Condemned 1929

In South America at the French penal colony of Devil's Island, convict Michel Oban is picked out by the governor to act as his house servant. When Michel falls in love with the governor's wife, he finds himself in solitary confinement. She is to be packed off home, but Michel plans a daring escape.

Producer Samuel Goldwyn, Director Wesley Ruggles and Star Ronald Colman have, in "Condemned," accomplished the impossible.

This smart and able trio has taken the sordid story of a thief condemned to the French penal colony called Devil's Island and made a romantic and beautiful story out of it one crammed with action and aglitter with romance.

Think of it a glowing picture whose hero is a crook, its heroine a spiritually unfaithful wife and its locale a vicious, cruel prison camp between a jungle and a deep blue sea! The story fascinates the eye, captures the heart, lacerates the emotions certainly a triumph, if there ever was one.

Colman does a splendid job as the romantic thief, and the blonde beauty of Ann Harding, plus her rich contralto, suffice for the part of the warden's lonely wife. The film's unbilled star is Dudley Digges, from the stage, as warden. And how the able Louis Wolheim helps in a convict role!

Director Ruggles, capturing the atmosphere of the island of the lost, has concocted some tremendous thrills. You'll tingle at the pursuit through the jungle, with Colman and Wolheim floundering ahead of the guards.

This is a grand picture a conquering of almost insuperable difficulties. And it is all high-lighted by the sophisticated, soothing voice and manner of that most appealing feller, Ronald Colman. All Talkie.

Photoplay January 1930

Books with substantial mentioning of Condemned
Books with an entry on Condemned
Larry Langman and Daniel Finn
A Guide to American Crime Films of the Thirties
Westport, Connecticut - London, 1995

United States 1929

Directed by

Dudley Digges
Wilhelm von Brincken
Chris-Pin Martin


Running time:86 minutes
Country:United States

Imdb link