The Isle of Intrigue 1919
THE ISLE OF INTRIGUE was filmed, in part, on Santa Cruz Island in 1919.
Moving Picture World, 1919:
Francis Ford Producing Co.
The Isle of Intrigue. Six parts.
“May Allison in THE ISLAND OF INTRIGUE. Five Part Drama; Metro. Directed by Henry Otto. Published April 7.
OPINION: Some two or three years ago Metro published "The River of Romance" with May Allison and Harold Lockwood as the featured players. It was a great factor in the later success of both stars. The present play is strongly reminiscent of it in style through in no sense a re-hash. There is a certain mystery surrounding the action most of the way that upholds suspense to the point where the plot becomes clear, after which the incidents are sufficiently interesting in themselves. May Allison is at all times the center of the play, no other player scoring individually, but the cast is uniform and satisfying. Exceptionally striking photoplay of beautiful but never artificial background is a point in the production's favor. It is clean, more or less thrilling, and of popular appeal. A fine example of program quality.
SYNOPSIS: Maida Waring, daughter of a millionaire, goes on a yachting trip with a woman whom she believes an old friend of the family. The woman and her family are really a band of kidnappers who take her to a lonely island and hold her for ransom. Upon the island she meets Gilbert Spear, a disinterested young man who is camping there. For a time she is in ignorance of the deception, but the gang despairs of collecting the ransom and tries to force her to write her father an imploring letter. She refuses and escapes to Spear's camp, only to find Spear has been bound by the gang and left as helpless. They get to the yacht and try to get away, but the gang pursues in a motor boat and takes them prisoner again. At this point her father appears in a revenue cutter, the gang is captured and Maida is free to accept Spear's devotion, which promises to end in the usual way."
In the News~
January 19, 1919 [LAT]: “Sweet May Allison is so sarcastic! A mix-up in traveling bags gave May Allison an uncomfortable two days at Catalina, whither the winsome Metro star went on location for her new picture, The Island of Intrigue. Miss Allison left the studios in Hollywood quite hurriedly to board the yacht Par, chartered by Metro for a cruise to Catalina and Santa Cruz, and it was because of her hurry that she left her valise behind. Arrived at Catalina Miss Allison noticed her loss and wirelessed the studios. By mistake another yellow bag, standing alongside the star’s in the front office at the studios was shipped to her. It was a coincidence that this bag too, bore the initials ‘M. A.’ After the wrong bag had reached her, Miss Allison wirelessed again. She ended her radiogram with these words: ‘I take after my mother, and my father too had a smooth face.’ Her valise was located and sent to her post haste. It wasn’t until later that Studio manager Thompson understood May’s cryptic radio. Her own fellow bag had been filled with pink silk what-you-may-call-ums, with lace and baby ribbon; while in the other valise were, among other things, a stick of soap, a shaving brush and a safety razor.”
February 4, 1919 [CI/Avalon]: “The Metro company which is filming The Island of Intrigue, from the novel by Isabel Ostrander, and which has been busy for several weeks about Catalina and San Pedro, left Friday afternoon on the cruiser Par, Captain George N. Cornell, for Santa Cruz Island, to secure some exterior scenes. The company is under the direction of Henry Otto. Miss May Allison, the leading lady, had been quite fearful of sea sickness, but it is reported that her fears have all vanished, and that on some of the recent sailing trips about Catalina every land-lubber on board was sick except Miss Allison. We understand that she left ‘Pelican Bill’ in Avalon. An exciting incident occurred Wednesday. While boarding the Par, Miss Allison’s maid fell overboard. Being unable to swim she was rescued by the prompt action of Mr. J. Kennedy, who had been taking the part of a butler. The cameramen were on shore and so did not ‘catch’ the unexpected ‘action’.
February 12, 1919 [LAT]: “Shipwreck of the yacht after being blown about the Santa Barbara Channel for two days and nights, and having to accept shelter in a cabin where four cases of flu and one of tuberculosis had lain for days without care, were some of the experience of May Allison, Metro star, and her company, who have just returned from the Santa Cruz Islands, whither the picture players went to obtain scenes for her current picture, The Isle of Intrigue…”
February 14, 1919 [SBMP]: “Tossed about by the rough sea for three days and finally being compelled to ground the yacht in a narrow harbor of Santa Cruz Island, was the unromantic end to a cruise participated in by Miss May Allison, moving picture star; her leading man, Jack Mower, formerly leading man for Margarita Fischer at the American Film Company here, Henry Otto, director, and ten other members of the party. Miss Allison and others of the troupe made the trip from Santa Cruz Island to Santa Barbara in a fishing smack, deeming it unwise to further explore the vast Pacific in the steam yacht originally chartered at San Pedro. This was left at the island for repairs…”