The Hawaiians (1970)

GP | 134 mins | Melodrama | 17 June 1970

Director:

Tom Gries

Writer:

James R. Webb

Producer:

Walter Mirisch

Cinematographers:

Lucien Ballard, Philip Lathrop

Production Designer:

Cary Odell

Production Company:

Mirisch Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

The Hawaiians was based on a section of James Michener’s epic 1959 novel, Hawaii, and served as a sequel to the first film adaptation of the book, titled Hawaii (1966, see entry) after the book. A review of The Hawaiians in the 18 Jun 1970 NYT specified that James R. Webb’s script was taken from a portion of Michener’s novel around 100 pages in length, “beginning somewhere after page 600,” that dealt with roughly thirty years in the life of “Whipple ‘Whip’ Hoxworth.” Charlton Heston’s casting as Hoxworth was announced in the 4 Nov 1968 DV. Since the actor’s contract granted him the power to select the director, according to an article in the 26 Oct 1969 LAT, he was able to choose Tom Gries, with whom he had recently collaborated on Will Penny (1968, see entry) and Number One (1969, see entry). The Hawaiians marked Gries’s first assignment in a multiple-picture deal he signed with Mirisch Productions, Inc., the 10 Feb 1969 DV reported.
       The film was described in a 19 Jan 1969 NYT item as a “multi-million dollar production.” A 30 Jun 1969 DV item later cited a budget of $8 million, and stated that $1 million alone would be spent on a Chinatown set to be built in Honolulu, Oahu, that would ultimately be burned down toward the end of the shoot. Fire sequences called for 100 large rats, as noted in the 30 Jul 1969 Var. To procure the animals in Maui, a “sugar cane field ... More Less

