5.9/10
366
19 user 6 critic

Pagan Love Song (1950)

A man from Ohio inherits a coconut plantation and falls in love with a half-American, half-Tahitian beauty. Song-and-swim musical ensues in the tropical paradise.

Director:

Robert Alton
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Cast

Cast overview:
Esther Williams ... Mimi Bennett
Howard Keel ... Hazard Endicott
Minna Gombell ... Kate Bennett
Charles Mauu Charles Mauu ... Tavae
Rita Moreno ... Terru
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Storyline

The bronzed and be-flowered Mimi, a half-American, half-Tahitian girl, was raised on the island but longs for the good old U.S. of A. "All my life's been one long vacation," she sighs, "and I'm bored." Luckily, Hap Endicott arrives on the scene. He's an Ohio schoolteacher who has come to manage his late uncle's coconut plantation. The two meet cute, and love and singing ensue. Includes songs at the drop of the hat, some terrific Tahitian dancing, and a lovely moment when a lovelorn Hap looks up and sees Mimi swimming gracefully among the clouds. Written by Ali Davis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

SOUTH SEAS TECHNICOLOR MUSICAL!

Genres:

Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 December 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tahiti See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,906,265 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This film marked Rita Moreno's screen debut. Based on her ethnicity, MGM was unsure of how to market her, so she was relegated to playing island stereotypes in this film and The Toast of New Orleans (1950) until she was cast as flapper Zelda Zanders in Singin' in the Rain (1952). See more »

Goofs

When Howard Keel rides past the two natives in the small truck with the bath tub in the back. The first look is as he approaching the truck and the tub can be seen riding intact in the back of the truck. After he passes the truck the bath tub now looks in rough shape. And it now seems to be wobbling like it's missing a leg. And when the scene is viewed in slow motion. The tub come apart in mid-air. It didn't seem to have any reason to break yet. It hadn't hit the ground yet. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Éden (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Here in Tahiti We Make Love
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Arthur Freed
Sung by Rita Moreno and chorus but cut from movie
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pretty cute and gorgeous to watch
20 February 2018 | by HotToastyRagSee all my reviews

I know the title will put you off, as will the fact that Esther Williams dons dark makeup and pretends to be Tahitian and Rita Moreno speaks in broken English, but if you can get past the "island people are primitive" attitude the movie takes, Pagan Love Song is actually pretty good. I've seen a few Esther Williams flicks, and this one is by far my favorite. Probably because hunky Howard Keel spends more of the movie without his shirt than fully clothed.

Half-Tahitian Esther Williams -because Hollywood wouldn't approve of a truly interracial romance-falls for visiting American Howard Keel and helps him adjust to island life. Rita Moreno and her boyfriend help out around the house, and an old woman sends her kids to live with Howard so they can grow up around a proper gentleman, and he complains about not being able to take a bath in a tub-oh, the difficulties of living in Tahiti!

Howard is given several songs to show off his beautiful singing voice, and while they're simple-during one song, Rita Moreno taps a rhythm on bamboo stalks while Howard sings "The House of Singing Bamboo"-since he's singing them, they aren't bad. If he can sell a song while pedaling a stationary bicycle in front of an obvious blue screen background, he can sell anything. Plus, in glorious Technicolor, his teeth and tan are enough eye candy in themselves; just wait 'til he dons a sarong!

The movie was filmed in Hawaii, so the surroundings for most of the scenes are lush and gorgeous. And even though some of the songs are silly, if you're watching an Esther Williams movie, you're not really expecting the songs to be complex. She has a couple of very pretty swimming dance numbers, and Howard even joins her for some of the choreography! There's also an entertaining Hula chorus number that helps transport you to the tropical setting. If you're looking to introduce yourself to Esther Williams, or if you're looking for a light musical with a ridiculously handsome lead, rent Pagan Love Song.


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