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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
Edit

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

Although heavily Hollywoodized, the film is based on real individuals and events. There is a boutique hotel in Yap named after him (O'Keefe's), and the style of construction reflects the architecture of O'Keefe's time. 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

Alfred Tetins: Now you know why they put the music in that silly old cigar box.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ronde de nuit (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Isa Lei
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Exotic picture in which Burt Lancaster stands out as a South Seas adventurer in the Fiji Islands .
19 February 2014 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This is an amusing and fun movie , although heavily Hollywoodized, the film is based on real individuals and events . Here Burt Lancaster is the complete show , he played this adventure movie in the wake of his man-of-action epoch when he performed three magnificent movies that included ¨Crimson pirate¨ , ¨The Flame and the Arrow¨ and this one . Based on a real-life American adventurer , a Yankee sea captain who has adventures in paradise trying to become an entrepreneur in Micronesia. The entire picture was photographed in the South Pacific , where for years the basic economy and wealth revolved around the dried meat of coconut , known as Copra . And in the Island of Yap the natives worshipped an exotic sacred stone they called ¨Fei¨. It deals with Lancaster's attempts to make fame and fortune out of pearls or anything else he can lay his hands on , when he's not fighting gangs of pirates , he then became involved into the lucrative coconut-oil trade of the mid-1800s . There the disgruntled natives see him as a god and allow him to marry a charming maiden . When his kingdom is threatened by unscrupulous German traders , Burt springs into action to safeguard his kingdom .

Agreeable as well as entertaining adventure movie , plenty of action , thrills , bright cinematography and exotic scenarios . Although the story has been told before , tight filmmaking and nice acting win out . The picture is fast-moving , exciting and thrilling ; however the scenic qualities of the movie are rather better than the disjointed screenplay by Borden Chase and James Hill , being suggested by a novel from Lawrence Klingman and Gerald Green . ¨His Majesty O'Keefe¨ results to be one of Lancaster's swashbuckling best and has achieved a good status along with ¨Crimson pirate¨(1952) and ¨The Flame and the Arrow¨(1950) , all of them made during star Burt Lancaster's athletic and swashbuckler period . Because of cost overruns on "The Crimson Pirate" and "His Majesty O'Keefe," Warner Brothers insisted that future films from Hecht/Lancaster be limited to $900,000 ; then Lancaster and Hecht's response was to strike a new deal with United Artists. The cast is frankly well such as Andre Morell as a friendly trader , Abraham Sofaer as a medicine man and a gorgeous young Joan Rice . The producers , the notorious team formed by Harold Hecht-James Hill-Lancaster wish to acknowledge their gratitude to the Secretary for Fijian Affairs , to Ratu Penaia La La Latiamara , Serua District Chief in Charge and to the wonderful people of the Fiji Islands . Colorful cinematography shot on location by Otto Heller , this was the first film ever filmed in the Fiji Islands . Lively and atmospheric musical score composed by the classic Dimitri Tiomkin , though the British print has a Robert Farnon score conducted by Louis Levy, re-scored in Hollywood by Dimitri .

Lavishly produced and being professionally directed by Byron Haskin , though with no originality . Haskin was a good craftsman who worked in Warner Brothers Special Effects department . He returned to filmmaking , and was responsible for Walt Disney's first live-action film , the adventure cult-classic Treasure island (1950). In the mid-1950s Haskin began a rewarding association with producer George Pal, for whom he filmed what are probably his best-known films , the science fiction classic War of the worlds (1953) , Conquest of space (1955) and a catastrophe movie , The naked jungle (1954). Haskin was expert on Sci-Fi genre , as he would collaborate with Pal on other films , such as From the earth to moon , Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964) and The power (1968). He also directed some Western as Denver Rio Grande and Silver City and especially adventure movie such as Treasure Island (1950) , Long John Silver (1954) , Captain Sinbad (1963) and this His Majesty O'Keefe (1954) .


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