Haunted Island
Directed byRobert F. Hill
Written byFrank R. Adams
StarringJack Dougherty
Helen Foster
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • March 26, 1928 (1928-03-26)
CountryUnited States
English intertitles

Haunted Island is a 1928 American silent action film serial directed by Robert F. Hill. The serial was released in 10 chapters of two reels each,[1] with the first episode ("A Night of Fear") released on March 26, 1928.[2] Each episode featured a lurid title, such as "The Phantom Rider," "The Haunted Room," "The Fires of Fury," or "Buried Alive."[3] The serial was a remake of the 1918 Universal serial The Brass Bullet, which was based on the story "Pleasure Island."[2] As of October 2009, Haunted Island is considered a lost film.[4] A trailer survives in the Library of Congress collection.[5]


Rosalind Joy (Helen Foster) is an heiress who has inherited a South Seas island known as Pleasure Island. A hidden cache of gold is allegedly buried on the island, which has several haunted structures. Rosalind's uncle, Spring Gilbert (Al Ferguson), wants the gold for himself and declares he will stop at nothing, not even the death of his niece, to get it. Rosalind, meanwhile, is befriended by Jerry Fitzjames (Jack Dougherty), a playwright. Unfortunately, Jerry has only recently escaped from a psychiatric hospital. Although he swears to protect Rosalind, she doubts Jerry's sanity. The two lovers race against Uncle Gilbert (who has set several traps for them) to find the treasure. In the end, Rosalind and Jerry are aided by the "Phantom Rider," a spectral horseman.[6]

Casting and marketing

Dougherty had been signed by Universal in 1924 and quickly became of the leading men in the studio's serials.[7] However, this film was Dougherty's last for Universal.[8]

To market the film, Universal Studios printed a unique "one-sheet"—a 27 inch by 41 inch (68.6 cm by 119.4 cm), five-color poster in the form of an old pirate map illustrated with scenes from each chapter of the serial.[9]


See also


  1. ^ Rainey, Buck. Sweethearts of the Sage: Biographies and Filmographies of 258 Actresses Appearing in Western Movies. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1992. ISBN 0-89950-565-1
  2. ^ a b Lahue, Kalton C. Continued Next Week: A History of the Moving Picture Serial. Stillwater, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press, 1964; Langman, Larry. Return to Paradise: A Guide to South Sea Island Films. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 1998. ISBN 0-8108-3268-2
  3. ^ Braff, Richard E. The Universal Silents: A Filmography of the Universal Motion Picture Manufacturing Company, 1912-1929. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1999. ISBN 0-7864-0287-3
  4. ^ "The Lost Serial Collection DVD Set." The Serial Squadron. No date. Archived April 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine Accessed October 15, 2009.
  5. ^ Catalog of Holdings The American Film Institute Collection and The United Artists Collection at The Library of Congress (<-book title) [trailer only] p.76 c.1978 American Film Institute
  6. ^ For additional plot information, see: Rainey, Buck. Serials and Series: A World Filmography, 1912-1956. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1999. ISBN 0-7864-0449-3
  7. ^ Rainey, Buck. The Strong, Silent Type: Over 100 Screen Cowboys, 1903-1930. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2004. ISBN 0-7864-1286-0
  8. ^ Rainey, Buck. Serial Film Stars: A Biographical Dictionary, 1912-1956. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2005. ISBN 0-7864-2010-3
  9. ^ Lahue, Kalton C. Bound and Gagged: The Story of the Silent Serials. South Brunswick, N.J.: A.S. Barnes, 1968.