- Based On The Play By Richard Walton Tully
- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 22 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: September 9, 2003
- Originally Released: 1932
- Label: Alpha Video
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Sight and Sound - 07/01/2012
"Vidor and Selznick were going for the full matinee thrill...and their film is packed with dense visuals and immaculate process-shot set pieces..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
On a voyage through the tropics, Johnny (Joel McCrea), visits an idyllic island and falls madly in love with Luana (Dolores del Rio), the beautiful daughter of the local chieftain. Their romance is threatened when Luana is fated to be sacrificed to the volcano god. She is faced with a seemingly impossible decision - save her people from the erupting volcano or run away with her true love. Is their passion strong enough to survive this cruel fate?
Bird Of Paradise was inspired by Richard Walton Tully's Broadway play of 1912, which also spawned the 1930 Rudolf Friml musical Luana. Lavishly filmed in Hawaii, Bird Of Paradise is an explosive narrative of romance, tragedy and forbidden love.
Having inherited the warhorse stage piece BIRD OF PARADISE from his predecessor William LeBaron, RKO Radio production chief David O. Selznick opted to do the property up brown, hoping to transform the Richard Walton Tully original into RKO's "prestige" offering of 1932. Joel McCrea stars as a handsome South Seas soldier of fortune who falls in love with Dolores Del Rio, the daughter of a Polynesian native chieftain. Alas, their idyllic romance is destined to come to a sudden and violent end: tribal custom decrees that Del Rio is to be sacrificed to the local volcano. After initial resistance, the heroine nobly resigns herself to her fate, realizing that there is no place for her in her white lover's civilization. A more conservative (and far less costly) version of BIRD OF PARADISE was filmed in 1952, with Jeff Chandler and Debra Paget.
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Movie Lovers' Ratings & Reviews:
Based on 27 ratings.
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South Sea romance, intrigue . . . and Busby Berkeley!
Movie Lover: Dan Nather
Cincinnati, OH US
-- November, 5, 2004
BIRD OF PARADISE is a remarkable film. It even manages to shine through a worn and scratchy print, and that says a lot. Produced by David O. Selznick (GONE WITH THE WIND) and sensitively directed by King Vidor (THE CROWD, OUR DAILY BREAD), this film is a tender treatment of a touchy subject: interracial romance. There's also an idyllic South Sea setting, an angry volcano, native dances choreographed by Busby Berkeley, the handsome Joel McCrea, and the almost-too-beautiful Dolores Del Rio baring it all for an intimate swim in the ocean.
That's a lot to get into one picture, but somehow it all hangs together. It can get corny and sentimental at times, and the PC crowd may not like it, but I found it immensely entertaining.
- Sales Rank: 1,541
- UPC: 089218422699
- Shipping Weight: 0.29/lbs (approx)
- International Shipping: 1 item