6.9/10
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69 user 28 critic

Donovan's Reef (1963)

Not Rated | | 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 »
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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
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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 a strong a woman as he is a man. An adventure and love story.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Gangway...For This Years BIG Adventure! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

19 July 1963 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Hafenkneipe von Tahiti See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,686,585 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$6,600,000, 31 December 1963
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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jack Warden, who played Elizabeth Allen's father, was only nine years her senior in real life. See more »

Goofs

Ameilia loses her stockings after falling in the water. See more »

Quotes

Michael Patrick 'Guns' Donovan: Aw, Monk, you're not gonna let three guys take on one - even if it is Gilhooley.
Sergeant Monk Menkowicz: I seen it done.
See more »

Connections

References They Were Expendable (1945) See more »

Soundtracks

Waltzing Matilda
(uncredited)
Music by Christina McPherson
Lyrics by A.B. 'Banjo' Paterson
Sung by the Australian sailors
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A fine, funny movie, with moments of deep poetry
7 December 2000 | by pzanardoSee all my reviews

"Donovan's Reef" is an accurately made, funny, light-hearted work, with some moments of deep poetry. For the audience it is more a relaxing vacation than an actual movie: we are transferred to a paradisiac South Pacific island, where a bunch of super-nice guys, our friends John Wayne, Lee Marvin, Elizabeth Allen, Dorothy Lamour, Mike Mazurki, Cesar Romero make a funny show to entertain us. From the very beginning we find John Ford's characteristic sense of humour: we see a family meeting of sullen Bostonian shipowners, who all take for granted that their relative Dr. Dedham (Jack Warden) is living in orgiastic promiscuity over there, in the Islands of Sin. And then there is the usual number of (harmless) fist-fights and brawls... and a quarrel-loaded love-story... and many comic misunderstandings...

"Donovan's Reef" is one of the very last cinema appointments of John Ford. Inside this light comedy, the old Master inserts touches of his poetic legacy, his trade-mark messages of peace, brotherhood, anti-racism. An evident instance is the scene of the Christmas Mass and Ceremony, with the islanders in their native costumes. And then there is an extremely poignant short scene, just few seconds. The nice little French priest is walking on a beautiful, sunny lawn, shaded by palm-trees, close to the sea: it's the cemetery. We see tombs with a Celtic cross, a French cross, a David's star; then the priest stops at a native barrow, covered with garlands, and he starts to pray (this is the tomb of the late native princess, the doctor's wife). After the storms of our life on this earth, we become all brothers in a better world. This quiet and dignified, yet full of religious hope acceptance of death is one of the most felt and profound themes of Ford's poetry.

I recommend "Donovan's Reef": enjoy the humour, the funny action, the fine performances of the cast, and don't miss the deep poetic touches of the Master John Ford.


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