Deliriously salacious pre-code romp w/ exposed posteriors, barely camouflaged breasts, and seriously suggestive use of coconut milk. It was the beginning of talkies. The machinery was ponderous and heavy. It is impressive to see some of the ways Vidor is inspired to place the camera. It looks great. And it is deliciously stupid. Coconut milk shooting out the nostrils stupid. Some will be aghast. Some appalled.
Please, do not watch this if you are taking it seriously. Joke (?) aside, it's one to pass without feeling guilty. But if you have some spare time, it's a pre-Code movie, so it's kinda interesting to watch with that in mind. Other than that, it really isn't a good movie.
Pretty creaky old King Vidor film that seems to have tried to cash in on 'Tabu' and 'Tarzan' with a silly story about a seaman's love with a native girl. McCrea is pretty awful here and Dolores Del Rio may well be sexy but even the film's pre-code naughtiness doesn't keep it interesting.
A sublime RKO ethno-fantasy of the South Seas, combining genuine island footage shot in Hawai'i with pure cinema magic. The cinematography excels in earthquake, whirlpool, and volcano effects, but also in the lighting of faces, underwater scenes and in Vidor's bold visual storytelling. It's an absurd story of a white man in love with a native, using all the expected stereotypes; but it's also a triumph for cinema.
Almost impossible to enjoy such a trite plot and flat characters. The movie is, predictably, racist, and littered with lines like, "what if i make you kiss me" and "you belong to me now," all of which perpetuate the dominance of the white male. Not to mention this seemingly harmless flick emphasizes the misconception that lust is identical to love. But as for the filmmaking, the underwater camera work is beautiful.
Vidor was great (I love THE CROWD), and this film gets 3 stars for being watchable and entertaining, but my appreciation for such racist garbage is very limited. Almost every scene perpetuates white supremacy and the Hollywood meme of Tribal people as "other", "superstitious", and incapable of rational thought. I know, I am supposed to be pleased with Dolores Del Rio dancing topless, or seeing coconut milk dripping
It's a twisted morality which would condemn this film's mild sexuality yet find no fault with its flagrant dehumanization of all but the archetypal white male hero. Aside from that, this is a thoroughly entertaining adventure from a time when the lessons of the silent era had not yet been completely cast aside by the production-line homogeneity of Hollywood's so-called "Golden Age".