6.3/10
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27 user 4 critic

Bird of Paradise (1951)

An island Princess falls for a visiting Frenchman, but her people are against it.

Director:

Delmer Daves

Writers:

Richard Walton Tully (play), Delmer Daves (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Debra Paget ... Kalua
Louis Jourdan ... Andre Laurence
Jeff Chandler ... Tenga
Everett Sloane ... The Akua
Maurice Schwartz ... The Kahuna
Jack Elam ... The Trader
Prince Leilani Prince Leilani ... Chief (as Prince Lei Lani)
Otto Waldis ... Skipper
Alfred Zeisler Alfred Zeisler ... Van Hook
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Storyline

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 <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

All you will ever know of love, beauty and rare Adventure !


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 March 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ave do Paraíso See more »

Filming Locations:

Honolulu, O'ahu, Hawaii, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Look in the Photo Gallery of the two posters of the Spanish Poster Designer Josep Soligó Tena. Debra Paget's sarong has been censored to remove the shaded erotic area. See more »

Quotes

The Trader: Capitán! Capitán! Stop'im! He's gonna throw me to the sharks!
Skipper: That is good! Throw him. Sharks will vomit.
Tenga: I'm going up forward. The air is fresher there.
The Trader: How come he speaks English good?
Andre Laurence: We went to the same university.
The Trader: University? School?
Andre Laurence: Yeah.
The Trader: Then he is Tenga?
Andre Laurence: That's right, that's his name.
The Trader: I know all about him! He ain't no Kanaka. He's quarter white. His grandpa was a white man.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mama's Family: Have It Mama's Way (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Two views of a movie
11 January 1999 | by JulucarSee all my reviews

"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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