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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For a film that's billed as a romance movie, this has got a surprising amount of good suspense and action. It's really an adventure story with a romance angle. It's also very interesting and a good film with decent special effects, at least for when this was made.
It's almost a "Count Of Monte Cristo" story with an innocent man imprisoned on an island and finally succeeding in escaping. However, in this story, the escapee "Terangi" (John Hall) also has to battle a hurricane after escaping!
The film starts slowly in the first half hour, but stick with it, it's worth it. The story becomes very involving as "Terangi" begins his battle against "the law," which is not pictured very flattering here. In that respect, the film is ahead of its time with its anti-government message. However, it's behind the times with the typical classic-era white man trying to pass himself off as a dark-skinned island native. Dorothy Lamour is likewise as "Marama," Terangi's wife.
The cinematography is very good and the direction excellent. Then again, one of the best directors of all time did this film: John Ford. It also has a nice cast. Look at the supporting actors: Mary Astor, Raymond Massey, C. Aubrey Smith, Thomas Mitchell and John Carradine!
A solid Golden Age adventure story and one of the best of the 1930s decade.
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