Miss Robin Crusoe

Last updated
Miss Robin Crusoe
Miss Robin Crusoe.jpg
Directed by Eugene Frenke
Screenplay byRichard Yriondo
Harold Nebenzal
Story by Al Zimbalist
(orig. story idea)
Based on Robinson Crusoe
1719 novel
by Daniel Defoe [1]
Produced byEugene Frenke
StarringAmanda Blake
George Nader
Rosalind Hayes
Narrated by Amanda Blake
Cinematography Virgil Miller
Edited by Merrill G. White
Thomas Pratt
Music by Elmer Bernstein
Eastern Film Enterprises [1]
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
November 1, 1953 [1]
Running time
74-75 minutes [1]
CountryUnited States

Miss Robin Crusoe is a low-budget 1953 American adventure film produced and directed by Eugene Frenke and starring Amanda Blake, George Nader and Rosalind Hayes. One of many film variations of Daniel Defoe's 1719 novel Robinson Crusoe , it features a female castaway.



On September 28, 1659, a ship founders. The captain's daughter and cabin boy named Robin Crusoe and a sailor named Sykes reach a deserted island. When Sykes tries to force Robin to show her appreciation for his efforts, she flees up a hill. In the ensuing struggle, he falls over a cliff and is killed.

She soon settles in, building herself a tree house. She explores the rest of the island.

One day, a group of savages shows up with two women captives. She watches from hiding as they execute one in gruesome fashion. She then rescues the other, and the two fight off the men with the aid of her flintlock. She names her new companion Friday, as that was the day of her rescue. The two women become friends. Robin teaches Friday some words.

In December, Royal Navy officer Jonathan washes ashore after a storm sinks his ship. Robin's experiences with lecherous sailors and her cruel father have embittered her against men, and she is hostile and suspicious at first. When Jonathan learns that she is repairing a longboat that can hold only two, he suggests that the "fittest" take it and send help back for Friday. Robin, however, insists she and Friday will use the boat. Eventually, Robin overcomes her prejudice against him, and they spend the night together.

The next morning, she awakens to find he has stolen the longboat and is sailing away. When he returns, she assumes he is a coward, and sets out to kill him. He informs her that he turned back for her. Before she can shoot him, however, the savages return and capture Friday. Robin and Jonathan rescue her, but are surrounded. When all seems lost, Robin admits she wants to marry Jonathan. Just then, a warship appears and bombards the attackers, enabling the trio to steal an outrigger canoe and reach the safety of the ship.



Miss Robin Crusoe had the working title "Miss Robinson Crusoe". When producer Eugene Franke attempted to register that title with the Motion Picture Registration Bureau, there were objections raised by Óscar Danciger, who had recently completed a film called Robinson Crusoe in Mexico, and M-G-M, which was planning a film to be called "Robinson Crusoe" starring Spencer Tracy. The MPRB decided in September 1953 that Franke could use either "Miss Robin Crusoe" or "Miss Robinson Crusoe". Danciger re-titled his film Adventures of Robinson Crusoe . [1]

The director originally slated to helm the film was E. A. Dupont. [1]

Production of the film which was shot in Pathécolor ended October 14, 1952 at Samuel Goldwyn Studios. [1] Location shooting took place in Palos Verdes, California, in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. [2]

Although Miss Robin Crusoe was a low-budget film, its score is by the noted film composer Elmer Bernstein, who, like many others in Hollywood during the witch hunt for Communists by the House Un-American Activities Committee, found it hard to get work. Bernstein had not been blacklisted, but had been what he referred to as "graylisted", saying "I wasn't one of the big wheels of the Communist Party or anything, but I'd done enough left-wing things that between about 1953 and 1955, the major studios would have been very loath to employ me." Bernstein was forced to take work that he would not have previously accepted, such as this film, as well as others such as Robot Monster and Cat-Women of the Moon . [3]

Critical response

The film was not well received. Critic Win Fanning wrote in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette : "As it is quite impossible to believe that a number of grown men and women could seriously go about the making of a movie called Miss Robin Crusoe, it must be assumed some sort of joke is intended. It isn't a very good joke, but it has its moments of hilarity." [2]

Related Research Articles

<i>Robinson Crusoe</i> 1719 novel by Daniel Defoe

Robinson Crusoe is a novel by Daniel Defoe, first published on 25 April 1719. The first edition credited the work's protagonist Robinson Crusoe as its author, leading many readers to believe he was a real person and the book a travelogue of true incidents.

