6.2/10
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23 user 5 critic

His Majesty O'Keefe (1954)

A Yankee sea captain has adventures in paradise trying to become an entrepreneur in Micronesia.

Directors:

Byron Haskin, Burt Lancaster (uncredited)

Writers:

Borden Chase (screenplay), James Hill (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Burt Lancaster ... Capt. David Dion O'Keefe / Narrator
Joan Rice ... Dalabo aki Dali
André Morell ... Alfred Tetins (as Andre Morell)
Abraham Sofaer ... Fatumak, Medicine Man
Archie Savage ... Boogulroo
Benson Fong ... Mr. Chou
Tessa Prendergast Tessa Prendergast ... Kakofel
Lloyd Berrell Lloyd Berrell ... Inifel
Charles Horvath ... Capt. Bully Hayes
Philip Ahn ... Sien Tang, Dentist
Guy Doleman ... Herr Weber
Grant Taylor ... Lt. Brenner
Alexander Archdale Alexander Archdale ... Bob Harris
Harvey Adams Harvey Adams ... Herr Friedlander
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Storyline

In 1870, Yankee sea captain O'Keefe finds himself stranded after a mutiny on the Micronesian island of Yap, where the financial potential of copra (dried cocoanut) excites him. But a German company already has a monopoly...and very low production because hard work is alien to dwellers in paradise. On a later voyage, between affairs with island maidens, O'Keefe struggles to find the key to the wealth of Yap. But before he can carve out the empire of his dreams, he must also contend with assorted villains... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Adventure Beyond The Fabulous! Two Years In The Making! All Of It Actually Filmed In The Fiji Islands!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 January 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

East Meets West See more »

Filming Locations:

Viti Levu, Fiji See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,550,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The British print has a Robert Farnon score conducted by Louis Levy, re-scored in Hollywood by Dimitri Tiomkin. Both versions are occasionally screened on British television. See more »

Goofs

The longboat used for the German steamship of the Gadefreude Company, and the longboat used for the old Chinese Junk that O'keefe acquired in Hong Kong, appear to be exactly the same boat. It's hardly possible that the old Chinese Junk and the German steamship would have exactly matching longboats. See more »

Quotes

Capt. David O'Keefe: Goodbye, Fatumak. Thank you for everything. Goodbye!
Fatumak, Medicine Man: There are no goodbyes between friends.
[handing him a necklace]
Fatumak, Medicine Man: This is the whale's tooth of remembrance until we meet again.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Night Patrol (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

EMERALD ISLE
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
See more »

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User Reviews

Why work?
4 May 2008 | by SillyhuronSee all my reviews

A deeply subversive, yet utterly enjoyable (and kinda true)South Seas movie from the 50's. Burt Lancaster is a typical 19th century trader/pirate whose only ambition is to make money out of the "natives", and fast. He comes to a Pacific Island Utopia where no one has to work... because who needs money?...

Vastly underrrated, this film makes all kinds of points. The Natives (half of whom, admittedly,are white guys in blackface)are dangerous quasi-cannibals. But the white guys (including Burt!)are plain Euro- Trash. The head chief, and Burt's head wife (Joan Rice in a lovely performance - she takes the cliché of the innocent island girl and makes a performance out of it with her eyelashes) are the real heroes.

Did I mention the Chinese dentist who knows more about investments than Burt? Or the German philosophy student who can relate to the natives better than Europeans? Filmed on location in Fiji with a cast that seem to be having the time of their lives, HIS MAJESTY O'KEEFE is a very simple, yet completely fun relic of the non-PC days. (P.S. Check out the other scripts by Borden Chase. Some good ones there...)


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