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Donovan's Reef (1963)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Comedy, Romance  |  12 June 1963 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 5,162 users  
Reviews: 61 user | 20 critic

'Guns' Donovan prefers carousing with his pals Doc Dedham and 'Boats' Gilhooley, until Dedham's high-society daughter Amelia shows up in their South Seas paradise.

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(screenplay) (as Frank Nugent) , (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Donovan's Reef (1963)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Elizabeth Allen ...
...
...
Dick Foran ...
...
...
...
Jacqueline Malouf ...
Cherylene Lee ...
Sarah 'Sally' Dedham
...
Luki Dedham (as Tim Stafford)
...
Boston Attorney Francis X. O'Brien
Jon Fong ...
Mister Eu
Edit

Storyline

'Guns' Donovan prefers carousing with his pals Doc Dedham and 'Boats' Gilhooley, until Dedham's high-society daughter Amelia shows up in their South Seas paradise. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Gangway...For This Years BIG Adventure! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

12 June 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aventurero del Pacífico  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,686,585 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The term "shanghai'd" dates back to the 1840s. Skippers of the China Clipper ships had trouble getting sailors to man the ships because most preferred to join the gold rush. Crooked bartenders would, for a price, slip a likely man a "Mickey Finn" (chloral hydrate) in his drink to knock him out. The man would wake up later "shanghai'd" and on his way to China as a deckhand. See more »

Goofs

When Amelia first starts skiing, she loses her bathing cap. After falling in the water, the cap is back on her head. See more »

Quotes

Ameilia Sarah Dedham: [reading inscription on monument] Princess Manulani, Commander William... Dedham? Michael Patrick Donovan... Thomas Al-oy-si-us Gilhooley...
Michael Patrick 'Guns' Donovan: Thomas Aloysius Gilhooley!
Ameilia Sarah Dedham: Does this mean there was actual fighting on this island?
Michael Patrick 'Guns' Donovan: Well, those gold stars don't stand for good behavior.
Ameilia Sarah Dedham: Well, tell me.
Michael Patrick 'Guns' Donovan: There's not much to tell. We got blown off our can... that's a destroyer, ended up here on the island. There was a big Jap base down there. So, we hid out back here in the hills... down in those caves. ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Budd Boetticher: A Man Can Do That (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Frere Jacques
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by the children
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This is why you go to the movies. Because it's fun.
22 September 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Donovan's Reef is fun. It has a decent story, good characters, and stunning scenery. This is why you go to the movies, isn't it? If compared against Ford's acknowledged masterpieces, Dononvan's Reef does not measure up, but measured against other escapist films, it is a great movie. John Wayne's performance is consistently good, and as always, believable. Wayne was so real in his films, that he is never considered to be a good actor, but if you look at his body of work, you have to admit he could do it all. His Guns Donovan character is certainly up to snuff, and he does well with what he has. His interaction with Lee Marvin as Boats Gilhooley is as good as any of his other brawling, head-butting clashes with legends like Ward Bond or Victor McGlaglen. Lee Marvin is very funny and clever in his scenes, and very rarely over the top. He could always deliver on a character that was supposed to be likable, but mentally ill.

Aside from the fun, we have a significant plot element of prejudice considering the behavior of Guns, Boats, and Andre, where they hide the Doctor's half-caste Polynesian children from the All-White Bostonian daughter, Amelia. Paradoxically, we have Chinese stereotypes in the form of goofy looking morons with toothy grins and heavy accents. Still, in the end reason prevails in that the young Leilani shows wisdom beyond her years. When she sings a prayer of thanks to the goddess of the canyon where Guns chops down their Christmas tree, Amelia asks if she believes in gods and goddesses. Leilani replies, "I believe in one God, as we all do, but I respect the customs and beliefs of my people." Amelia subsequently accepts the cultural differences with a gracious bow to Leilani, who is being honored as the last hereditary princess of the island. That is a nicely done scene.

If you focus on what Donovan's Reef isn't, it will be a disappointing film. If you enjoy it for what it is, you will have a great time.


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