Action / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 75%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 51%
IMDb Rating 6.6 10 2437


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April 21, 2016 at 03:16 AM


Richard Harris as Capt. Rafer Hoxworth
Julie Andrews as Jerusha Bromley
Gene Hackman as Dr. John Whipple
Max von Sydow as Rev. Abner Hale
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1.13 GB
23.976 fps
3hr 9 min
P/S 2 / 2
2.43 GB
23.976 fps
3hr 9 min
P/S 3 / 2

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Benedito Dias Rodrigues 8 / 10

A Dogmatic Christian Missionary clash with primitive people!!!

This novel adaptation by George Roy Hill is fabulous in plenty way,centered in a dogmactic Christian Missionary played magnificently by Max Von Sydow,showing how damages can be done when two differents levels of civilization were obliged to lives together,one more civilized and strong side of rope and another in low degree still in a primitive life....all this managed by a puritane christian who insist by any means change a thousand years of native culture,Julie Andrews was top billing but has a secondary role as missionary's wife....a bit too long but totally understood about a nature of the story...Great unknown movie!!


First watch: 2018 / How many: 1 / Source: DVD / Rating: 8

Reviewed by SimonJack 6 / 10

A flat portrayal of one chapter in Hawaiian history

If Hollywood were subject to truth in packaging laws, its promotion of many movies would certainly be grounds for lawsuits. A case could be brought against Mirisch and United Artists for its promotion of "Hawaii" as being based on James Michener's novel of the same title. In reality, this film is based on one chapter – about 17% of the book. It's also billed as epic and that's questionable because it covers just a little more than 20 years. If one was expecting to see Michener's epic on film, this isn't it. Nor is there a whole film on the novel.

But, it is a fair rendition of chapter three of the novel. It's a story of some of the earliest Christian missionaries – the Calvinists, and their efforts to convert the native Hawaiians. The screenplay interweaves some of the folklore of chapter two as well, with the flight of the people a millennium before from Bora Bora. It covers well the traditional conflict that drove the people to flee to this new land. As Malama Kanakoa (played by Jocelyne LaGarde) says, they fled because other islands were trying to force them to worship the terrible and mean god of fire, Oro. The people wanted to keep their god of happiness, Tãne, so they brought him with them to Hawaii.

The movie shows the clash of cultures that occurred. Such happens throughout history with the movement of peoples from one place to another. Religion, social customs, dress, food and all aspects of society and life clash when different cultures collide. Here, the major clash is between religious beliefs. The purveyor of the Calvinist brand of Christianity here is an even sterner and harsher missionary, Rev. Abner Hale, played by Max von Sydow. He is accompanied by his new wife, Jerusha Bromley, played by Julie Andrews.

The plot has a little intrigue, with a former love interest of Jerusha's in Capt. Rafer Hoxworth. Richard Harris plays the whaling master, who is portrayed as a heathen in his own right. Some other major characters are Dr. John Whipple (Gene Hackman), Keoki (Manu Tupou), and Charles Bromley (Carroll O'Connor).

The story begins around 1820. It was filmed in Hawaii, Tahiti, Norway and the living history museum of Old Sturbidge Village in Massachusetts. It was a box office success, yielding more than twice its budget. And, it was well received by the critics of the day. But, it failed to garner a single Oscar form seven nominations for Academy Awards. The only major awards it won were two Golden Globes. Jocelyne LaGarde was chosen by the Hollywood foreign press as best supporting actress. And Elmer Bernstein won the Globe for best original score.

Both of these were well deserved. While all the players were adequate to good, one other stood out. Max von Sydow was excellent as Rev. Abner Hale. He put energy into the role. And, he got slapped around and knocked down more times than any character I can recall in my years of watching movies. He did receive a Golden Globe nomination as best actor.

Hale was Michener's caricature of Hiram Bingham, the real early New England missionary to Hawaii. Bingham led the first group of Protestant missionaries to the Sandwich Islands (the Kingdom of Hawaii). They arrived in 1819. He eventually won over the queen, Ka-ahumanu, and urged her to develop a strong anti-Catholic policy. Hawaiians who became Catholic were persecuted for decades. As the movie shows, the missionaries in time began commercial enterprises and many became founding families of the new state.

With a fine musical score and wonderful scenic shots, the film still comes up short. It doesn't seem to have much life. At times, it seems somewhat like a daytime soap opera. But for von Sydow's exuberant performance (almost scary at times), the characters seem mostly to just be going through the motions of putting on a play. Manu Tupou as Keoki comes alive in a couple of scenes, but otherwise the story and the film seem flat. The story is just interesting enough to keep one watching. But by no means is this an epic film. An epic production of Michener's novel would be welcome.

Reviewed by SnoopyStyle 6 / 10

it's a long, long, looonnng life

Prince Keoki Kanakoa pleads for the promised word of God. Humorless stiff Abner Hale (Max von Sydow) and his newly married wife Jerusha (Julie Andrews) join him on the treacherous voyage to Hawaii. They meet the aliʻi nui, Keoki's mother Malama in Lahaina, Maui. She takes Jerusha to teach her writing. The permissive sexuality, native traditions on marriages and other practices cause a rift between Abner and the natives. Abner demands that Malama end her marriage to her brother which is the custom at the time. Capt. Rafer Hoxworth (Richard Harris) and his whalers cause disruptions. Rafer was actually Jerusha's love but she had assumed he stopped writing. He insists otherwise and vows never to pass on other women again. Malama installs strict new laws and the whalers riot. Brother John Whipple (Gene Hackman) leaves the church after marrying brother Abraham to a native which caused Abraham to be expelled.

This is one part of the James A. Michener's epic novel Hawaii. It's still too big and should have followed Jerusha instead. Abner is an unpleasant man to center a movie around. Her story is much more fascinating anyways. She's actually the center of every relationship in the movie. It would allow Richard Harris to be introduced earlier. She should not be reduced to a simple dutiful wife. It's more compelling to see her navigate her restricted roles in an expanded world. These are great actors and Jocelyne LaGarde is a real find.

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