During the Cold War, a scientific team refits a Japanese submarine and hires an ex-Navy officer to find a secret Chinese atomic island base and prevent a Communist plot against America that could trigger WW3.
André Laurence accompanies his college roommate, Tenga, back to Tenga's Polynesian island home. There, André assumes the native life and, after many trials with the native customs and their suspicions, marries his friend's sister, Kalua. Their marriage is barren of children. A final blow to André comes with the eruption of a volcano, and the island's holy man, the Kahuna, decides that the volcano can only be appeased with the sacrifice of Kalua.Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
"Todo el encanto de leyendas primitivas en una sinfonía de luz y color. Un himno al amor, a la belleza y a la aventura". With these words the Spanish newspaper "SUR" from Málaga in is issue nº 5249 announced on Saturday 4 October 1952 the release of the film "Bird of Paradise" in the Goya Cinema of this city.
Being then myself 11 years old boy this film met the expectations aroused by the advertisement in "SUR". I saw this movie on Thursday 9 October 1952 and I became extremely impressed by the aesthetic outlook and the contents of the adventure in spite of bitter ending.
Many years later, I saw this movie again on TV and I realised the there were many aspects I missed on my first watching, because they underlie what it was simply descrpitive or visual: the interesting anthropological study of the acculturation. This matter is announced at the beginning of the film. Tenga, a "kanaka" (Jeff Chandler), was unable to adapt to the occidental way of life; André Laurence (Louis Jourdan) is also unable to accept, in spite of this efforts, the way in which a tribal social organization solves the problems presented by wild nature, in this case with the ritual sacrifice of his beloved Kalua (Debra Paget).
Debra Paget's physical performance -gestures, looks, dances- as communitive elements, specially with André, is excellent. Her physical performance expresses very accurately her different states of mind: surprise, gratitude, tenderness, tranquility, happiness, panic, sadness, seduction o complicity with others; all this is in clear opposition with the performance uneasiness of Jeff Chandler. His dance with Noanoa (Mary Ann Ventura) is ghastly.
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