The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996 film)

1996 film directed by John Frankenheimer

The Island of Dr. Moreau is a 1996 film about a scientist who attempts to create the perfect race by converting animals into people.

Directed by John Frankenheimer. Written by Richard Stanley, based on the novel by H.G. Wells.
Through DNA experimentation Dr. Moreau has upset the balance of nature. By turning animals into humans, he's turned heaven into hell.taglines

Edward Douglas

  • [opening lines] Our plane crashed in the endless southern Pacific, and we drifted for days between life and death. On the sixth or seventh day, the two men who had survived with me began to fight over the last canteen of water. They fought like beasts, not men. I fought for my life, just as savagely as they did.
  • [narrating] I saw very little of Moreau as the crisis broke. He was in the laboratory, working away in pursuit of his dream to create a perfect human race. Nothing was said of my attempted escape. Montgomery, who had once been a brilliant neurosurgeon, was reduced to being the beast-people's jailor - and now he had become mine too.
  • [closing lines] This is a true record of what I saw. I set it down only leaving out the longitude and latitude of the island, as a warning to all who would follow in Moreau's footsteps. Most times, I keep the memory far in the back of my mind, a distant cloud. But there are times when the little cloud spreads, until it obscures the sky. At those times, I look about me at my fellow men and am reminded of some likeness to the beast-people. And I feel as though the animal is surging up in them, and they are neither wholly animal nor wholly man, but an unstable combination of both. As unstable as anything Moreau created. And I go... in fear.

Dr. Moreau

  • I have almost achieved perfection you see, of a divine creature that is pure, harmonious, absolutely incapable of malice. And if in my tinkering I have fallen short of the human form by the snout, claw or hoof, it really is of no great importance. I am closer that you could possibly imagine sir.


  • [On Dr. Moreau] Animal rights activists drove him out of the States. Got so bad, you couldn't cage a rat without reading him his rights.
  • [When Edward attempts to use a radio for help] Who do you think you're going to call, hmm? What are you going to say when you get someone on the horn? "Mayday, mayday, I'm being held by a pig lady"?
  • [Gone insane. Imitating Dr. Moreau] Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged. And with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye. Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam that is in thine own eye and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote of thy brother's eye. Neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet... and then, give not that which is holy unto the dogs.
  • [Imitating Dr. Moreau] I destroyed the serum. All of it.
  • [Imitating Dr. Moreau] And though I give my body to be burned and have not charity, I am nothing. And though... I give all my gifts to feed the poor, and though l give my body to be burned, and have not charity, I am nothing.

Sayer of the Law

  • It is a hard way, the way of being a man. Sooner or later we all want a thing that is bad. To walk on all fours. To suck up drink from a stream. To jabber, instead of saying the words. To go snuffling at the earth, and to claw on the bark of trees. To eat flesh, or fish. To make love to more than one, every which way. These are all bad things. These are not the things that men do. But we are men, are we not? We are men because the Father has made us men!
  • [After Douglas offers to find a way to stop the regression to animals] No. No more scientists, no more laboratories, no more experiments. I thought you would be able to understand that. We have to be what we are, not what the Father tried to make us. To go on two legs... is very hard. Perhaps four is better, anyway.


  • We are NOT men!
  • There is no pain, there is no law!
  • Tell me, why you make the pain, if we are your children.
  • NOW I... AM THE LAW! [Hyena-Swine proceeds to kill Dr. Moreau when he attempts to escape]


Edward Douglas: Are you a doctor?
Montgomery: Well, I'm more of a vet.

Dr. Moreau: Mr. Douglas, first of all, for the sake of propriety, I'd like to present my children.
Waggdi: [stands] Hello, I am Waggdi. [sits back down]
Azazello: [stands] How do you do, sir. I'm Azazello. [sits back down]
M'Ling: [stands] My name is M'Ling. [sits back down]
Dr. Moreau: You've already met my beautiful daughter Aissa. Majai do present yourself, please.
[Majai gets up from his seat, walks over to Edward, and holds out his hand]
Dr. Moreau: He means you no harm, Mr. Douglas. He's just trying to be polite. He just wants to shake your hand.
[Edward shakes Majai's hand. Majai goes back to his seat]
Dr. Moreau: [to Edward] Thank you.
Edward Douglas: This is the most... outrageous spectacle I have ever witnessed. Look at yourself!
Dr. Moreau: I understand that I must be shocking to you. However, I must also point out, that I have an allergy to the sun, and that's why I've put this medication on.
Edward Douglas: Look at these people! [pause. Pointing to Majai] Look at him!
Dr. Moreau: Mr. Douglas. I don't think that I have the intellectual ability to condense seventeen years of study and experiment into... seventeen minutes of explanation. For the moment, you will have to suffice to say that the... people that you witness before, living under my care and protection, are animals that have been fused with human genes. In the corse of a series of scientific studies designed by myself.
Edward Douglas: Well, has it ever accord to you, you might have totally lost your mind? I mean, this is just satanic.
Dr. Moreau: Judge not, Mr. Douglas, that ye be not judge. For by these judgements, shall ye also be judge, and let he who have not sin cast the first stone.
Edward Douglas: There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked.

