2 user 12 critic

Tropic of Desire (1979)

X | | Adult, Drama, War | 29 June 1979 (USA)
The infamous World War II cat house, The Pink Flamingo, is the setting where Frances, the warm-hearted madam, caters to the sex starved servicemen. Includes nostalgia, via the sets and ... See full summary »


Bob Chinn


Jeffrey Fairbanks (as Jeffrey Neal)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Georgina Spelvin ... Frances
Jesie St. James Jesie St. James ... Donna
Kitty Shayne Kitty Shayne ... Rita
Starr Wood Starr Wood ... Terri (as Star Hills)
Dorothy LeMay Dorothy LeMay ... June (as Dorothy Le May)
Mandy Ashley Mandy Ashley ... Gloria
Susan Nero Susan Nero ... Mona (as Susan Shields)
Jon Martin Jon Martin ... Jack
Ken Scudder Ken Scudder ... Gus (as Ken Cotton)
Blair Harris Blair Harris ... Phil (as David Blair)
James Price James Price ... Malcolm
Tim Wade Tim Wade ... Marine
Greg Anderson Greg Anderson ... Marine
Terrence Soo Terrence Soo ... Suiki
Marlene Munroe Marlene Munroe ... Actress in Stag Film (as Liz Torrez)


The infamous World War II cat house, The Pink Flamingo, is the setting where Frances, the warm-hearted madam, caters to the sex starved servicemen. Includes nostalgia, via the sets and period music, and a stag film within the film. Written by VCX

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The film that takes up where "From Here To Eternity" left off. See more »


Adult | Drama | War


X | See all certifications »






Release Date:

29 June 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Island of Dr. Steiger See more »

Filming Locations:

Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Caribbean Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (cut) | (alternate DVD)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The battleship set was made mostly out of cardboard painted battleship gray. See more »


Featured in The Best of Gail Palmer (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

Bob Chinn's best -quality romantic porn
10 January 2011 | by lor_See all my reviews

Bob Chinn has cited this as the best film he ever directed and I concur. Right from the classic opening scene spotlighting print model Kitty Shayne (in undoubtedly her best feature role), TROPIC OF DESIRE is a porn film that actually plays like a real movie.

To be more precise it reminded me of the best of live TV back from the 1950s when John Frankenheimer, Arthur Penn and Sidney Lumet were in their pre-movie prime. Like those old kinescope classics, DESIRE is claustrophobic, set in a whorehouse near Honolulu in 1945 near the end of WW II, but has the hot-house intensity of those studio-bound acting showcases. And the acting is of high-quality, starting from madam played by Georgina Spelvin to her girls including Jesie St. James and Susan Nero.

There is a sensitive "first timer" soldier sequence featuring Eric Stein, who gets the bonus of a second time around with newcomer to the house, played by Dorothy LeMay. Starr Wood is also impressive, and the male actors do a good job, if a bit sentimentalized (notably Ken Scudder, usually more macho than his "pining for Rita" role here).

Very well photographed, TROPIC OF DESIRE benefits from a nonstop soundtrack of fabulous 1940s era jazz tunes -the selection is among the best compilation I've ever heard in a porn film. They set the atmosphere and also contribute to the arousing sex scenes.

Kudos to Chinn and his oddly unsung classic, a gem amidst his hit-or-miss roster of so many Johnny Wadd programmers.

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