6.2/10
1,038
23 user 5 critic

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 »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Ten Tall Men (1951)
Action | Adventure | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

During the Rif War in Morocco, the French Foreign Legion's outpost of Tarfa is threatened by Khalif Hussein's tribes but Sergeant Mike Kincaid devises a plan of survival until the arrival of French reinforcements.

Director: Willis Goldbeck
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Jody Lawrance, Gilbert Roland
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

AWOL marine Sgt. Jim O'Hearn is court-martialed for a variety of offenses that carry 143 years in the stockade or the death penalty but refuses to aid in his own defense.

Director: Arthur Lubin
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Virginia Mayo, Chuck Connors
Mister 880 (1950)
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Gentle romantic comedy about a Secret Service Agent trying to catch a cold case counterfeiter and a United Nations translator.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Edmund Gwenn, Dorothy McGuire
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Dardo, a Robin Hood-like figure, and his loyal followers use a Roman ruin in Medieval Lombardy as their headquarters as they conduct an insurgency against their Hessian conquerors.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Virginia Mayo, Robert Douglas
Certificate: Passed Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A Kentucky widower bound for 1820's Texas with his young son is thwarted in his efforts by a corrupt constable, a long-standing family feud, and a beautiful indentured servant.

Director: Burt Lancaster
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Diana Lynn, Dianne Foster
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The sons of a Colorado cattle baron, one biological and the other adopted, resent one another and fight for control of their father's cattle empire.

Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Robert Walker, Joanne Dru
Castle Keep (1969)
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

During the Battle of the Bulge, an anachronistic count shelters a ragtag squad of Americans in his isolated castle hoping they will defend it against the advancing Germans.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Patrick O'Neal, Jean-Pierre Aumont
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Forced to trade his valuable furs for a well-educated escaped slave, a rugged trapper vows to recover the pelts from the Indians and later the renegades that killed them.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Shelley Winters, Telly Savalas
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

On its way to Denver, a cargo of whiskey destined for the miners, is sought after by the Temperance League, the U.S. Cavalry, the local Indians and the miners themselves.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Lee Remick, Jim Hutton
Comedy | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The black sheep of a family and the local minister discover their true vocations during the Revolutionary War.

Directors: Guy Hamilton, Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The triumph and tragedy of Native American Jim Thorpe, who, after winning both the pentathlon and decathlon in the same Olympics, is stripped of his medals on a technicality.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Charles Bickford, Steve Cochran
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A Mexican-American sheriff must resort to violence against a powerful rancher in order to get just compensation for the pregnant Indian widow of a wrongly killed black man.

Director: Edwin Sherin
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Susan Clark, Frank Silvera
Edit

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 »
Edit

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 »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

William Henry "Bully" Hayes (1829-77) was a South Seas pirate born in Cleveland, OH. He ran trading missions throughout the South Pacific (including the Marshall Islands, Cook Islands, New Zealand, Australia), specializing in rum and rifles, but he was not averse to "blackbirding" (slaving). He was killed after a violent disagreement and his body was thrown into the ocean. His murderer was never brought to justice. See more »

Goofs

O'Keefe returns to Hong Kong and stock footage is shown of people walking down a street. However, the movie is set in the 1870s and the footage is of 1950s Hong Kong. Giveaways include signs such as "No Motors". See more »

Quotes

Capt. David O'Keefe: [waking up to see a gun being pointed at him] Why am I being killed?
Bob Harris: I'm an old sea hand, O'Keefe. I've taken women aboard ships myself.
Capt. David O'Keefe: You're wrong, Harris. I want to marry her.
Bob Harris: To save your life!
Capt. David O'Keefe: If that's what you think, you better pull the trigger!
Bob Harris: You do love her?
Capt. David O'Keefe: And I'll make her a good husband!
Bob Harris: [lowers his gun] Be good to her.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Night Patrol (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

EMERALD ISLE
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Colourful Adventure Story
13 December 2013 | by JamesHitchcockSee all my reviews

Captain David O'Keefe was a real-life person, a 19th century Irish-born adventurer from Savannah, Georgia, who made his fortune in the copra trade on the South Pacific island of Yap. This film is a fictionalised version of his life-story, and as one might expect takes a few liberties with history. In the film O'Keefe becomes king of Yap and defends his people against the incursions of aggressive German colonisers. In reality, when O'Keefe arrived on the island in 1871 it was a Spanish colony and the newly-united German Empire had no interest in acquiring colonies in the South Pacific or anywhere else. Yap did not become German until 1899, well after the date at which the film is set. This change was possibly made because in 1954, only nine years after the end of the war, American audiences would have been more accustomed to seeing Germans than Spaniards as cinematic villains. The film does, however, provide one "good German" in the shape of O'Keefe's friend Alfred Tetens, another real-life person.

O'Keefe did indeed marry a local girl as shown here, but the film tactfully omits the fact that their marriage was invalid because he already had a wife in Savannah. The Production Code officially forbade the depiction of racially mixed marriages or romances, but by the fifties there seemed to be an unofficial relaxation of this rule in force. Relationships between white men and non-white women could be shown provided (a) the girl was described as being of mixed race and (b) she was played by a white actress. This rule was applied in "Showboat" and "Love is a Many-Splendoured Thing", and is also applied here. O'Keefe's sweetheart Dalabo, supposedly of mixed European and Micronesian descent, is played by the Derbyshire-born Joan Rice. Dalabo has a rival for O'Keefe's affections, but the said rival, being pure- blooded Yapese, has to lose out.

Rice, although undoubtedly decorative to look at, is never really convincing as a native of the South Seas, or for that matter of any part of the world further south than Derbyshire. Burt Lancaster, however, makes an agreeable hero, and receives good support from André Morell as Tetens. Later in his career Lancaster could be a very intense actor, often appearing in dramas with a serious social, political or philosophical purpose, but in his action films of the early fifties his style of acting was generally much more relaxed, and so it is here.

Many film-makers of the early days of the cinema were reluctant to venture too far away from a Hollywood studio, even when their films were ostensibly set in some exotic part of the globe. This attitude still prevailed in some quarters during the fifties; for example "Brigadoon", also made in 1954, had to be shot on MGM's sound stage, against a vast painted backdrop of Scottish-style scenery, because Dore Schary was reluctant to stump up the cost of transporting cast and crew all the way to Scotland, or even to some part of America that looked like Scotland. In other quarters, however, attitudes were changing as the studios began to realise that local colour and authentic scenery could be useful weapons in their battle against the new enemy, television.

"His Majesty O'Keefe" is a case in point, as much of the film was actually shot on location in the South Pacific. This doubtless increased the budget, but I think that the decision was the right one, as the result was a colourful, visually attractive film. Byron Haskin is unlikely to feature very highly on any list of Hollywood's great auteurs, but he was capable of producing some very decent and enjoyable adventure films (his 1953 version of "The War of the Worlds" is probably the best known) and this is another in that category. 7/10


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 23 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed