6.9/10
7,260
74 user 29 critic

Donovan's Reef (1963)

Approved | | Adventure, Comedy, Romance | 19 July 1963 (Japan)
Comedy subtly dealing with moral issues such as racial bigotry, corporate greed, American belief of societal superiority and hypocrisy.

Director:

John Ford

Writers:

Frank S. Nugent (screenplay) (as Frank Nugent), James Edward Grant (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Hellfighters (1968)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The story of macho oil well firefighters and their wives.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: John Wayne, Katharine Ross, Jim Hutton
Adventure | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 1863, a Union outfit is sent behind Confederate lines in Mississippi to destroy enemy railroads but a captive southern belle and the unit's doctor cause frictions within ranks.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, William Holden, Constance Towers
Hatari! (1962)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A group of men trap wild animals in Africa and sell them to zoos before the arrival of a female wildlife photographer threatens to change their ways.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: John Wayne, Elsa Martinelli, Hardy Krüger
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A biography of Navy flier-turned-screenwriter Frank W. "Spig" Wead.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Dan Dailey
McLintock! (1963)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Wealthy rancher G.W. McLintock uses his power and influence in the territory to keep the peace between farmers, ranchers, land-grabbers, Indians and corrupt government officials.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Patrick Wayne
The War Wagon (1967)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The story of a man who was shot, robbed and imprisoned who returns to steal a large gold shipment from the man who wronged him. The gold is transported in an armored stage coach, the War Wagon.

Director: Burt Kennedy
Stars: John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Howard Keel
Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Texas Ranger Jake Cutter arrests gambler Paul Regret, but soon finds himself teamed with his prisoner in an undercover effort to defeat a band of renegade arms merchants and thieves known as Comancheros.

Directors: Michael Curtiz, John Wayne
Stars: John Wayne, Stuart Whitman, Ina Balin
Certificate: Passed Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Ranch owner Katie Elder's four sons determine to avenge the murder of their father and the swindling of their mother.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: John Wayne, Dean Martin, Martha Hyer
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

After the Civil War, ex-Confederate soldiers heading for a new life in Mexico run into ex-Union cavalrymen selling horses to the Mexican government but they must join forces to fight off Mexican bandits and revolutionaries.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: John Wayne, Rock Hudson, Antonio Aguilar
In Harm's Way (1965)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A Naval officer, reprimanded after Pearl Harbor, is later promoted to Rear Admiral and gets a second chance to prove himself against the Japanese.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Patricia Neal
Big Jake (1971)
Certificate: GP Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 1909, when John Fain's gang kidnaps Jacob McCandles' grandson and holds him for ransom, Big Jake sets out to rescue the boy.

Directors: George Sherman, John Wayne
Stars: John Wayne, Richard Boone, Maureen O'Hara
Comedy | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

During the Alaska gold rush, prospector George sends partner Sam to Seattle to bring his fiancée but when it turns out that she married another man, Sam returns with a pretty substitute, the hostess of the Henhouse dance hall.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: John Wayne, Stewart Granger, Ernie Kovacs
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Wayne ... Michael Patrick 'Guns' Donovan
Lee Marvin ... Thomas Aloysius 'Boats' Gilhooley
Elizabeth Allen ... Ameilia Dedham
Jack Warden ... Dr. William Dedham
Cesar Romero ... Marquis Andre de Lage
Dick Foran ... Australian Navy Officer Sean O'Brien
Dorothy Lamour ... Miss Lafleur
Marcel Dalio ... Father Cluzeot
Mike Mazurki ... Sgt. Monk Menkowicz
Jacqueline Malouf Jacqueline Malouf ... Lelani Dedham
Cherylene Lee Cherylene Lee ... Sarah 'Sally' Dedham
Jeffrey Byron ... Luki Dedham (as Tim Stafford)
Edgar Buchanan ... Boston Attorney Francis X. O'Brien
Jon Fong Jon Fong ... Mister Eu
Edit

Storyline

In an ideal society on a picturesque South Sea island, there are people of several races and backgrounds living together in harmony. John Wayne is a WWII hero, who worked hard to own a shipping company and finds his true love. She is as strong a woman as he is a man. An adventure and love story.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Wild, Wayne and Wonderful! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

19 July 1963 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Donovan's Reef See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$2,686,585 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

John Ford Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

John Ford was not allowed to drink on the set because of health problems he had at 68 years old. See more »

Goofs

Ameilia presents Gilhooley with a Christmas present then goes out back of the bar to confront Donovan. When she returns, not more than a couple of minutes later, Gilhooley already has the train set put together on the bar and is playing with it. See more »

Quotes

Ameilia Sarah Dedham: Say, I have a wonderful idea! How would you like to spend Christmas at my house?
[as everyone stares at her, she suddenly realizes she had just committed a faux pas]
Michael Patrick 'Guns' Donovan: You mean that would be better than putting up a Christmas tree in a saloon?
Ameilia Sarah Dedham: ...No. I... Well, naturally you would want to spend Christmas with your father.
Lelani Dedham: Thank you, Amelia. I think it would be nice to spend Christmas in your father's house.
Michael Patrick 'Guns' Donovan: Well, that settles that... Father!
[Cluseot]
Michael Patrick 'Guns' Donovan: Not that way. That's a saloon. The gate.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Budd Boetticher: A Man Can Do That (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Frere Jacques
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by the children
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
This is why you go to the movies. Because it's fun.
22 September 2005 | by documain-1See all my reviews

Donovan's Reef is fun. It has a decent story, good characters, and stunning scenery. This is why you go to the movies, isn't it? If compared against Ford's acknowledged masterpieces, Dononvan's Reef does not measure up, but measured against other escapist films, it is a great movie. John Wayne's performance is consistently good, and as always, believable. Wayne was so real in his films, that he is never considered to be a good actor, but if you look at his body of work, you have to admit he could do it all. His Guns Donovan character is certainly up to snuff, and he does well with what he has. His interaction with Lee Marvin as Boats Gilhooley is as good as any of his other brawling, head-butting clashes with legends like Ward Bond or Victor McGlaglen. Lee Marvin is very funny and clever in his scenes, and very rarely over the top. He could always deliver on a character that was supposed to be likable, but mentally ill.

Aside from the fun, we have a significant plot element of prejudice considering the behavior of Guns, Boats, and Andre, where they hide the Doctor's half-caste Polynesian children from the All-White Bostonian daughter, Amelia. Paradoxically, we have Chinese stereotypes in the form of goofy looking morons with toothy grins and heavy accents. Still, in the end reason prevails in that the young Leilani shows wisdom beyond her years. When she sings a prayer of thanks to the goddess of the canyon where Guns chops down their Christmas tree, Amelia asks if she believes in gods and goddesses. Leilani replies, "I believe in one God, as we all do, but I respect the customs and beliefs of my people." Amelia subsequently accepts the cultural differences with a gracious bow to Leilani, who is being honored as the last hereditary princess of the island. That is a nicely done scene.

If you focus on what Donovan's Reef isn't, it will be a disappointing film. If you enjoy it for what it is, you will have a great time.


21 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 74 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed