Abner Hale, a rigid and humorless New England missionary, marries the beautiful Jerusha Bromley and takes her to the exotic island kingdom of Hawaii, intent on converting the natives. But ... See full summary »
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George Roy Hill
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George Roy Hill
Abner Hale, a rigid and humorless New England missionary, marries the beautiful Jerusha Bromley and takes her to the exotic island kingdom of Hawaii, intent on converting the natives. But the clash between the two cultures is too great and instead of understanding there comes tragedy. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Walter Mirisch hired veteran Fred Zinnemann to produce and direct the movie in 1960. Zinnemann brought with him screenwriter Daniel Taradash, as they had already successfully partnered in bringing From Here to Eternity (1953) to the screen. But Taradash was not able to condense the epic book by James A. Michener, into a workable story. When Mirisch hired Dalton Trumbo to take over the script, Zinnemann - after two more years of development - left the project when United Artists rejected his concept of a 4-hour movie to be shown in two parts. See more »
During the initial journey from New England to Hawaii there is a heavy rainstorm but the skies are bright blue - no rain clouds. See more »
[reading from a proclamation to her subjects]
Next law: Everyone will love Jesus.
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After seeing the movie on cable a few months ago, I decided to read the book.
The movie is only about one-fifth of the whole book. Too bad. The movie leaves a lot of unresolved plot threads which are resolved later in the book. Subplots which seem inconsequential turn out to have major implications to the plot of the novel. Minor characters from the movie become more important as the story progresses. For example, Gene Hackman's Dr. John Whipple and Richard Harris' Raefer Hoxworth have only a few scenes in Hawaii, but their characters are perhaps the two most important characters in the book. Whipple and Hoxworth are the ones who challenge the authority of the missionaries and, in a sense, are the true foils to Abner Hale. They also are the ones who go into business.
As a result, the movie, standing by itself, tends to introduce characters and subplots with no relevancy to the main Abner-Jerusha-Malama-Keolo story line. Perhaps a sequel was planned? In short, Hawaii would have worked better as a mini-series.
********************* How the Novel Ends:
Abner Hale's son, Micah, who was last seen getting a boat to the mainland to attend Yale University, becomes a minister like his father. The sea captain, Raefer Hoxworth, marries Noelini, the daughter of the Alii Nui. Micah then meets and falls in love with Raefer's and Noelini's daughter. They get married. Abner Hale scorns Micha; claiming the Micah has gone "whoring with the heathens." Micah quits the ministry and becomes a partner in Raefer Hoxworth's shipping company - now called Hoxworth and Hale.
John Whipple and Retire Janders (the captain of the ship that brought the missionaries to Hawaii) are partners in Janders & Whipple. Initially a trading company, general store, and ship chandler, they start acquiring land and growing sugar. J&W eventually becomes a plantation company and needs cheap labor to work their fields. John Whipple imports Chinese workers.
A generation after the movie ends, the descendants of Hale, Whipple, Janders, Hewlett (the man who was kicked out of the church for marrying a Hawaiian woman) and the Hoxworth are the commercial, social, and political elite of Hawaii. Micah Hale leads the movement to have the United States annex Hawaii and serves as the first governor of the Territory of Hawaii.
The descendants of these families continue to build their businsses and develop the islands. In an ironic twist, the families, refusing to marry Hawaiians or Chinese, intermarry. Eventually cousins marry cousins - the very practices Abner Hale condemned from his puplit. You eventually get characters named: Whipple Hoxworth; Hoxworth Hale; Hewlett Janders; Bromley Hoxworth.
Finally, at the end of the novel the rich, post-WW II descendants of the missionaries talk about their "distinguished ancestors." Their descriptions and interpretation of events, differs from what it portrayed in the earlier chapters.
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