Three shifty sailors commandeer a smallpox-ridden boat and set out to sea. A typhoon washes them ashore on a faraway Pacific island, which is ruled by a white religious fanatic (Lloyd Nolan) who has set himself up as the local god.
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In the 1890s, white-skinned Ruby Taylor (Frances Farmer) makes a strange journey from Singapore to Pago Pago and meets Kehane (Jon Hall). son of the chieftain (Pedro de Cordoba) of the island natives who have lived for centuries knowing no thought of greed or evil...But Ruby's companions have their own plan for the future of Kehane and his brothers. Driven by greed, Brutal Captain Bucko Larsen (Victor McLasglen) is systematically crippling the young men of the tribe by making them dive deep into treacherous waters for the pearls he brings to Ruby in an attempt to buy her love. Roused by Larsen's ruthlessness, the young men of Kehane's tribe rebel against his domineering cruelty. A vicious battle ensues, in which the crude weapons of the natives are pitted against the firearms of the white men. The battle rages on to a violent culmination when Kehena turns the white men's weapons against them.Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
A flawless, exquisite Polynesian tapestry; should be a model for the genre
Edward Small took director Alfred E. Green's cast and crew - an uncommonly attractive and brilliant assemblage - to the south seas to do the majority of this curiously undersung piece on location. Far less stylized/dated than Goldwyn's THE HURRICANE, it is admittedly riddled with cliches and formula, but packaged in such visual and technical excellence it scarcely matters.
There are scenes that will stop the heart. Chiseled adonis Jon Hall and porcelain idol Frances Farmer outlined in profile(s) against the steaming background volcano take the romantic closeup to a level that defies comparison.
Edward Small's films typically were strings of frames any one of which was an individual work of art in itself. What can one say but that with this one he outdid even himself, as did workhorse composer Edward Ward on song and score, some years prior to his work on Universal's stunning PHANTOM OF THE OPERA?
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