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Hawaii Calls (1938)

Approved | | Drama, Musical | 11 March 1938 (USA)
After being nabbed while trying to stow away on board an ocean liner en route to Hawaii, young Bobby Breen sings for his travel fare and, along with sidekick Pua, turns detective to recover... See full summary »


Edward F. Cline


Wanda Tuchock (screenplay), Don Blanding (novel)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Bobby Breen ... Billy Coulter
Ned Sparks ... Strings
Irvin S. Cobb ... Capt. O'Hare
Gloria Holden ... Mrs. Milburn
Warren Hull ... Cmdr. Milburn
Mamo Clark ... Hina
Raymond Paige Raymond Paige ... Orchestra Director
Aggie Auld Aggie Auld ... Hula Dancer
Cy Kendall ... Hawaiian Policeman
Herbert Rawlinson ... Mr. Harlow
William Harrigan ... Blake
Juanita Quigley ... Doris Milburn
Pua Lani Pua Lani ... Pua
Dora Clement ... Mrs. Harlow
Donald Kirke ... Regon


After being nabbed while trying to stow away on board an ocean liner en route to Hawaii, young Bobby Breen sings for his travel fare and, along with sidekick Pua, turns detective to recover stolen naval documents from crooks Written by Alessandro Martini <alemartini@geocities.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

hawaii | song | singing | barbecue | usa | See All (17) »


Drama | Musical


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

11 March 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Havajske melodije See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (RCA System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film received its earliest documented telecasts in Los Angeles Sunday 2 May 1948 on KTLA (Channel 5) and in New York Saturday 28 August 1948 on WNBT (Channel 4). See more »


Referenced in Famous Movie Dogs (1940) See more »


Song of the Islands
by Charles E. King (as Charles King)
See more »

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User Reviews

Impulsive Trip
11 March 2012 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Hawaii Calls finds young Bobby Breen on a boy's life adventure trip to what would become our 50th state. The film is complete with Japanese spies and everything three years before we got into World War II.

Truth be told orphan Breen hasn't got a whole lot going for him. His parents were killed in a plane crash, but he dreams of being a pilot like his aviator dad. On an impulse Breen and his pal Pua Lani stow away on a cruise ship bound for Honolulu. Would you believe that Ned Sparks takes pity on them and Breen gets to sing for his supper with the Raymond Paige orchestra which is the nightly entertainment on the boat.

But Bobby and Pua jump ship and swim to shore before the law catches him and can send him back to the mainland. And on shore he gets involved with Pua's family and with another pair of tourists Naval commander Warren Hull and wife Gloria Holden. It's here where the nasty Japanese spies come into the story.

No one outrightly says that the foreign power after some top secret documents that Hull is carrying is Japan, but in 1938 the Sino-Japanese War was in full swing with Japanese atrocities in China part of the newsreel footage being shown, no doubt with this film among others. A better picture could not be drawn.

Some traditional Hawaiian songs were given to Bobby to sing and some new stuff written by Hawaiian composer Harry Owens who doubled as conductor of the Orchestra at Honolulu's famous Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Owens was fresh of his Oscar for Sweet Leilani which Bing Crosby introduced the year before in Waikiki Wedding.

All in all a nice film from far more innocent times.

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