Island in the Sun

Island in the Sun, from 1957, stars Harry Belafonte, James Mason, Joan Fontaine, Dorothy Dandridge, Stephen Boyd, and Joan Collins.

The movie, filmed on Barbados and Grenada, is about race relations and interracial romance set on the fictitious island of Santa Marta.

Joan Fontaine portrays Mavis, and was born Joan de Havilland - her older sister is actress Olivia de Havilland.
They were the first sisters to win Oscars and the first ones to be Oscar-nominated in the same year.

Relations between Fontaine and her sister Olivia de Havilland were strained from early childhood. When Olivia was 9, she made a will in which she stated "I bequeath all my beauty to my younger sister Joan, since she has none".

Both became actors but of the two sisters, Olivia de Havilland was the first to become an actress. When her sister Joan tried to follow her lead, their mother, who allegedly favoured de Havilland, refused to let her use the family name.

Joan then used the pseudonym Joan Burfield, and later Joan Fontaine. The sisters’ relationship got worse when both were nominated for best actress Oscars.

Their mutual dislike and jealousy escalated into an all-out feud after Fontaine’s won for Hitchcock's Suspicion over her sister’s role in Gone With The Wind.

Despite the fact de Havilland went on to win two Academy Awards of her own, they remained permanently estranged - Olivia lives in Paris but Joan died in 2013.

James Mason, playing the nasty Maxwell Fleury, appeared in over 150 movies and TV shows. He had a distinctive voice and the ability to suggest deep emotion beneath a face of absolute calm. He is probably best known for his roles in North by Northwest and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Dorothy Jean Dandridge, playing Margot, was an American actress and popular singer, and was the first African-American to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress.

One of her first screen appearances in 1937, when she appeared as a singer in the Marx Brothers' film A Day at the Races. She was a talented singer and she was a headline act in some of the best hotel nightclubs in New York, Miami, Chicago and Las Vegas.

She could sing in those hotels but because she was black she couldn't stay in them, and it was reported that one hotel drained its swimming pool to keep her out.

In 1954, Dandridge appeared in the title role of the all-black production of Carmen Jones that earned her an Academy Award nomination.

Despite the Oscar nomination, Dandridge didn’t get another movie until 1958, when she appeared in an Italian film. Dandridge’s career faded quickly after that and she was found dead in her West Hollywood apartment in 1965, the victim of an accidental barbiturate poisoning.

She was only 42 when she died and there was $2.14 in her bank account.

Michael Rennie was an English film, television, and stage actor, who worked as a car salesman and factory manager before he turned to acting. He knew selling cars wasn’t for him when he went an entire year without selling a single car.

His first acting job was as a stand-in for Robert Young in the Hitchcock film Secret Agent in 1936. Probably his most famous role was Klaatu in the original 1951 science fiction classic, The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Harold George "Harry" Belafonte, Jr. is an American singer, songwriter, actor and social activist. He is perhaps best known for The Banana Boat Song, with his famous line “Day-O” and for his other hit Jump in the Line.

His album Calypso in 1956 was the first album to ever sell a million copies, and it started a craze for traditional Caribbean music in the US. Belafonte was also the first African American to win an Emmy, with his 1959 TV special.

His 1962 album, Midnight Special , featured the first-ever recorded appearance by a then-young harmonica player named Bob Dylan. Belafonte was extremely active in the civil rights struggle and helped provide for Martin Luther King Jr.'s family, since King made only $8,000 a year as a preacher.

He bailed King out of the Birmingham jail and helped finance the Freedom Rides, and helped to organize the March on Washington in 1963. Belafonte has been a longtime critic of US foreign policy and has opposed the U.S. embargo on Cuba; praised Soviet peace initiatives; attacked the U.S. invasion of Grenada; and praised Fidel Castro & Hugo Chavez.

In addition to his Emmy, he has won 2 Grammys and has 6 gold records and sings the title song.

Portraying Jocelyn is Joan Collins, who is the older sister of author Jackie Collins and is probably best known for her role on the TV soap Dynasty.

She’s been married five times and, in 1959, she caught the eye of actor Warren Beatty, who was four years younger.

Their affair lasted a year and a half, and she said of her younger lover, "I don't think I can last much longer. He never stops; it must be all those vitamins he takes." When someone asked if they really had sex seven times a day, she answered, "Maybe he did, but I just lay there."

In the 1990s, Collins was embroiled in a high-profile legal battle with the publisher Random House. She had signed a two-book deal for $4 million and they had given her a $1.2 million advance.

She turned in two novels to the publishing company but the publishing firm said they were so bad that they demanded the return of the advance.

Collins argued that her contract required her only to submit a "complete manuscript" not an "acceptable" one and she felt Random House owed her the rest of the $4 million.

When the case was finally heard, a court ruled that she could keep most of the money and she is in The Guinness Book of Records as getting the largest unreturned payment for a manuscript that was never published.

Island in the Sun has something for everyone: Calypso music, gorgeous scenery, beautiful women, designer clothes, cool old cars, murder, conch shell blowing and even turtle harvesting.