Smuggler's Island

Smuggler's Island is a 1951 American Technicolor film noir adventure film directed by Edward Ludwig starring Jeff Chandler and Evelyn Keyes

Smuggler's Island
Directed byEdward Ludwig
Produced byTed Richmond
Written byLeonard Lee
Based onstory and adaptation by Herbert Magolis
Louis Morheim
StarringJeff Chandler
Evelyn Keyes
CinematographyMaury Gertsman
Edited byTed J. Kent
Universal Pictures
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • May 18, 1951 (1951-05-18) (Los Angeles)
  • May 23, 1951 (1951-05-23) (New York City)
Running time
75 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1,050,000 (US rentals)[1]

Chandler called the film one of his favourites because "I played myself".[2] Around this time Chandler typically played characters of varying nationalities from different historical periods; this was a rare opportunity for him to play a contemporary American.

"This is the most conscious effort made so far to sell the Chandler personality per se," he said.[3] "Just plain Jeff Chandler - a nondescript American down on his luck.[4]

Filming started in June 1950.[5]


Steve Kent's boat is repossessed in Macao, leaving him without a way to make his living as a deep sea diver. At a casino, he is introduced to wealthy and beautiful Vivian Craig, who at first seems interest in Steve romantically, then lets him know that what she needs more is his diving expertise.

Agreeing to search for medical supplies lost in a plane crash, Steve goes underwater and locates them. Vivian goes along, and when one of the crates breaks open, Steve sees it actually contains a shipment of stolen gold.

At first he intends to turn over Vivian to the authorities, but his attraction to her keeps Steve from doing so. Allan Craig, her husband, then turns up, after the gold. He offers his wife and Steve a three-way split to retrieve the bullion, but after double-crossing them, Allan gets his comeuppance when the boat explodes.



The original cast announced for the film was Märta Torén, Dick Powell and Robert Douglas.[6]

Evelyn Keyes had just signed a contract with Universal to make nine films over seven years of which this was the first.[7]


  1. 'The Top Box Office Hits of 1951', Variety, January 2, 1952
  2. "Jeff Chandler". The Australian Women's Weekly. National Library of Australia. 21 July 1954. p. 35. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
  3. Jeff Chandler Finally Gets to 'Act His Age': Rising Young (31) Screens Player Considers Himself 'a Lucky Kid' SCHEUER, PHLIP K. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 29 Oct 1950: D3.
  4. JEFF CHANDLER MAN OF MANY FACES: He Can Play Any Kind of Character Role, and Is a Glamor Guy, Too Hedda Hopper Writes of Jeff Chandler Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) [Chicago, Ill] 06 May 1951: c8
  5. U-I Recaptures Philip Substitute in Debate Friend; Judy Garland Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 20 June 1950: A7.
  6. "U-I Recaptures Philip Substitute in Debate Friend; Judy Garland" Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 20 June 1950: A7.
  7. "Evelyn Keyes Signs for 9 Pictures in 7 Years: Looking at Hollywood" Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) [Chicago, Ill] 06 June 1950: a6.
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