6.9/10
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65 user 27 critic

Donovan's Reef (1963)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Comedy, Romance | 12 June 1963 (USA)
Comedy subtly dealing with moral issues such as racial bigotry, corporate greed, American belief of societal superiority and hypocrisy.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay) (as Frank Nugent), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

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

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

12 June 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Hafenkneipe von Tahiti  »

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the technically last movie that John Ford and John Wayne worked on together, although Wayne later provided the voice-over narration for Ford's documentary Chesty: A Tribute to a Legend (1976). See more »

Goofs

When the piano is destroyed in the bar brawl, there's no sign of its metal frame and strings in the debris. See more »

Quotes

Michael Patrick 'Guns' Donovan: Permission to speak.
Dr. William Dedham: Shoot.
Michael Patrick 'Guns' Donovan: What started it was this knothead tried to push a hootchie-cootchie dancer off on me in Panama!
[Gilhooley laughs]
Dr. William Dedham: Gilhooley? Well, What's wrong with that?
Michael Patrick 'Guns' Donovan: Nothing, except a marriage licence and wedding ring through my nose went with it!
See more »

Connections

References They Were Expendable (1945) See more »

Soundtracks

Waltzing Matilda
(uncredited)
Music by Christina McPherson
Lyrics by A.B. 'Banjo' Paterson
Sung by the Australian sailors
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A fine, funny movie, with moments of deep poetry
7 December 2000 | by (Padova, Italy) – See all my reviews

"Donovan's Reef" is an accurately made, funny, light-hearted work, with some moments of deep poetry. For the audience it is more a relaxing vacation than an actual movie: we are transferred to a paradisiac South Pacific island, where a bunch of super-nice guys, our friends John Wayne, Lee Marvin, Elizabeth Allen, Dorothy Lamour, Mike Mazurki, Cesar Romero make a funny show to entertain us. From the very beginning we find John Ford's characteristic sense of humour: we see a family meeting of sullen Bostonian shipowners, who all take for granted that their relative Dr. Dedham (Jack Warden) is living in orgiastic promiscuity over there, in the Islands of Sin. And then there is the usual number of (harmless) fist-fights and brawls... and a quarrel-loaded love-story... and many comic misunderstandings...

"Donovan's Reef" is one of the very last cinema appointments of John Ford. Inside this light comedy, the old Master inserts touches of his poetic legacy, his trade-mark messages of peace, brotherhood, anti-racism. An evident instance is the scene of the Christmas Mass and Ceremony, with the islanders in their native costumes. And then there is an extremely poignant short scene, just few seconds. The nice little French priest is walking on a beautiful, sunny lawn, shaded by palm-trees, close to the sea: it's the cemetery. We see tombs with a Celtic cross, a French cross, a David's star; then the priest stops at a native barrow, covered with garlands, and he starts to pray (this is the tomb of the late native princess, the doctor's wife). After the storms of our life on this earth, we become all brothers in a better world. This quiet and dignified, yet full of religious hope acceptance of death is one of the most felt and profound themes of Ford's poetry.

I recommend "Donovan's Reef": enjoy the humour, the funny action, the fine performances of the cast, and don't miss the deep poetic touches of the Master John Ford.


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