Sunday, October 7, 2012

Joyce in Ellis Island (1936)

Here's how I described Ellis Island at my weblog,
Another cruddy 1930s b-movie which would have otherwise gone past my radar, had Joyce Compton not co-starred. This had something to do with gangsters and a dopey pair of Ellis Island employees who uncover their dirty deeds, but it didn’t hold my interest whenever Joyce (tiny role as the nurse girlfriend of one of the dopes) wasn’t on screen – which wasn’t too often!

The dull, often incomprehensible Ellis Island found Joyce working at yet another poverty row studio (Invincible Pictures), playing yet another thankless part as the goofy sidekick's girlfriend. She doesn't appear in too many scenes (and looks rather distracted when she does). Probably the best thing about this incompetently made trifle is that it's very short - 67 minutes. Even at that brief length, this plodding flick still seems like it's about an hour too long!

Like many of Joyce's other films, Ellis Island has slipped into the public domain and is commonly available to watch online (such as at although the print leaves something to be desired. The version that I saw was a standalone DVD offered by Alpha Home Video which contains one of the worst-quality transfers I've ever seen on a disc. Not only was the picture blurry, it had VHS-era video artifacts at the bottom of the frame throughout the entire film. Buy Ellis Island here.