An American missionary and his wife travel to the exotic island kingdom of Hawaii, intent on converting the natives. But the clash between the two cultures is too great and instead of understanding there comes tragedy.
Reverend Abner Hale (Max Von Sydow), a rigid and humorless New England missionary, marries the beautiful Jerusha Bromley (Dame Julie Andrews) and takes her to the exotic island kingdom of Hawaii, intent on converting the natives. But the clash between the two cultures is too great and instead of understanding, there comes tragedy.Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Rex Reed the critic said about Max Von Sydow "a stunning actor in Ingmar Bergman's films, he was probably lured to Hollywood with enough money to retire on farm in Sweden for the rest of his life. Another film like Hawaii and he may have to." See more »
When Abner watches the destruction of his church by the whistling wind after Malama dies, when the bell tower topples over, the rope used to pull it over can be seen. See more »
Dr. John Whipple:
[Addressing Abner, while holding Keoki's lifeless body, victim of the measles epidemic that has ravaged the native Hawaiians]
There's nothing you could've done for him... When Captain Cook discovered these islands 50 years ago, they were a true paradise. Infectious disease was unknown. They didn't even catch cold! And there were 400,000 of them - now there are less than 150,000. You and I may well live to see the last Hawaiian lowered into his grave - with proper Christian services, of course.
See more »
CBS edited 69 minutes from this film in order to fit it into a 3-hour time slot for its 1974 network television premiere. See more »
This is an epic, it was meant to be an epic, and to me it still encompasses an epic. It is a story of, in my view, dictatorship. A harsh word to some I am sure, but, that is what it is. The missionary is the dictator, and what he dictates is his belief on others. Some call it brain-washing other's call it the correct way of living.
One way of living towards a different way of living. To say one is the incorrect way is not correct. The 'Christian' way of living is the 'correct' way of living for the Christian - the 'Hawaiin way of life is the 'correct' way of living for the Hawaiin.
I have not known any one religion that tried or have succeeded in forcing their beliefs on others, may be the Romans and/or Greeks (I think basically their belief structures at the time were of the same). That is the one doctrine that Christianity is about: converting. But, then as even now, they do it in a crude and callous manner. They do not let those they wish to convert - choose. They force their ideals upon others for the 'betterment' of 'their' religion and beliefs. Christians only believe that their religion is supreme and all other religions and God's must be false, and they succeed in their ego's.
This picture touches such matters. It shows from both sides. It shows how the Christians conquer their objective and how the Hawaiin's react to such conquering.
There is no 'good' in this epic yet at the same moment there is no 'bad'. It is just what it is - a story to be told.
The actors play well in their roles, Julie Andrews acts the same in my opinion as all the rest of the movies she has been in. Gene Hackman I think was good and Max Von Sydow who has played various roles (my favorite being the lawyer in Snow Falling On Cedars - and the worst being in Flash Gordon) plays this role to ease and temperment.
Tho, I do not agree with some aspects, as I am sure others do not as well as I have read in previous comments, this movie is well made and well put.
There is a story and the story is told.
Hawaii then, and Hawaii now - is it for the betterment? Or is it just a part of life where some nations conquer, some nations claim things that are not theirs for the betterment of their beliefs and the betterment of human kind?
9 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this