In the South Pacific islands, two brothers, one good and one bad, fight over the same girl and over a bag of pearls.


Richard Thorpe


Harry Brown (screen play), Ben Ames Williams (novel)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Taylor ... Joel Shore
Stewart Granger ... Mark Shore
Ann Blyth ... Priscilla Holt
Betta St. John ... Native Girl
Keenan Wynn ... Silva
James Whitmore ... Fetcher
Kurt Kasznar ... Quint
Lewis Stone ... Capt. Holt
Robert Burton ... Asa Worthen
Peter Whitney ... James Finch
John Lupton ... Dick Morrell
Jonathan Cott ... Carter
Mitchell Lewis ... Cook
James Bell ... Aaron Burnham
Leo Gordon ... Peter How


Sea-faring saga of two brothers (Robert Taylor, Stewart Granger) and the woman they both love. Set against South Pacific islands, this love triangle pits the good brother against the bad as they squabble over Ann Blyth and a bag of pearls on the floor of a lagoon; the bad boy redeems himself, however, by helping fend off a mutiny. Written by Ed Lorusso

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


MGM's Great Technicolor Romance!


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Elizabeth Taylor was initially cast as Priscilla, but was forty pounds overweight, as a result of her recent pregnancy, and so was replaced by Ann Blyth. See more »


Women aboard ship were considered bad luck all through the sailing ship days. The superstition even extended part way into the modern era. Crews were known to resist sailing on ship that was to have a woman aboard. See more »


Remake of Across to Singapore (1928) See more »

User Reviews

The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful.
7 July 2020 | by brogmillerSee all my reviews

Based upon the novel by Ben Ames Williams who died the year it was released this is produced by crowd pleaser Pandro S. Berman and directed by Richard 'one-take' Thorpe. MGM stalwart Robert Taylor is lumbered with the part of the good brother whilst Stewart Granger has by far the most interesting role as his villainous sibling. Ann Blyth, replacing Elizabeth Taylor, is the meat in the sandwich. This proved to the last film alas of veteran Lewis Stone. Ravishing Betta St. John plays her customary 'exotic' role. Keenan Wynn and James Whitmore were to enjoy long careers and teamed up that year to steal the show as Lippy and Slug with their priceless rendition of 'Brush up your Shakespeare'. George Folsey was again Oscar-nominated for his superlative cinematography but again missed out and the score by Miklos Rosza is suitably stirring. The whale hunt is well done although obviously filmed in a studio tank and the final fisticuff-fest well choreographed. Despite its cast and production values it is alas rather plodding and fails to excite. Granger's description of it as a 'crappy melodrama' seems unduly harsh but he was notoriously dismissive of most of his films. This prickly actor parted company with MGM four years later while the more 'accommodating' Robert Taylor continued his thirty-year long association.

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Release Date:

13 November 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die schwarze Perle See more »

Filming Locations:

Oracabessa, Jamaica See more »


Box Office


$1,816,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (original)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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