Andre Laurence accompanies his college roommate, Tenga, back to Tenga's Polynesian island home. There, Andre, assumes the native life and, after many trials with the native customs and their suspicions, marries his friend's sister, Kalua. Their marriage is barren of children. A final blow to Andre comes with the eruption of a volcano and island's holy man, The Kahuna, decides that the volcano can only be appeased with the sacrifice of Kalua. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Everything dies but the sea...the sea always lives on."
After studying in the States, the son of a Polynesian Chief (with white in his blood) returns home to the superstition-laden islands along with a vacationing Frenchman he met at the University; despite dire warnings from the soothsaying Kahuna, the white stranger--who represents a portent of turbulence to come--falls in love with his friend's blue-eyed sister and decides he wants to stay. Corny, daft, but enjoyable tropical star-crossed lovers tale, a loose remake of King Vidor's same-titled film from 1932. Adapted and directed by Delmer Daves, the splendor of native life is given a frisky, romantic allure--until the last act when an angry volcano erupts (mostly via stock footage). What might have become a heavy mix of soap and masochism is brought off well by Daves, who mounts the proceedings with grand melodramatic style. Stars Jeff Chandler and Debra Paget (playing brother and sister, fittingly since they both share a dimpled chin) and Louis Jourdan approach the material with dreamy seriousness, avoiding camp and actually creating two-dimensional characters. Some may argue this production lacks a high-level of gloss or strong special effects, though I believe Daves was focused far more on the customs and beliefs of these people--and also on the love story--than he was on the technical aspects. As such, it's a better, more emotional picture than its predecessor, and certainly the music by Daniele Amfitheatrof and Ken Darby is a wonderful asset. **1/2 from ****
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?