In the Island of Manukura, a French colony in the South Seas, the joyful Terangi is a leader among the natives and the first mate of the Katopua, the tall ship of Captain Nagle. Terangi gets married with Marama and sooner he sails to Tahiti. While in a bar playing with other natives, Terangi is offended by an alcoholic racist French and he hits his face, breaking his jaw. Despite the testimony of Captain Nagle, Terangi is sentenced to six months of forced labor since the victim had political connections with the Powers That Be. Captain Nagle asks the Governor Eugene DeLaage to uses his influence to help Terangi, but the governor refuses. Terangi unsuccessfully tries to escape from the prison, and each attempt increases his sentence. Eight years later, he finally escapes and his jailbreak is celebrated in Manukura. Father Paul finds his canoe and brings Terangi to the island. But a devastating hurricane also arrives in the island threatening the dwellers.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
According to Life Magazine, special effects wizard James Basevi was given a budget of $400,000 to create his effects. He spent $150,000 to build a native village with a lagoon 200 yards long, and then spent $250,000 destroying it. See more »
When Terangi (Jon Hall) returns to Manukura after a 600-mile voyage across open ocean from Tahiti, he looks the same as when he left, except for some mild facial hair on his upper lip and his chin. After a voyage that long with no way to shave, he would have had a full beard. See more »
[as Terangi tries to kiss his hand]
No, no, you owe me no thanks, my son. This is between me and somebody else.
[a heavenly chorus is heard]
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The South Seas island of Manikoora is alive with happiness on the day of the wedding of Terangi and Marama. Terangi has his honeymoon cut short, when he has to sail to deliver cargo to Tahiti. Terangi's visit to Tahiti becomes hell when he slugs a man in a barroom brawl and is unjustly sentenced to six months in prison mainly because he as a native islander hit a white man. Terangi repeatedly tries to escape and is caught each time, only to add more years to his sentence. Back on Manikoora, Governor De Laage makes no effort to release Terangi because in his mind Terangi is a law breaker and deserves to be punished, despite the words of his wife, priest, and island doctor to the otherwise. One night Terangi does manage to escape, even though he unknowingly knocks a guard to the ground, killing him. Father Paul rescues Terangi from the sea and arranges to meet Marama and their daughter Tita. When De Laage learns that Terangi is back on the island, he makes a determined effort to apprehend him, not realizing one of the most devastating hurricanes is coming to strike, which may destroy the whole island. A very good movie. I was expecting much footage of hurricane destruction, I didn't realize the plot aspect of the prison, which was a lot more than plot filler. Hall and Lamour were good, even though I enjoyed their movies from the 40's a lot better. Massey gives one of the best performances of his long career as De Laage, as a heartless and sadistic fellow. The special effects are amazing, even by 2004 standards. Beautiful on-location photography as well. Rating, 9.
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