6.1/10
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28 user 26 critic

Bird of Paradise (1932)

Passed | | Adventure, Drama, Romance | 12 August 1932 (USA)
A native girl falls for a visitor to her island, but she's chosen to be sacrificed to the volcano god.

Director:

King Vidor

Writers:

Richard Walton Tully (play), Wells Root (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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A way of life is dying on an Outer Hebridean island fishing port, but some of the inhabitants resist evacuating to the mainland.

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Stars: Niall MacGinnis, Belle Chrystall, John Laurie
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dolores del Rio ... Luana
Joel McCrea ... Johnny Baker
John Halliday ... Mac
Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher ... Chester
Bert Roach ... Hector
Lon Chaney Jr. ... Thornton (as Creighton Chaney)
Wade Boteler ... Skipper Johnson
Arnold Gray ... Walker
Reginald Simpson Reginald Simpson ... O'Fallon
Napoleon Pukui Napoleon Pukui ... The King
Agostino Borgato Agostino Borgato ... Medicine Man
Sofia Ortega Sofia Ortega ... Mahumahu
Edit

Storyline

A young man falls overboard and is saved by a beautiful Polynesian girl. They fall in love, but their idyll is smashed when the local volcano begins to erupt. The man discovers that the local custom is to sacrifice a young woman to the volcanic gods. They try to escape but realize that "east is east and west is west, and never the twain shall meet." Written by Ed Lorusso

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Hissing Lava Stains the Night with Red! (Print Ad-Peekskill Evening Star,((Peekskill, NY)) 24 September 1932)


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hawaiian

Release Date:

12 August 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ave do Paraíso See more »

Filming Locations:

Hawaii, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dolores del Rio appears nude in the underwater love scene. See more »

Quotes

Chester: What is this? A paper hangers convention? All kidding aside, Skippy, what - what is this?
Skipper Johnson: It's Poi!
Chester: Poi?
Hector: It's a poi!
Chester: Poi or girl, I wouldn't like it.
Hector: You like poi. You remember the poi your mother used to bake: apple poi, lemon poi, rhubarb poi.
Chester: Oh, that kinda poi! Mmm, that's good.
See more »

Connections

Version of Bird of Paradise (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

Passionate romance in tropical setting
6 April 2003 | by arneblazeSee all my reviews

I despair of non-romantics taking the time to denigrate with their reviews ultra-romantic films, such as this.

BIRD OF PARADISE is a masterwork - superbly photographed (the lighting, composition and mobility of the camera are astonishing), lushly scored (Max Steiner's score is the first ever to run from beginning to end of a talking film), and lyrically directed. Del Rio's performance is perfection - a native woman whose only future is to be sacrificed to Pele, the God of Volcanos, who finds true love with a white man who visits her island and chooses to stay.

For romantics, this is a classic tear-jerker and an exercise in sheer visual beauty. The underwater swimming scene between a nude Del Rio and a McCrea clad only in the thinnest of briefs is unique in cinema.

Perhaps the Academy's shut-out of this work is due to its coming on the heel of the semi-documentary Murnau TABU, the year before which explored similar themes. No reason however not to nominate it for Del Rio's performance, the cinematography and the score.

One of the most visually beautiful films ever made and a must-see for romantics.


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