The Sunday Intertitle: Worthy Son
A positively willowy Eugene Pallette in TERROR ISLAND. Although those piggy, slitty eyes suggest a fat man trying to burgeon out of his narrow frame. But look at those long, ivory-tickling fingers! I always picture Pallette with short fat hands, but checking visual references, it seems that as the years and pounds piled on, his fingers, though expanding slightly, retained most of their lithe sensitivity, so that it is possible to envision the hulking thesp conducting a chubby orchestra or performing miracles with origami hippos.
His appearance in this incomplete Houdini romp makes him probably the classiest co-star H.H. ever had, though Pallette’s rep hadn’t reached the heights it would later attain. Still, he had appeared in the Huguenot episode of INTOLERANCE, throwing himself about with surprising agility.
In TERROR ISLAND, bad guy Pallette obstructs Houdini’s exit, and the irked escapologist hoists his opponent into the air and lays him supine on a desktop, an action even the greatest daredevil alive would probably not have contemplated a few years later.