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Hurricane (1979)

The desperate love affair between a young Samoan chief and an American painter, against the will of her father. Amid this man-made tension comes a hurricane so devastating, the lives of the lovers and the entire island are imperiled.


Jan Troell


James Norman Hall (novel), Charles Nordhoff (novel) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jason Robards ... Capt. Bruckner
Mia Farrow ... Charlotte Bruckner
Max von Sydow ... Dr. Danielsson
Trevor Howard ... Father Malone
Timothy Bottoms ... Jack Sanford
Dayton Ka'ne Dayton Ka'ne ... Matangi
James Keach ... Sgt. Strang
Ariirau Tekurarere Ariirau Tekurarere ... Moana
Alex W. du Prel Alex W. du Prel ... Cpl. Morrah (as Willie Myers)
Nick Rutgers Nick Rutgers ... Cmdr. Blair
Nancy Hall Rutgers Nancy Hall Rutgers ... Mrs. Blair
Manu Tupou ... Samolo
Simplet Tefane Simplet Tefane ... Velaga
Piero Bushin Piero Bushin ... Running Man
Noel Teparii Noel Teparii ... Tano


The desperate love affair between a young Samoan chief and an American painter, against the will of her father. Amid this man-made tension comes a hurricane so devastating, the lives of the lovers and the entire island are imperiled.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


There is only one safe place... in each other's arms.


Adventure | Drama


PG | See all certifications »



USA | Netherlands



Release Date:

12 April 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Forbidden Paradise See more »


Box Office


$22,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Trevor Howard complained to Roger Ebert when he visited the location that he " had been on the set for 30 days and only been used once". See more »

Alternate Versions

The original 1979 UK theatrical release was passed with a 'AA' certificate (prohibiting anyone under 14) with cuts to the 'deflowering' of the native girl, and re-released the following year as an 'A' certificate in a shorter and heavily edited print with further cuts to the same scene including all later references to it. The 1987 Guild video was 15 rated and featured the full uncut print. See more »


Edited into Superman III (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

Better than its reputation, but still pretty weak
28 February 2016 | by zetesSee all my reviews

The much maligned remake of John Ford's 1937 film (or at least the second adaptation of the novel, which came out in 1936) is not as bad as its reputation, but it doesn't really work. They change things up a bit to make it about an interracial romance. Mary Astor's character (now played by Mia Farrow) is now the daughter of the governor character (played here by Jason Robards), and the lead native character (played by newcomer Dayton Ka'ne) falls in love with her. This being the 1920s, their romance is looked down upon (by both races). The initial premise change isn't too bad, but it weakens the rest of the plot, which plays out pretty similarly to the original film. Ka'ne's crime is far less sympathetic than it was; there he was arrested for assaulting a racist who insulted him. Here, he, as chief of his people, allows a custom of checking for a bride's virginity before she's married - the girl is so upset about it she drowns herself. Farrow helps Ka'ne escape, but their plans, and everyone's lives, are disrupted by the hurricane. Jon Hall was kind of the weak link in Ford's film, but Ka'ne is far worse. Even besides his more detestable crime, he's just not that likable an actor. Farrow's infatuation with him never comes off as real love, so there's no romance to latch onto. Farrow herself isn't too bad, but she's ten years older than the character should be at least. Robards is the best thing about it. Trevor Howard plays the priest and Max von Sydow the doctor. Both are fine, but the roles probably should have been reversed. It doesn't really matter, though, since both characters get short shafted by the script. Timothy Bottoms is pretty good as Farrow's initial love interest (he doesn't really have an analogue in the original). The actual hurricane is still pretty good, but the ending is lame. The film looks great, thanks to Sven Nykvist and, you know, Bora Bora just being beautiful in general.

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