The American Experience: Season 17, Episode 12

The Massie Affair (4 Jul. 2005)

TV Episode  -   -  Documentary | History
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Title: The Massie Affair (04 Jul 2005)

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Episode credited cast:
Narrator (voice)
Kanalu Young ...
Himself - Historian
David Edward Stannard ...
Himself - Professor (as David Stannard)
Haunani-Kay Trask ...
Herself - Professor
Cobey Black ...
Herself - Author of 'Hawaii Scandal'
Ah Quon McElrath ...
Kay Napoleon ...
Siobhan C. Edmondson ...
Thalia Massie
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Clarence Darrow ...
Himself (archive footage)
Grace Hubbard Fortescue ...
Herself (archive footage)
Hirohito ...
Himself (archive footage)
Lawrence Judd ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Governor Lawrence Judd)
John C. Kelly ...
Himself (archive footage)
Thalia Massie ...
Herself (archive footage)
Thomas Massie ...
Himself (archive footage)


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4 July 2005 (USA)  »

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interesting chapter in Hawaiian history
9 July 2011 | by (southwest US) – See all my reviews

High Society dame brings violence & troubles to Paradise - One of the chapters in the PBS series "American Experience", the Massie Affair is a documentary told by various Hawaiian historians. It describes the events of 1931 that led up to the murder of a man accused of rape, and what happens (and does not happen) to the two groups accused of violent crimes. Another part of this story is the history of the Hawaiian islands, and the racial tension that had been present since the "haoles" had arrived, along with the early explorers and later, the U.S. soldiers. It is all told matter-of-factly, by the historians and by the relatives of the people who played a part in the actual events. Sometimes shown on PBS television, it is also available on DVD. A fascinating, frustrating story, which proves that fact is stranger than fiction. Written and directed by Mark Zwonitzer, who has done several documentaries for PBS.

For more information on Clarence Darrow, the renowned attorney who defended the cold-hearted, remorse-less killer, check out He had been a part of several history-making, high profile cases.

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