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Mr. Robinson Crusoe (1932)

Passed | | Action, Adventure, Comedy | 19 August 1932 (USA)
After making a bet, Steve strands himself on uninhabited island.


A. Edward Sutherland (as Edward Sutherland)


Douglas Fairbanks (story) (as Elton Thomas), Thomas J. Geraghty (adaptation) (as Tom Geraghty)

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Complete credited cast:
Douglas Fairbanks ... Steve Drexel
William Farnum ... William Belmont
Earle Browne Earle Browne ... Prof. Carmichale
Maria Alba ... Saturday


Yachtsman Steve Drexel bets his friends that he can swim ashore on a remote south-seas island with nothing but a toothbrush and be 'living the life of Riley' when they return. With handmade implements the lighthearted, athletic Steve improbably builds a comfortable home with all amenities...and local fauna trained to help him! Meanwhile, a grass-skirted young lady flees an unwelcome wedding on a nearby island. Steve calls her Saturday, but what is he to do with her? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


DOUG. FAIRBANKS in a Modern Comedy-Romance That Seethes With Laughs and Action!


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

19 August 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tropical Knight See more »

Filming Locations:

Fiji See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Elton Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (DVD) | (Ontario)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »


Featured in Great Adaptations: 50 Movie Mega Pack (2016) See more »


A Year from Today
Written by Dave Dreyer, Al Jolson and Ballard MacDonald
See more »

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User Reviews

Doug Is At It Again
4 May 2003 | by Ron OliverSee all my reviews

A wealthy American bets his buddies he can act like MR. ROBINSON CRUSOE and stay quite happily all alone for several months on a deserted South Seas Island.

The Silent Era's greatest adventure star, Douglas Fairbanks, makes a brief return to his glory days in this lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek film which has become unfortunately obscure. With an original story by Elton Thomas (Doug's pseudonym) this was one of only four talkie films which would star Fairbanks; he also acted as producer. Released in some venues as a silent film - which explains the long sections without direct dialogue - the movie would give Doug one last bite at that particular apple.

Ever the affable good fellow, 49-year-old Doug is still agile as a cat and his innocent flirtation with lovely Maria Alba, his 22-year-old Spanish co-star , isn't too mawkish even though he's easily old enough to be her father. Miss Alba's first scene, however, quickly reminds the viewer of the movie's pre-Code standing.

Location filming in Fiji, Samoa & Tahiti are certainly big benefits to the story. Doug made sure the plot gave him the sort of scenes he loved to play: fanciful (all the wonderful contrivances & contraptions which make his tree house more comfortable) and exciting (Fairbanks gets to match wits against an entire tribe of headhunters).

Although sometimes rather intrusive, Alfred Newman's score is still richly evocative of the South Seas. He would later rework some of the melodies for even greater effect in THE HURRICANE (1937).

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