Escape – Misfortune’s Isle

Escape’s “Misfortune’s Isle” was adapted from the short story of the same name by Richard Matthews Hallet, which can be found in the November 9, 1929 issue of the Saturday Evening Post. This episode borders on self-parody, but if you read Hallet’s story first, you’ll know why. “Misfortune’s Isle” is a confusing episode based on a short story that probably wasn’t a good choice. The original story has no humor or romance but Escape threw some in.

The episode opens in Manila in the 1790’s, as Captain Arad sails into port. He learns that a band of pirates attacked the city the night before, and though they got away, his first mate knows who they were. Captain Arad talks to the Spanish captain-general, Don Narciso, into letting them go after the pirates hiding on Misfortune’s Isle. The King has offered a large reward to anyone who can rid the islands of pirates, but Arad only wants to get to the island to take advantage of the natural resources, like antimony and edible bird’s nests (for bird’s nest soup).

They set sail and run into a typhoon. Then, Captain Arad finds that Don Narciso’s wife has stowed away.

When Captain Arad and his crew reach the Misfortune’s Isle they find the pirates’ stockade, but also discover that their ship is stuck in the mud, their cannons don’t work, their gun powder is wet, and help is two days away. On the beach, a tribe of Dyaks waits to attack them using poison from the sacred but deadly upas tree.

Can they escape Misfortunes’ Isle?

“Misfortune’s Isle” was adapted by Les Crutchfield and produced/directed by William N. Robson. Paul Frees played Captain Arad, Virginia Gregg played Dona Delfina, William Conrad played Jean Paul, Berry Kroeger played Don Narciso, and Tony Barrett as Mike O’Cane. This episode aired on March 21, 1948.