Dr. Moreau: Well, Mr. Douglas, very good of you to join us. Please tell me, is the Devil still pursuing you?
[Moreau and Montgomery chuckle]
Edward Douglas: Well, perhaps you could explain to me what you mean by the Devil? You seem to be on terms with him.
Dr. Moreau: Well, permit me, Mr. Douglas, to tell you something of the Devil as I've come to know him. The Devil is that element in human nature that impels us to destroy and debase.
Edward Douglas: And what are you about upon this island but destruction and debasement?
Dr. Moreau: Oh well, I can tell you very plainly...
[Majai interrupts by putting his foot on the dinner table to which Dr.Moreau reacts]
Dr. Moreau: No please, don't do that.
[Majai removes foot from table]
Dr. Moreau: For seventeen years, I have been striving to create... some measure of refinement in the human species, you see. And it is here, on this very island, that I sir, have found the very essence of the Devil.
Edward Douglas: What do you mean?
Dr. Moreau: I have seen the Devil, in my microscope, and I have chained him, and I suppose you could say in a sense metaphorically speaking, I have cut him to pieces. The Devil, Mr. Douglas, I've found is nothing more than a tiresome collection of genes, and it is with great assurance that I can tell you, that Lucifer, Son of the Morning, is no more.

Hyena-Swine: Tell me. Why you make the pain, if we are your children?
Dr. Moreau: Uh... you see, you are my children, but law is necessary.
Hyena-Swine: If there is no more pain. [looks at his other associates, turns back to Moreau] Then is there no more law, hm?
Dr. Moreau: There is always law.

Montgomery: Well, things didn't work out. Moreau wanted to turn animals into humans and humans into gods. But it's instinct and reason, instinct and reason. What's reason to a dog?
Azazello: To hunt. To kill, master. To run with the pack.
Montgomery: I wanna go to Dog Heaven!
[Azazello shoots Montgomery]

Hyena-Swine: Five-man... please... tell them... that I am God. Hmm?
[Hyena-Swine presses a button on Moreau's remote, causing many Beast People to collapse in pain]
Edward Douglas: You're right. You are... a god.
Sayer of the Law: No!
Hyena-Swine: Again.
Edward Douglas: You are a god. You're all gods.
Hyena-Swine: Tell them to obey me like they did the Father.
Edward Douglas: You all killed the Father. You all ate his flesh. So who is the new Father? Who is God Number One? Who should they obey? Him? Or him? [indicating other members of Hyena-Swine's pack] You see, there must be a God Number One.
[the Hyena-Swine roars in Douglas's face, then rears up and opens fire on his pack members]

Hyena-Swine: Tell them... that I am the Law.
Sayer of the Law: Do not believe him! He is not the Law!

About The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996 film)

  • I was just so bored, I didn't know what else to do!
  • The truth of the matter is The Island tends to come around every time the Planet of the Apes films come back in business. And it’s the grandfather of all kinds of movies, including Jurassic Park. But the original remains a tough nut to crack – mostly because of its themes, which could never be properly explored in a family movie. At its core it has a Darwinist message, which is at odds with the regular American summer movies, and its view of the impossibility of creating a utopian society is a little dark, even for science-fiction.
  • The one part that’s become very clear to me is that Moreau’s going to be funded by corporate money, rather than being an isolated, obsessive individual. The issue of the beast people being property – that they’re essentially a copyright of the company that’s made them, and aren’t free to have their own lives – amused me.
    • Richard Stanley [2]
  • By the time Brando had arrived [...] no one was willing to say no to anything, which is why Brando wears an ice bucket on his head in one scene
    • Richard Stanley [3]
  • [Marlon would] be in the middle of a scene and suddenly he'd be picking up police messages and would repeat, `There's a robbery at Woolworths'.
    • David Thewlis [4]


  • Nature's law has been broken.
  • The gates of hell are unlocked.
  • On a remote ISLAND in the South Pacific, the balance OF nature has been upset by the experiments of DR. MOREAU... with the key of science he's unlocked the gates of hell.
  • H. G. Wells' most terrifying creation about the line that separates man from beast, and the notorious doctor who dared to cross it.