6.7/10
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21 user 4 critic

Honolulu (1939)

Passed | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 3 February 1939 (USA)
Wanting a break from his overzealous fans, a famous movie star hires a Hawaiian plantation owner to switch places with him for a few weeks.

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Writers:

(original story and screen play), (original story and screen play)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Dorothy March
...
Brooks Mason / George Smith
...
Joe Duffy
...
Millie De Grasse
...
Cecelia Grayson
...
Mr. Horace Grayson
...
Nurse
Ann Morriss ...
Gale Brewster
...
Wong
Cliff Clark ...
1st Detective
Edward Gargan ...
2nd Detective
...
Washington (as Eddie Anderson)
...
Psychiatrist (as Sig Rumann)
...
Eve
Kealohu Holt ...
Native Dancing Girl (as Kealoha Holt)
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Storyline

Movie star Brooks Mason tries to avoid his fans and spend some weeks on vacation. When Hawaiian plantation owner George Smith is mistaken by Mason's fans for Mason and brought to Mason's home. They decide to exchange their identities for a few weeks. But George Smith is mobbed by Mason's fans again on a personal appearance tour in New York, Mason falls in love with dancer Dorothy March, who also is on her way to Hawaii. Problems for Mason arise due to the fact that Smith is engaged to Cecilia Grayson and her wealthy father believes that Smith has double-crossed him. Mason isn't able to establish a connection with Smith in New York due to his agent's orders. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Musical Spectacle on Waikiki's Beach of Dreams! Starring ELEANOR POWELL, ROBERT YOUNG, GEORGE BURNS & GRACIE ALLEN and many more! Plus hundreds of Hula Honeys! 6 months in the making to bring you 600 thrills! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 February 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Liebe auf Hawaii  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film appearance of George Burns and Gracie Allen together. See more »

Quotes

Millie De Grasse: So, you're going to go through with it. You're gonna marry this Grayson girl just because she has a big plantation with lovely pineapples.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Electrical Power (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

Honolulu
(1939)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Gus Kahn
Played during the opening credits and at the end
Sung by Gracie Allen (uncredited) and The Pied Pipers (uncredited)
Danced by Eleanor Powell (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not a great film but a pleasant way to pass the time
16 September 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Honolulu's not perfect (in my opinion), starting with a rather ridiculous story with a tired scenario that can get confusingly told in places. It was unevenly paced, some parts were fine, others were rushed and others were pedestrian. George Burns doesn't really have a lot to do and was a touch bland, and his chemistry with Gracie Allen while pleasant could have shone more if they were on screen longer together, Allen's chemistry with Eleanor Powell fares much better. Honolulu is still a pleasant film though, that is not among the best film musicals but a long way from the worst. The score is lush and while the songs are not the most memorable set of songs from a musical they are still very good and well-placed, the title song, the Hawaiian Medley and The Leader Doesn't Like Music particularly good. Honolulu does have some witty dialogue, with Robert Young having some lovely comic moments, and the shipboard costume party was a lot of fun especially to see what the characters dressed up as. Terrific also was the choreography, the best being the hula dance(you'd be hard pressed to find a sexier one on film), Powell's homage to Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and the tap/skipping-rope routine, the last one possibly being the most complicated- a lot of people would find it impossible to do- but danced effortlessly by Powell. And despite the black-face in the Robinson homage causing alarm bells for some who are yet to see it there is nothing really offensive here, although the rather stereotypical and out of place Chinese valet character played by William Fung will not work for some. The direction is pedestrian at times in the non-musical scenes but is very efficient mostly while the performances are good too, Gracie Allen is adorable and very funny and Robert Young is charming and quite gifted in comedy. But Honolulu is Eleanor Powell's film, she radiates the screen and generates warmth and ease, plus her dancing is just incredible (easily among the best dancers on film). Overall, not great but pleasant entertainment. 6/10 Bethany Cox


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