6.2/10
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His Majesty O'Keefe (1954)

A Yankee sea captain has adventures in paradise trying to become an entrepreneur in Micronesia.

Directors:

Byron Haskin, Burt Lancaster (uncredited)

Writers:

Borden Chase (screenplay), James Hill (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Burt Lancaster ... Capt. David Dion O'Keefe / Narrator
Joan Rice ... Dalabo aki Dali
André Morell ... Alfred Tetins (as Andre Morell)
Abraham Sofaer ... Fatumak, Medicine Man
Archie Savage Archie Savage ... Boogulroo
Benson Fong ... Mr. Chou
Tessa Prendergast Tessa Prendergast ... Kakofel
Lloyd Berrell Lloyd Berrell ... Inifel
Charles Horvath ... Capt. Bully Hayes
Philip Ahn ... Sien Tang, Dentist
Guy Doleman ... Herr Weber
Grant Taylor ... Lt. Brenner
Alexander Archdale Alexander Archdale ... Bob Harris
Harvey Adams Harvey Adams ... Herr Friedlander
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Storyline

In 1870, Yankee sea captain O'Keefe finds himself stranded after a mutiny on the Micronesian island of Yap, where the financial potential of copra (dried cocoanut) excites him. But a German company already has a monopoly...and very low production because hard work is alien to dwellers in paradise. On a later voyage, between affairs with island maidens, O'Keefe struggles to find the key to the wealth of Yap. But before he can carve out the empire of his dreams, he must also contend with assorted villains... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Adventure Beyond The Fabulous! Two Years In The Making! All Of It Actually Filmed In The Fiji Islands!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 January 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

East Meets West See more »

Filming Locations:

Viti Levu, Fiji See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,550,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Because of cost overruns on The Crimson Pirate (1952) and this film, Warner Brothers insisted that future films from Hecht/Lancaster be limited to $900,000. Burt Lancaster's and Harold Hecht's response was to strike a new deal with United Artists. See more »

Goofs

When O'Keefe's mutinous crew throws him overboard at the beginning, he climbs into the lifeboat being towed by his ship. A crewman is then shown cutting the tow line, but when the camera cuts back to O'Keefe in the boat, the line is still taut and leading up to the ship. Only later is the severed line shown floating slack in the water. See more »

Quotes

Capt. David O'Keefe: Only Fey gathered in the old way has any value.
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Connections

Referenced in Ronde de nuit (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Isa Lei
(uncredited)
Traditional
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User Reviews

 
HIS MAJESTY O'KEEFE (Byron Haskin, 1954) **1/2
24 December 2008 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

The last of Burt Lancaster's adventurous star vehicles is easily the weakest: bland, dreary and unmemorable yet contriving to be a colorful and pleasant diversion nevertheless; apparently, he plays an actual larger-than-life adventurer who became the ruler of a Fijian island. Andre' Morell and Abraham Sofaer round up a rather unremarkable cast as a German trading agent and the native (and benign for once) witch doctor.

The film has an excessive quota of local color via a succession of tedious native ceremonies but only a handful of the expected action sequences – although, what little there is, is adequately enough staged (including a hand-to-hand combat between Lancaster and a rebellious native chieftain who eventually comes to accept O'Keefe as his sovereign). An unusual element to the narrative which is, however, never brought to fruition is the native's reverence for a local stone they call "Fei". Needless to say, the strapping (and frequently bare-chested) Lancaster turns the girls' heads wherever he goes – in particular that of an Afro-sporting native girl and his future wife, Asian Joan Rice.

The film was released on DVD by Warners as part of a rather undistinguished "Burt Lancaster Signature Collection" but I still intend to get my hands on the rest of them in the future; for the record, I already have the best of this bunch i.e. Jacques Tourneur's THE FLAME AND THE ARROW (1950).


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