<i>Scarlet Street</i> 1945 film by Fritz Lang

Scarlet Street is a 1945 American film noir directed by Fritz Lang. The screenplay concerns two criminals who take advantage of a middle-aged painter in order to steal his artwork. The film is based on the French novel La Chienne by Georges de La Fouchardière, which had been previously dramatized on stage by André Mouëzy-Éon, and cinematically as La Chienne (1931) by director Jean Renoir.

Hattie Jacques English comedy actress of stage, radio and screen

Hattie Jacques was an English comedy actress of stage, radio and screen. She is best known as a regular of the Carry On films, where she typically played strict, no-nonsense characters, but was also a prolific television and radio performer.

Rosalind Russell American actress (1907–1976)

Catherine Rosalind Russell was an American actress, comedienne, screenwriter, and singer, known for her role as fast-talking newspaper reporter Hildy Johnson in the Howard Hawks screwball comedy His Girl Friday (1940), opposite Cary Grant, as well as for her portrayals of Mame Dennis in Auntie Mame (1958) and Rose in Gypsy (1962). A noted comedienne, she won all five Golden Globes for which she was nominated. Russell won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical in 1953 for her portrayal of Ruth in the Broadway show Wonderful Town. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress four times during her career.

Friday (<i>Robinson Crusoe</i>) Fictional character from the 1719 novel

Friday is one of the main characters of Daniel Defoe's 1719 novel Robinson Crusoe. Robinson Crusoe names the man Friday, with whom he cannot at first communicate, because they first meet on that day. The character is the source of the expression "Man Friday", used to describe a male personal assistant or servant, especially one who is particularly competent or loyal. Current usage also includes "Girl Friday".

<i>Robot Monster</i> 1953 American science-fiction movie

Robot Monster is a 1953 independently made American black-and-white 3D science fiction film, remembered in later decades as one of the worst movies ever made. It was produced and directed by Phil Tucker, written by Wyott Ordung, and stars George Nader, Claudia Barrett, and George Barrows. The production company was Three Dimensional Pictures, Inc. The film was distributed by Astor Pictures.

<i>Robinson Crusoe on Mars</i> 1964 American sci-fi film

Robinson Crusoe on Mars is a 1964 American science fiction film directed by Byron Haskin and produced by Aubrey Schenck that stars Paul Mantee, Victor Lundin, and Adam West. It is a science fiction retelling of the classic 1719 novel Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. The film was distributed by Paramount Pictures and filmed in Technicolor and Techniscope.

<i>Robinson Crusoe</i> (1997 film) 1997 American film

Robinson Crusoe is a 1997 American adventure survival drama film directed by Rod Hardy and George T. Miller, and starring Pierce Brosnan in the titular role, based on Daniel Defoe's 1719 novel Robinson Crusoe.

Robinson Crusoé

Robinson Crusoé is an opéra comique with music by Jacques Offenbach and words by Eugène Cormon and Hector-Jonathan Crémieux. It premiered in Paris on 23 November 1867.

<i>To Kill a Mockingbird</i> (film) 1962 film by Robert Mulligan

To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 American drama film directed by Robert Mulligan. The screenplay by Horton Foote is based on Harper Lee's 1960 Pulitzer Prize–winning novel of the same name. The film stars Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch and Mary Badham as Scout. It marked the film debut of Robert Duvall, William Windom and Alice Ghostley.

George Nader American actor and writer

George Garfield Nader, Jr. was an American actor and writer. He appeared in a variety of films from 1950 to 1974, including Sins of Jezebel (1953), Congo Crossing (1956), and The Female Animal (1958). During this period, he also did episodic television and starred in several series, including NBC's The Man and the Challenge (1959–60). In the 1960s he made several films in Germany, playing FBI agent Jerry Cotton. He is remembered for his first starring role, in the low-budget 3-D sci-fi film Robot Monster (1953), known as "one of the worst films ever made".

