Outcast of the Islands

Outcast of the Islands is a 1951 film directed by Carol Reed based on Joseph Conrad's novel An Outcast of the Islands. The film features Robert Morley, Trevor Howard, Ralph Richardson, and Wendy Hiller.

Outcast of the Islands
original movie poster
Directed byCarol Reed
Produced byCarol Reed
Hugh Perceval
Alexander Korda (uncredited)[1]
Written byWilliam Fairchild
Based onAn Outcast of the Islands
1896 novel
by Joseph Conrad
StarringRobert Morley
Trevor Howard
Ralph Richardson
Wendy Hiller
Music byBrian Easdale
CinematographyEdward Scaife
John Wilcox
Edited byBert Bates
Distributed byBritish Lion Films
Lopert Pictures
Release date
15 November 1951
Running time
102 min
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office£149,335 (UK)[2]


Peter Willems (Trevor Howard), a selfish and ambitious man, is accused of stealing in his position as manager of a shipping port operation near Singapore. After he is dismissed for his misconduct he reacquaints himself with the trading ship Capt. Lingard (Ralph Richardson) who befriended him as a 12-year-old boy. Lingard agrees to help Willems regain his reputation by taking him to a trading village located up a difficult-to-navigate channel near the coast of Batam. Lingard's son-in-law, Elmer Almeyer (Robert Morley), operates a trading operation for Capt. Lingard in the village. Lingard asks Almeyer to take Willems under his wing and teach him the business. While Lingard is away on one of his sea trips, Willems abuses his trust, seduces the village chieftain's daughter Aissa (Kerima), attempts to steal Almeyer's business operation, humiliates Almeyer before the villagers, and shares the navigation secrets of the channel with an Arab trader who competes with Capt. Lingard. Lingard returns to discover the mess Willems has made and confronts Willems — who has now been condemned by the villagers because of the shame he brought to the frail and dying chieftain. He abandons Willems to live in isolation and exile.



Outcast of the Islands was filmed on location in Sri Lanka and at the Shepperton Studios in England.


Outcast of the Islands was nominated for best British film and best film from any source at the 1953 BAFTA awards.


  1. "Alexander Korda Film Credits". - B.F.I. Accessed 2016-01-10
  2. Vincent Porter, 'The Robert Clark Account', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol 20 No 4, 2000 p495
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