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 »
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 captains, a cargo supposed to consist of only male Chinese workers bound for Hawaii. Nyuk Tsin was kidnapped from her Haaka village to be sold to a Honolulu brothel. She is spared when Mun Ki claims she is his wife, and Hoxworth goes along with his wife's suggestion that they can work in the Hoxworth household as domestic servants. Nyuk Tsin becomes known to all as Wu Chow's Auntie (Aunt of Five Continents) when her five sons are named after continents (with Mun Ki's wife in China regarded as their official mother). Whip founds an empire in pineapples, using Japanese laborers, after smuggling his first seed crop from French Guiana as Wu Chow's Auntie grows a family business in Honolulu around her sons. Written by
This film today, is quite forgotten because it never turns up on TV and is not widely available on video, and certainly not yet on DVD. Tis is a great pity as THE HAWAIIANS is an excellent and interesting stand alone sequel to the whopper epic of 1966 HAWAII - which was a 70mm release with Julie Andrews and Max Von Sydow (and even Bette Milder in a crowd scene). James Mitchener and his tales of the south seas books presented film makers with many opportunities for grand and spectacular South Pacific extravaganza dramas and even one enchanted musical. THE HAWAIIANS is basically the story of how Charlton Heston started the pineapple industry in Hawaii, with the help of hard working clever Chinese peasants, some of whom were brought into the plantation household for love and 'marriage' and even unfortunately, a spot of leprosy. While that might sound trite, and I am not making fun of it, it allows for 'ordinary' people to feature center screen in an epic way. Because this film is not about "major Euro characters" like in the first film, THE HAWAIIANS unjustly has been derailed and forgotten. But it is actually more interesting because it is about someone else other than religious zealots smashing idols and their sexually repressed wives ripping the corset off to run barefoot down the beach with the native teenagers.. So if you wish to see a truly glorious epic film about the people who actually did something to and for Hawaii (whether it ultimately good or bad) THE HAWAIIANS lives up to its title showcasing the real hard working people who lived and loved in Hawaii a century ago. I had the unforgettable experience of seeing both HAWAII and THE HAWAIIANS back to back as a double feature (7pm-midnight) in a Sydney Suburban cinema one freezing winter night lashed by a monster cyclonic thunderstorm. Here we were rugged to the chin in woolly everything straining to hear the soundtrack over the crashing din of the rain on the theater's enormous tin roof whilst looking at a spectacular cinema-scope vista of tropical sunny island drama. About an hour into the first film, the plaster ceiling sprang several serious leaks and a very grimy waterfall left of screen that was washing 55 years of dirt from above the curtains. The tubby manager and the broom kid were heard scurrying into the ceiling with empty tin ice cream bins. With hissed directions from Mr Tubby, the kid was clomping about on the beams, creaking and thudding, placing empty tins under the drizzle from the roof above. That plugged the leaks but instead started a hilarious symphony of 'pling' and 'plong' and 'plish' and 'klading' and 'sklosh' as the huge raindrops fell into the empty bins and began to fill them. It sounded like when somebody plays "eidelweiss' using a dozen glasses of water of varying amounts. This began to cause the entire audience of a dozen of us to laugh and look about. Suddenly something crashed and splashed from behind the screen as the kid went straight through a part of the ceiling long unseen. A massive puddle gushed from under the masking, across the stage to the footlights and waterfall-ed straight into the front aisle. The kid made his way out from behind the screen cringing, wet and meekly looking about. The audience erupted into rapturous applause. The kid took a bow and slipped straight offstage onto the soggy carpet and out of sight. What a night! Value and extras like that never happen in multiplexes today. Anyway, after we survived HAWAII, we all got a free hot chocolate, congratulated the manager and wet kid, and went back in, storm raging still, buckets sploshing away , ceiling straining, and let THE HAWAIIANS transport us to another world in another (warmer) age. Such was the professional cinematic expertise of this very good sequel. I have never looked at a pineapple in the same way ever again.
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