GenreComedy, Romance ScreenplayF. Hugh Herbert LanguageEnglish
F. Hugh Herbert WriterF. Hugh Herbert, William Maier Release dateApril 1, 1953 (1953-04-01) DirectorsF. Hugh Herbert, Alvin Ganzer CastDon Taylor (Lt. Jimmy Gilmartin), Leo Genn (Roger Halyard), Gene Barry (Capt. Beaton), Elsa Lanchester (Thelma), Dorothy Bromiley (Gloria Halyard), Audrey Dalton (Hester Halyard) Similar moviesIt Happens Every Thursday (1953), Penrod and Sam (1931), Mister Scoutmaster (1953), The Proud and Profane (1956), If I Had a Million (1932)
The Girls of Pleasure Island is a 1953 Technicolor comedy film directed by Alvin Ganzer and F. Hugh Herbert. The screenplay by F. Hugh Herbert is based on the novel by former Marine William Maier. The original music score is composed by Lyn Murray.
In 1945, Roger Halyard is a stiff-upper-lipped British gentleman who lives on a South Pacific island with his three nubile, naive daughters, Violet, Hester and Gloria. Hoping to shelter the girls from the lascivious advances of the opposite sex, Halyard is thwarted when 1,500 Marines arrive to transform the island into an aircraft landing base. Despite the best efforts of Halyard, his housekeeper Thelma, and Marine Colonel Reade, romance blossoms between the three girls and a trio of handsome leathernecks.
Based on a 1949 novel Pleasure Island that was the working title, Paramount acquired the property in 1951 from Columbia Pictures who did not produce it.
At times, Robert Donat and William Holden were considered for the film.
For the three English daughters, Paramount interviewed 900 aspiring actresses, with nine given screen tests at Pinewood Studios. Joan Elan, Audrey Dalton and Dorothy Bromiley, each of them then attending a different drama school, were chosen.
The three were contracted by Paramount and were given massive publicity including a cover story in LIFE magazine and made tours to promote the film, including "GI Premieres" to troops fighting the Korean War.
The film was made on Paramount's backlot in 1952. During the filming director F. Hugh Herbert became ill and was replaced by assistant director Alvin Ganzer.
Included in the cast playing marines were Earl Holliman, Ross Bagdasarian, Sr., Benny Bartlett. Buck Young and Johnny Downs.