Some island paradise in the South Seas: Being pestered by pirates (who
unbeknowest to him have a submersible yacht at their disposal) a few times
too often, young skipper Kelly (Tommy Farrell) sends for his friend Drake
(Buster Crabbe) for help, a war hero who has vowed to never return to the
South Seas, but then again he cannot resist helping a friend.
Interestingly, before he knows it, he has quite a few passengers to
accompany him to the island paradise, including the island's gouvernor
Whitlock (Gene Roth), Kelly's sister Carol (Lois Hall), and Castell
(Tristram Coffin), an OSS agent on the lookout for war criminal von
Hausendorf, who seems to have hidden a Japanese treasure on the island
during World War II. Drake soon regrets having accepted passengers when a
murder occurs, and a cigarette case that seems to hold a secret goes
Once on the island, Drake, Kelly, Carol and Castell all put
their heads together to find out what's going on - while it's revealed to
the audience that the baddie of the piece is actually gouvernor Whitlock
himself who's in cahoots with the pirates. On the island, the Lotus Lady
(Symona Boniface), a mysterious trader, seems to be pulling all the
strings (and will eventually turn out to be one of the good guys), and she
sees to it that Drake and company manage to retrieve the cigarette case,
which contains a clue that leads them to an island swarming with
superstitious savages who like to kill on sight and who worship a music
box playing "Three Blind Mice" - which actually contains the
next clue to the treasure.
Somehow, Drake and friends manage to steal
the music box from the natives, and from then on it changes hands at
regular intervals, with not only Drake, the pirates and Whitlock being
after it but also a hooded figure who eventually turns out to be
Hausendorf who eventually is revealed to be none other than Castell.
course, after much to and fro, Drake and company find the treasure, the
baddies all kill one another or are killed in a cave-in, and Carol reveals
herself to be the actual OSS agent Castell claimed to be.
the 1950's, the movie serial as such was on the decline, and this one
readily shows why: Its based on a sloppily written script with a few too
many plotholes, all the whodunnit elements are too easy to guess and then
revealed way too soon, the tightness of the budget shines through a bit
too often, and the cliffhangers are rather on the unimaginative side, as
are their resolutions. And while Buster Crabbe at least gives a competent
performance, most of the other actors are less than special. Add to this a
directorial effort that's hardly above production line level, and you've
got yourself ... a rather boring piece of work, actually.