Two tvms preceded the long-running series Fantasy Island (1978-1984).
1. Fantasy Island US movie (1977 tvm). Columbia/ABC. Pr Leonard Goldberg, Aaron Spelling. Screenplay Gene Levitt. Dir Richard Lang. Starring Bill Bixby (Arnold Greenwood), Sandra Dee (Francesca), Peter Lawford (Grant Baines), Carol Lynley (Liz Hollander), John McKinney (Hunter), Ricardo Montalban (Mr Roarke), Hugh O'Brian (Paul Henley), Eleanor Parker (Eunice Baines), Victoria Principal (Michelle), Dick Sargent (Charles Hollander), Christine Sinatra (Connie Raymond), Herve Villechaize (Tattoo). 120 mins. Colour.
Guests pay $50,000 each for a three-day stay on a mysterious Island where their Wishes just might be granted. Somehow the staff, led by Mr Roarke, the island's enigmatic owner, and his dwarf assistant, Tattoo, manage to make even the wildest dream come true. Featured here are a man who wants to rekindle a World War II romance, a hunter who would like to be the prey, and a woman who fakes her death so she can see what life will be like when she is gone. [BC]
2. Return to Fantasy Island US movie (1978 tvm). Columbia/ABC. Pr Michael Fisher. Exec pr Leonard Goldberg, Aaron Spelling. Screenplay Marc Brandel. Dir George McCowan. Starring Horst Buchholz (Charles Fleming), Joseph Campanella (Brian Faber), Patricia Crowley (Louise Faber), George Maharis (Lyle Benson), Ricardo Montalban (Mr Roarke), Karen Valentine (Janet Fleming), Herve Villechaize (Tattoo). 120 mins. Colour.
This sequel to 1 features three new sets of visitors to the island. Benson has arrived in hopes of seducing his boss, a beautiful workaholic. Brian and Louise Faber desperately want to see the child they were forced to give up to adoption 12 years, and Fleming, who suffers Amnesia, hopes to discover her true identity. Once again Mr Roarke fulfils their wishes. As with 1, this enjoyed high ratings; hence the series. [BC]