The Hawaiians was based on a section of James Michener’s epic 1959 novel, Hawaii, and served as a sequel to the first film adaptation of the book, titled Hawaii (1966, see entry) after the book. A review of The Hawaiians in the 18 Jun 1970 NYT specified that James R. Webb’s script was taken from a portion of Michener’s novel around 100 pages in length, “beginning somewhere after page 600,” that dealt with roughly thirty years in the life of “Whipple ‘Whip’ Hoxworth.” Charlton Heston’s casting as Hoxworth was announced in the 4 Nov 1968 DV. Since the actor’s contract granted him the power to select the director, according to an article in the 26 Oct 1969 LAT, he was able to choose Tom Gries, with whom he had recently collaborated on Will Penny (1968, see entry) and Number One (1969, see entry). The Hawaiians marked Gries’s first assignment in a multiple-picture deal he signed with Mirisch Productions, Inc., the 10 Feb 1969 DV reported.
       The film was described in a 19 Jan 1969 NYT item as a “multi-million dollar production.” A 30 Jun 1969 DV item later cited a budget of $8 million, and stated that $1 million alone would be spent on a Chinatown set to be built in Honolulu, Oahu, that would ultimately be burned down toward the end of the shoot. Fire sequences called for 100 large rats, as noted in the 30 Jul 1969 Var. To procure the animals in Maui, a “sugar cane field specialist” was hired, and arrangements were made to transport them to Kauai. Charles Mulvehill , identified as the location manager in a 5 Mar 1969 Var brief, was quoted as saying that ten weeks of production would take place in Hawaii, including one week on the island of Oahu, three weeks on Maui, and six weeks on Kauai. The 6 Mar 1969 DV claimed that principal photography would begin in Lahaina, Maui, on 19 Jul 1969. Filming officially began two days later, on 21 Jul 1969, according to a 25 Jul 1969 DV production chart. In Maui, Maalaea Harbor doubled as Honolulu’s harbor circa 1870. Following the Hawaiian portion of the shoot, three weeks of filming were slated to take place in Los Angeles, CA, the 20 Jul 1969 LAT noted.
       Heston reportedly requested that shooting be done by 5 Oct 1969, so that he could attend a professional football game that day, between the New Orleans Saints and the Los Angeles Rams. Two-and-a-half months later, a 22 Dec 1969 DV item stated that Heston was considering taking part in a third picture based on Michener’s Hawaii. However, no such sequel followed the release of The Hawaiians, which garnered mixed reviews and grossed $2.3 million in film rentals in its first six months in release, according to a 6 Jan 1971 Var box-office chart.
       Rosemary Forsyth was cast in the film, as stated in a 30 Jan 1969 DV brief, but she did not remain with the project. Doris Tsoong-Ying Nieh was listed as a cast member in the 19 Aug 1969 DV, and the 24 Sep 1969 Var noted that local hotel executive Paul Hung was hired as a language coach in Hawaii, as the film was said to incorporate six languages and dialects. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
4 Nov 1968
p. 2.
Daily Variety
30 Jan 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
5 Feb 1969
p. 6.
Daily Variety
10 Feb 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
6 Mar 1969
p. 8.
Daily Variety
30 Jun 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
10 Jul 1969
p. 3.
Daily Variety
25 Jul 1969
p. 8.
Daily Variety
19 Aug 1969
p. 4.
Daily Variety
1 Oct 1969
p. 16.
Daily Variety
22 Dec 1969
p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
8 Oct 1968
Section C, p. 18.
Los Angeles Times
14 Feb 1969
Section D, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
8 Apr 1969
Section G, p. 13.
Los Angeles Times
20 Jul 1969
Section O, p. 24.
Los Angeles Times
26 Oct 1969
Section V, p. 20.
Los Angeles Times
19 Jun 1970
Section F, p. 15.
Los Angeles Times
1 Jul 1970
Section E, p. 18.
New York Times
19 Jan 1969
Section D, p. 11.
New York Times
14 Jun 1970
pp. 11-12.
New York Times
18 Jun 1970.
---
Variety
12 Feb 1969
p. 5.
Variety
5 Mar 1969
p. 17.
Variety
30 Jul 1969
p. 28.
Variety
24 Sep 1969
p. 17.
Variety
17 Jun 1970
p. 16.
Variety
6 Jan 1971
p. 11.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
SOUND
Sd mix
Sd re-rec
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Prod mgr
Stunt coordinator
Stunt coordinator
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Hawaii by James Albert Michener (New York, 1959).
DETAILS
Release Date:
17 June 1970
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 17 June 1970
Los Angeles opening: 1 July 1970
Production Date:
began 21 July 1969
Copyright Claimant:
Mirisch Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
24 June 1970
Copyright Number:
LP37995
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
De Luxe
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
134
MPAA Rating:
GP
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
22205
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Whip Hoxworth returns to Hawaii with a boatload of indentured Chinese laborers to find that his grandfather has died, leaving his fortune to Whip's cousin, Micah Hale. Unwilling to work for Micah, Whip establishes his own plantation with the help of the Chinese laborers, including Nyuk Tsin and Mun Ki, a couple who were brought on the boat. Milton Overpeck, an engineer, persuades Whip to drill for water, and when the well succeeds, irrigation becomes possible for the previously barren land. Whip gives Nyuk some land, and with her help, he turns the plantation into a prosperous pineapple enterprise. Purity, Whip's Hawaiian wife, is not happy, however, and leaves to rear their son Noel in native Hawaiian fashion; and Nyuk goes to a leper colony with her husband when he develops the dread disease. Many years later, Nyuk, whose children are now embarking on prosperous careers, returns to the island and finds Whip living with a Japanese mistress. When Queen Liliuokalani, the sovereign of native Hawaiians, tries to reestablish her dominion over the island, Whip succeeds in deposing her, and Micah is appointed president of the new Republic of Hawaii. Disaster strikes again, however, as a plague hits, and the Chinese ghetto is burned to the ground to prevent the spread of infection. Whip offers to help rebuild the burned section of the city and to help restore the financially ruined Nyuk. Finally, both agree to a marriage, which they had previously opposed, between Whip's son Noel and Nyuk's daughter Mei ... +


Whip Hoxworth returns to Hawaii with a boatload of indentured Chinese laborers to find that his grandfather has died, leaving his fortune to Whip's cousin, Micah Hale. Unwilling to work for Micah, Whip establishes his own plantation with the help of the Chinese laborers, including Nyuk Tsin and Mun Ki, a couple who were brought on the boat. Milton Overpeck, an engineer, persuades Whip to drill for water, and when the well succeeds, irrigation becomes possible for the previously barren land. Whip gives Nyuk some land, and with her help, he turns the plantation into a prosperous pineapple enterprise. Purity, Whip's Hawaiian wife, is not happy, however, and leaves to rear their son Noel in native Hawaiian fashion; and Nyuk goes to a leper colony with her husband when he develops the dread disease. Many years later, Nyuk, whose children are now embarking on prosperous careers, returns to the island and finds Whip living with a Japanese mistress. When Queen Liliuokalani, the sovereign of native Hawaiians, tries to reestablish her dominion over the island, Whip succeeds in deposing her, and Micah is appointed president of the new Republic of Hawaii. Disaster strikes again, however, as a plague hits, and the Chinese ghetto is burned to the ground to prevent the spread of infection. Whip offers to help rebuild the burned section of the city and to help restore the financially ruined Nyuk. Finally, both agree to a marriage, which they had previously opposed, between Whip's son Noel and Nyuk's daughter Mei Li. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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