Outcast of the Islands
original movie poster
Directed byCarol Reed
Screenplay byWilliam Fairchild
Based onAn Outcast of the Islands
1896 novel
by Joseph Conrad
Produced byCarol Reed[1]
StarringTrevor Howard
Ralph Richardson
Robert Morley
Wendy Hiller
CinematographyEdward Scaife
John Wilcox
Edited byBert Bates
Music byBrian Easdale
Color processBlack and white
Distributed byBritish Lion Films Corporation
Release date
  • 18 January 1952 (1952-01-18) (London)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office£149,335 (UK)[2]

Outcast of the Islands is a 1951 British adventure drama film directed by Carol Reed based on Joseph Conrad's 1896 novel An Outcast of the Islands. The film features Trevor Howard, Ralph Richardson, Robert Morley and Wendy Hiller.


Peter Willems (Trevor Howard), a selfish and ambitious man, is accused of stealing in his position as manager of a shipping port operation near Singapore. After he is dismissed for his misconduct he reacquaints himself with the trading ship Capt. Lingard (Ralph Richardson) who befriended him as a 12-year-old boy. Lingard agrees to help Willems regain his reputation by taking him to a trading village located up a difficult-to-navigate channel near the coast of Batam. Lingard's son-in-law, Elmer Almayer (Robert Morley), operates a trading operation for Capt. Lingard in the village. Lingard asks Almayer to take Willems under his wing and teach him the business. While Lingard is away on one of his sea trips, Willems abuses his trust, seduces the village chieftain's daughter Aissa (Kerima), attempts to steal Almayer's business operation, humiliates Almayer before the villagers, and shares the navigation secrets of the channel with an Arab trader who competes with Capt. Lingard. Lingard returns to discover the mess Willems has made and confronts Willems – who has now been condemned by the villagers because of the shame he brought to the frail and dying chieftain. He abandons Willems to live in isolation and exile.



In the wake of the success of The Blue Lagoon, Alexander Korda was able to get funding for a film version of Outcast. Outcast of the Islands was filmed on location in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and at Shepperton Studios in England.


Outcast of the Islands was nominated for best British film and best film from any source at the 1953 BAFTA awards.

Home media

Outcast of the Islands was released on home video by Kino Lorber on April 28, 2020 as a Region 1 Blu-Ray.


  1. ^ "Alexander Korda Film Credits". - B.F.I. Retrieved 2016-01-10
  2. ^ Vincent Porter, 'The Robert Clark Account', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol 20 No 4, 2000 p495