<i>7 Women</i> 1966 film directed by John Ford

7 Women, also known as Seven Women, is a 1966 Panavision drama film directed by John Ford and starring Anne Bancroft, Sue Lyon, Margaret Leighton, Flora Robson, Mildred Dunnock, Betty Field, and Anna Lee, with Eddie Albert, Mike Mazurki, and Woody Strode. Made by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, it was produced by Bernard Smith and John Ford, from a screenplay by Janet Green and John McCormick, based on the short story "Chinese Finale" by Norah Lofts. The music score was by Elmer Bernstein and the cinematography by Joseph LaShelle. This was the last feature film directed by Ford, ending a career that spanned 53 years.

Jay Robinson American actor (1930–2013)

Jay Robinson was an American actor specializing in character roles. He achieved his greatest fame playing Emperor Caligula in the film The Robe (1953) and its sequel Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954), and years later portraying the boss of the character played by Warren Beatty in Shampoo (1975).

<i>Robinson Crusoe</i> (1954 film) 1952 film by Luis Buñuel

Robinson Crusoe is a 1954 adventure film directed by Luis Buñuel, based on the 1719 novel of the same name by Daniel Defoe. It stars Dan O'Herlihy as Crusoe and Jaime Fernández as Friday. Both English and Spanish versions were produced, making it Buñuel's first English-language film.

<i>Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N.</i> 1966 film by Byron Paul

Lt. Robin Crusoe U.S.N. is a 1966 American comedy film released and scripted by Walt Disney, and starring Dick Van Dyke as a U.S. Navy pilot who becomes a castaway on a tropical island. Some filming took place in San Diego, while a majority of the film was shot on Kauai, Hawaii.

<i>The Deep End of the Ocean</i> (film) 1999 film by Ulu Grosbard

The Deep End of the Ocean is a 1999 American drama film directed by Ulu Grosbard, and starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Treat Williams, Jonathan Jackson, John Kapelos, and Whoopi Goldberg. It is based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Jacquelyn Mitchard, a bestseller that was the very first novel selected by Oprah Winfrey to be discussed on Oprah's Book Club in 1996. The film tells the story of a family’s reaction, when Ben, the youngest son is kidnapped and then found nine years later, living in the same town, where his family had just moved. The film was released in theaters on March 12, 1999 by Columbia Pictures, and was a box office flop, grossing $28 million worldwide.

The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe is a French-German children's television drama series made by Franco London Films and based on Daniel Defoe's 1719 novel Robinson Crusoe. The show was first aired in Germany in October 1964 under the title Robinson Crusoe as four 90-minute episodes by co-producers ZDF television, and syndicated in the USA the same year. It was first aired in the UK in 1965 as a 13-part serial. This English dubbed version produced by Henry Deutschmeister also had a new musical soundtrack composed by Robert Mellin and P. Reverberi replacing the music composed by Georges Van Parys for the French/German original. The production concentrated not only on events on the island but included Crusoe's other adventures, told in flashback.

<i>Man Friday</i> (film) 1975 film by Jack Gold

Man Friday is a 1975 British/American adventure film. It is adapted from the 1973 play by Adrian Mitchell based on Daniel Defoe's 1719 novel Robinson Crusoe, but reverses the roles, portraying Crusoe as a blunt, stiff Englishman, while the native he calls Man Friday is much more intelligent and empathic. The film can be regarded as being critical of western civilization, against which it draws a contrasting picture of Caribbean tribal life.

<i>Crusoe</i> (TV series)

Crusoe is an adventure-drama television series, based loosely on the 1719 novel Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. The series' 13 episodes aired on NBC from October 17, 2008 to January 31, 2009, during the first half of the 2008–2009 television season. It follows the adventures of Robinson Crusoe: a man who has been shipwrecked on an island for six years and is desperate to return home to his wife and children. His lone companion is Friday, a native whom Crusoe rescued and taught English.

<i>Act of Love</i> (1953 film) 1953 film

Act of Love is a 1953 American romantic drama film directed by Anatole Litvak, starring Kirk Douglas and Dany Robin. It is based on the 1949 novel The Girl on the Via Flaminia by Alfred Hayes. A Parisian falls in love with an American soldier near the end of World War II.