carson himself. Maxwell's younger sister Jocelyn (Joan Collins) is also in hot water, romantically speaking; she has set her sights on Eun Templeton (Stephen Boyd), the son of the Island's governor, and she hopes to snare him into marriage by allowing him to get her pregnant. Elsewhere on the island, David is secretly having an affair with a white woman, Mavis Norman (Joan Fontaine), while David's former girlfriend, Margot Seaton (Dorothy Dandridge), has become involved with a white man, Denis Archer (John Justin). Based on the novel by Alex Waugh, Island in the Sun also features songs from Harry Belafonte, including "Lead Man Holler" and the title tune.
election, extramarital-affair, murder, race-relations