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His Majesty O'Keefe (1954)

A Yankee sea captain has adventures in paradise trying to become an entrepreneur in Micronesia.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Capt. David Dion O'Keefe / Narrator
Joan Rice ...
Dalabo aki Dali
...
Alfred Tetins (as Andre Morell)
Abraham Sofaer ...
Fatumak, Medicine Man
Archie Savage ...
Boogulroo
...
Mr. Chou
Tessa Prendergast ...
Kakofel
Lloyd Berrell ...
Inifel
...
Philip Ahn ...
Sien Tang, Dentist
...
Herr Weber
Grant Taylor ...
Lt. Brenner
Alexander Archdale ...
Bob Harris
Harvey Adams ...
Herr Friedlander
Edit

Storyline

In 1870, Yankee sea captain O'Keefe finds himself stranded after a mutiny on the Micronesian island of Yap, where the financial potential of copra (dried cocoanut) excites him. But a German company already has a monopoly...and very low production because hard work is alien to dwellers in paradise. On a later voyage, between affairs with island maidens, O'Keefe struggles to find the key to the wealth of Yap. But before he can carve out the empire of his dreams, he must also contend with assorted villains... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Adventure Beyond The Fabulous! Two Years In The Making! All Of It Actually Filmed In The Fiji Islands!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 January 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

East Meets West  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,550,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Because of cost overruns on The Crimson Pirate (1952) and this film, Warner Brothers insisted that future films from Hecht/Lancaster be limited to $900,000. Burt Lancaster's and Harold Hecht's response was to strike a new deal with United Artists. See more »

Goofs

O'Keefe returns to Hong Kong and stock footage is shown of people walking down a street. However, the movie is set in the 1870s and the footage is of 1950s Hong Kong. Giveaways include signs such as "No Motors". See more »

Quotes

Fatumak, Medicine Man: [to Herr Tetins, as O'Keefe is leaving Yap Island on the German steamship] He'll be back.
Capt. David O'Keefe: [narrating] Sure I'd be back... There *had* to be a way to make these people work.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ronde de nuit (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

EMERALD ISLE
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lancaster Does Copra
5 February 2011 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

19th century freebooter O'Keefe (Lancaster) uses his wiles to set up copra trade in south seas despite native resistance and organized competition.

Lancaster was made for this kind of role. With his athletic frame, blinding grin, and iron jaw, he's a great adventurer. Later, he became a serious actor, but I always preferred the grinning swashbuckler ever up to some kind of daring-do, as he is here.

This is one of his lesser known action films and I'm not sure why. At times the shifting loyalties are hard to follow, so it's not the simple action narrative of good guys versus bad. Still, the story's based on fact, and I like the insight into how the Europeans try to turn the simple native economy into a commodity producing one (copra). In that regard, I really like the ending that seems surprisingly contemporary in its respectful politics. As a result, the story may be complex, but there's also considerable substance.

Meanwhile, I'm on my way to Yap to see if the green-eyed Dalabo (Rice) left any female offspring. Besides, the scenery there is spectacular, nicely captured by Warner's Technicolor department. Traditional Hollywood usually went to Catalina for its south seas background. Not here. Instead, Warner's popped for authentic Pacific locations-- probably to compete with newfangled TV. Then too, Lancaster's big, native ceremony is elaborately colorful and unusual, especially the costuming. At the same time, he gets to do some of his effortless acrobatics and come up grinning.

In my book, it all adds up to an entertaining package and well worth tuning in.


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