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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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>
This was another under-appreciated epic from United Artists in the year 1966 (the other was "Khartoum"). Taken from the center section (and the longest section) of James Michener's famous book, "Hawaii" is actually a rather intimate, incredibly tragic story despite its claim to "epic" scale. The performances are excellent, especially Max von Sydow as Abner, the stubborn, unyielding missionary. Special mention has to be made of Jocelyne LaGarde as Queen Malama. A woman who never acted before, Jocelyne gives a wonderful performance and will forever remain in your mind as the symbol of Hawaiian heart and warmth. The talent behind the camera is considerable: George Roy Hill as director, Russell Metty as cinematographer, and Elmer Bernstein as composer. (I do sometimes wonder if this film was planned to be a Cinerama presentation. Many of the scene setups and photographic tricks seem to be designed with that in mind.) Despite the length and the epic intentions, prepare yourself for an intimate film with an emotional impact not found in many films.
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