Opened: October 10, 1966
Directed by: George Roy Hill
Starring: Julie Andrews, Max von Sydow, Jocelyne LaGarde, Gene Hackman, Richard Harris, Carroll O’Connor, Manu Tupou, Lokelani S. Chicarell, Ted Nobriga, Elizabeth Logue, John Cullum, George Rose, Lou Antonio, Torin Thatcher, Michael Constantine, Malcolm Atterbury, Diane Sherry & Heather Menzies
James Michener’s epic nearly 1000-page novel gets adapted into this nearly three-hour film with a starry cast highlighting the issues of invading new land to push Western views.
Reverend Abner Hale (Max von Sydow) volunteers to help bring Christianity to the Islands of Hawaii. Needing to be married, he weds Jerusha Bromley (Julie Andrews) whom has been long waiting for the return of her love whaler Captain Rafer Hoxworth (Richard Harris). When they arrive to the Islands, spreading their views isn’t easy especially when Rafer shows up.
Despite the star power of the three leads, Jocelyn LaGarde – in her only acting role – stands out in every scene as Ali’i Nui Mallama Kanakoa. Sydow’s character is hard to warm up to and while you care for Andrews’ Jerusha, she is never developed fully.
Final say: Slow, but with beautiful scenery. ★★★☆☆