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Sinners in Paradise


A seaplane departs for China. On board are a nurse escaping a loveless marriage to do work with refugees, a woman hoping to surprise her estranged son, a wealthy heiress trying to distance herself from labor troubles, an oily politician, a moll and a mobster fleeing the wrath of the gangs they've double-crossed, two rival munitions salesmen out to cash in on the misery of war, and a fresh-faced young steward. Caught in a course-altering storm, a crash-landing destroys the plane, kills the plane's officers, and tosses the surviving passengers into the sea. They are washed ashore on an isolated island inhabited solely by mysteriously reclusive Mr. Taylor and his servant, Ping.

Sinners in Paradise is a 1938 American film directed by James Whale. In 1966, the film entered the List of films in the public domain in the United States due to the claimants failure to renew its copyright registration in the 28th year after publication.<></>

Plot summary

A passenger aircraft crashes in mid-Pacific and some of the survivors reach an island inhabited only by an American, Jim Taylor, with his Chinese servant, Ping. He declines to help them, telling them to build their own shelter and gather their own food and, though he has a boat and fuel, using to take them off. The reason why he wants to remain undisturbed, we learn, is that he is wanted for murder. In time his attitude to the intruders softens as they, despite endless bickering, manage to form a working community and he finds himself increasingly drawn to an attractive young nurse, Anne Wesson, who is running away from her husband. When the boat is prepared for a trip to civilisation, two crooked businessmen from the party steal it with Ping on board. In a fight, he kills them both and, fatally wounded, brings the boat back. The rest can then escape.

Differences from original story


  • Madge Evans as Anne Wesson
  • John Boles (actor) as Jim Taylor
  • Bruce Cabot as Robert (The Torpedo) Malone
  • Marion Martin as Iris Compton
  • Gene Lockhart as Senator John P. Corey
  • Charlotte Wynters as Thelma Chase
  • Nana Bryant as Mrs. Franklin Sydney
  • Milburn Stone as T.L. Honeyman
  • Don 'Red' Barry as Jessup
  • Morgan Conway as Harrison Brand
  • Willie Fung as Ping


Category:1938 films
Category:American films
Category:1930s drama films
Category:English-language films
Category:Black-and-white films
Category:Films directed by James Whale
Category:Universal Pictures films

Ken Goldsmith

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