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 »
Sisters Carrie and Anna Berniers have been supporting their ne'er-do-well brother Julian through various failed businesses; now, he returns home with a sudden fortune and his young bride. ... See full summary »
George Roy Hill
On December 23rd, Korean War veteran George Haverstick and nurse Isabel Crane - who George lovingly refers to as "Little Bit" - get married in a civil ceremony. They met when George was ... See full summary »
Sorrowful Jones is a cheap bookie in 1930's. When a gambler leaves his daughter as a marker for a bet, he gets stuck with her. His life will change a great deal with her arrival and his ... See full summary »
A French boy (Daniel) and an American girl (Lauren), who goes to school in Paris, meet and begin a little romance. They befriend Julius who enchants them with his story telling. In an ... See full summary »
George Roy Hill
The intertwined lives of two kindred souls with ambition begins when Captain Whip Hoxworth discovers that Nyuk Tsin has been smuggled aboard as part of cargo on The Carthaginian, which he ... See full summary »
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>
James A. Michener's mammoth novel, "Hawaii," is the subject of this suitably mammoth film, one with a lot to recommend it. Julie Andrews proves that she can handle a dramatic role as well or better than musical roles. Her Jerusha Bromley Hale captures our sympathy the minute she comes on screen and sustains it for the rest of the film. Likewise, Jocelyn LaGarde, a real-life Tahitian princess with no previous acting experience, gives an equally good performance as Alii Nui Ruth Malama Konakoa, for which she was justifiably nominated for an Oscar. There are also good supporting performances from Carroll O'Connor and Gene Hackman, both just a few years away from stardom when this picture was made. Russell Harlan's cameras capture the islands at their most beautiful, and Elmer Bernstein's haunting, evocative score is one of his best.
The one fatal flaw in all this is the actor playing the central male character, Reverend Abner Hale. While Max von Sydow was always good in the great Ingmar Bergman films ("The Seventh Seal"), in most of his English-language films, with the sole exception of "The Exorcist," he always came off as something of a well-dressed stiff. It's an image he upholds here. Perhaps it's the fact that he's working in a language not his own, perhaps it's just the hopeless nature of the lines he's saddled with, but his is an Abner Hale who could transform the staunchest Christian into a Druid. He, quite simply, generates no sympathy. Plus, as many of the best clergymen seem to know, you can win more converts by stressing the kind, loving qualities of Jesus than by belching out fire and brimstone. It seems to me that, for Andrews's character, choosing between this mannered stiff and Richard Harris's vigorous sea captain shouldn't have been much of a choice at all.
But this shouldn't drive you away from "Hawaii." For all the good points I mentioned, it's definitely worth seeing at least once.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?