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Bird of Paradise (1932)

Passed | | Adventure, Drama, Romance | 12 August 1932 (USA)
A native girl falls for a visitor to her island, but she's chosen to be sacrificed to the volcano god.

Director:

King Vidor

Writers:

Richard Walton Tully (play), Wells Root (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dolores del Rio ... Luana
Joel McCrea ... Johnny Baker
John Halliday ... Mac
Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher ... Chester
Bert Roach ... Hector
Lon Chaney Jr. ... Thornton (as Creighton Chaney)
Wade Boteler ... Skipper Johnson
Arnold Gray ... Walker
Reginald Simpson Reginald Simpson ... O'Fallon
Napoleon Pukui Napoleon Pukui ... The King
Agostino Borgato Agostino Borgato ... Medicine Man
Sofia Ortega Sofia Ortega ... Mahumahu
Edit

Storyline

A young man falls overboard and is saved by a beautiful Polynesian girl. They fall in love, but their idyll is smashed when the local volcano begins to erupt. The man discovers that the local custom is to sacrifice a young woman to the volcanic gods. They try to escape but realize that "east is east and west is west, and never the twain shall meet." Written by Ed Lorusso

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Hissing Lava Stains the Night with Red! (Print Ad-Peekskill Evening Star,((Peekskill, NY)) 24 September 1932)


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hawaiian

Release Date:

12 August 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bird of Paradise See more »

Filming Locations:

Hawaii, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Three years after this film was released, the Motion Picture Production Code forbade similar films in which a white man and a woman of color engaged in implied sexual conduct, aka "miscegenation". See more »

Quotes

Chester: Girls! Come and get little Chester!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Arena: Screen Goddesses (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

Pre Code Hollywood
24 January 2004 | by sbibb1See all my reviews

This film is a good example of Pre-Code Hollywood Essentially the story of a sailor who falls in love with a native girl, this film has numerous examples of how Hollywood flourished before the production code set in some 3 years later. In most of the film Dolores Del Rio runs around in a straw skirt with nothing but a lei covering her breasts. In scenes where she is swimming, she appears to be totally nude with just some distortion in the water keeping us from seeing her totally naked. Also co-star Joel McCrea spends a good deal of the film walking around in his bathing suit.

The love scenes between McCrea and Del Rio vary. The first time it looks like rape, and Del Rio looks like she is visibly in pain. 3 years later the production code would not permit a white man to wed or be romantically involved with anyone but a white woman.

Among the crew of the ship is Richard "Skeets" Gallagher, who plays a stereotypically gay role, along with another sailor on the ship.

This film is now in the public domain and can frequently be found on television, and is available on DVD.


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