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Bird of Paradise

USA 1932
produced by
King Vidor, David O. Selznick (executive) for RKO
directed by King Vidor
starring Dolores Del Rio, Joel McCrea, John Halliday, Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher, Bert Roach, Lon Chaney jr (as Creighton Chaney), Wade Boteler, Arnold Gray, Reginald Simpson, Napoleon Pukui, Agostino Borgato, Sofia Ortega
screenplay by Leonard Praskins, Wells Root, Wanda Tuchock, based on the play by Richard Walton Tully, music by Max Steiner, dance scenes choreographed by Busby Berkeley

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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On a yachting trip through the South Seas with his friends, Johnny (Joel McCrea) meets lovely native girl Luana (Dolores del Rio) and decides to stay behind while his friends continue their trip. But when he wants to get intimate with her, her tribe forces teh two apart because she's a Princess and mustn't be touched. To keep them apart, she is supposed to be married to a Prince from the neighbouring island, and Johnny is tied up so he cannot interfere. He is freed though by an old and sympathetic native woman, and he grabs Luana from the wedding ceremonies and they manage to get away to a dessert island, where they are living just like in paradise ... that is, until the volcano on Luana's island is starting to erupt, and her tribe comes to take her back. Johnny tries to prevent it but is fighting a losing battle - until his friends return from their roundtrip, shoot a few of the natives who are trying to kill Johnny, and take him and Luana with them. Luana tries her best to come to terms with going with Johnny and learning the joys of something he calls civilisation, but seeing the volcano erupt, she becomes convinced it's her people she belongs to, and she returns to her island, even if that means she might be sacrificed to the volcano god before long ...

 

Not necessarily a great film in the traditional sense of the word, but a great piece of old-fashioned escapism, with larger than life adventure and romance as well as exotic locale firmly in place, as well as lovely Dolores del Rio in some very revealing (for its time) outfits and a nude swimming scene. Add to that a very competent directorial effort and beautiful locations, and you've got one nice piece of camp.

 

 

 

For those inclined, also check out the video review of Bird of Paradise I did with filmmaker Sean Weathers, with the movie in its entirety playing afterwards.

 

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD