In the Island of Manukura, a French colony in the South Seas, the joyful Terangi is a leader among the natives and the first mate of the Katopua, the tall ship of Captain Nagle. Terangi gets married with Marama and sooner he sails to Tahiti. While in a bar playing with other natives, Terangi is offended by an alcoholic racist French and he hits his face, breaking his jaw. Despite the testimony of Captain Nagle, Terangi is sentenced to six months of forced labor since the victim had political connections with the Powers That Be. Captain Nagle asks the Governor Eugene DeLaage to uses his influence to help Terangi, but the governor refuses. Terangi unsuccessfully tries to escape from the prison, and each attempt increases his sentence. Eight years later, he finally escapes and his jailbreak is celebrated in Manukura. Father Paul finds his canoe and brings Terangi to the island. But a devastating hurricane also arrives in the island threatening the dwellers. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
According to Life Magazine, special effects wizard James Basevi was given a budget of $400,000 to create his effects. He spent $150,000 to build a native village with a lagoon 200 yards long, and then spent $250,000 destroying it. See more »
Father Paul took your wife to the church. It seemed the safest place. I'd have gone, too, except I couldn't desert my patient.
That's the last you saw of her?
Well it grew so dark, you couldn't see the church from the reef boat. But when that bell stopped ringing all of a sudden, I knew what happened.
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A hurricane worth waiting for...spectacular in its fury...
JON HALL stars as a hot-tempered native on a fictional South Seas island called Manakoora, run by a strict martinet of a governor, played by RAYMOND MASSEY. After petty theft and a brawl, Hall is hauled into jail and given a strict sentence that separates him from his new wife, a native girl Marama played by DOROTHY LAMOUR.
Hall and Lamour are both in their physical prime. Hunky Hall is shown to advantage in the central role in a series of adventurous escapes from prison, climaxed by his authority in leading some of the islanders to safety during the climactic storm. Close-ups magnify Lamour's sultry beauty and handsome Hall is likewise photographed like a Greek God in profile. Ford has directed a film rich in character and settings with some stunning B&W photography.
Aside from the leads, good character roles are abundant. RAYMOND MASSEY, MARY ASTOR (as his loyal wife), THOMAS MITCHELL (another one of his drunken doctor roles) and JOHN CARRADINE as a sadistic warden, are all memorable.
Escapist entertainment with a South Seas setting and two photogenic co-stars who would both move on to better things in the '40s. But Jon Hall never had a better role than he does here as Terangi, the resourceful man who dives off a steep cliff into the calm waters of an enchanted island paradise during one of his many escapes.
As for "the hurricane", it's so realistic that you have to see it to believe it. And all this was before CGI effects--a brilliant job.
Alfred Newman's exotic background music is woven around a theme later called "The Moon of Manakoora" and turned into a popular song for Dorothy Lamour to warble. After seeing her in this film, no wonder she became the sarong girl of the '40s.
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