Enchanted Island (1958)

93-94 mins | Drama | 8 November 1958

Full page view
HISTORY

Enchanted Island was based on Herman Melville's novel Typee , which was also the film’s working title, but differs from the novel in several ways: In Enchanted Island the Typees’ cannibalism is never confirmed, while in the novel the lead character witnesses the ritualized eating of human flesh. Additionally, in the novel, “Fayaway” does not escape with “Abner,” but escapes with a man who is looking for an additional crew member for a whaling ship. Typee was also used as the basis for M-G-M’s 1935 film Last of the Pagans , which is only loosely based on the novel (See AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931—40 ). Enchanted Island was shot on location on the west coast of ... More Less

Enchanted Island was based on Herman Melville's novel Typee , which was also the film’s working title, but differs from the novel in several ways: In Enchanted Island the Typees’ cannibalism is never confirmed, while in the novel the lead character witnesses the ritualized eating of human flesh. Additionally, in the novel, “Fayaway” does not escape with “Abner,” but escapes with a man who is looking for an additional crew member for a whaling ship. Typee was also used as the basis for M-G-M’s 1935 film Last of the Pagans , which is only loosely based on the novel (See AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931—40 ). Enchanted Island was shot on location on the west coast of Mexico. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
10 Nov 1958.
---
Daily Variety
31 Oct 58
p. 3.
Film Daily
3 Nov 58
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Nov 1957
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Dec 1957
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Oct 58
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
19 Feb 1959.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
8 Nov 58
p. 44.
Variety
5 Nov 58
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
PRODUCERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Spec cam eff
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
MUSIC
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec cam eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod coord
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Typee by Herman Melville (London, 1847).
MUSIC
"Enchanted Island" by Robert Allen.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Typee
Release Date:
8 November 1958
Production Date:
mid November--late December 1957 in Mexico
Copyright Claimant:
Waverly Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
8 November 1958
Copyright Number:
LP15070
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
93-94
Countries:
Mexico, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
19013
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1842, after fourteen months at sea, the sailors of the American whaling ship The Dolly ask permission from Captain Vangs for shore leave when the ship docks to take on provisions at the remote South Sea island of Nukuheva. Oppressive and puritanical, the captain refuses their request, warning of island cannibals and condemning the men for their debauchery with island women. When young Tom adamantly argues that they need the rest, his shipmate Abner Bedford reminds Vangs that he is contractually obligated to give shore leave to the men. Vangs at first agrees but then starts a fight in which Abner knocks out Vangs and Tom is knifed in the arm. Fearing retribution for their insubordination, Abner and Tom rush into the jungle, where they know two tribes reside: the friendly Happar and the cannibalistic Typee. Abner explains that if they can manage to elude the Typee and make it to other side of the island, they might find another ship. That night as they rest, Abner admits that he hungers for freedom and had planned on jumping ship all along. Meanwhile, Vangs, desperate for sailors, hires expatriate and trading post bar owner Jimmy Dooley to track Abner and Tom and bring them back. Finding the pair, Dooley tries to befriend them by relating his history on the island: Arriving on Nukuheva twenty years ago, Dooley married a local woman and now prostitutes the daughters from that marriage and another to passing "tourists" like themselves. Dooley promises to show Abner and Tom a hideout in trade for their wages, but instead leads them to a group of armed natives, forcing Abner and ... +


In 1842, after fourteen months at sea, the sailors of the American whaling ship The Dolly ask permission from Captain Vangs for shore leave when the ship docks to take on provisions at the remote South Sea island of Nukuheva. Oppressive and puritanical, the captain refuses their request, warning of island cannibals and condemning the men for their debauchery with island women. When young Tom adamantly argues that they need the rest, his shipmate Abner Bedford reminds Vangs that he is contractually obligated to give shore leave to the men. Vangs at first agrees but then starts a fight in which Abner knocks out Vangs and Tom is knifed in the arm. Fearing retribution for their insubordination, Abner and Tom rush into the jungle, where they know two tribes reside: the friendly Happar and the cannibalistic Typee. Abner explains that if they can manage to elude the Typee and make it to other side of the island, they might find another ship. That night as they rest, Abner admits that he hungers for freedom and had planned on jumping ship all along. Meanwhile, Vangs, desperate for sailors, hires expatriate and trading post bar owner Jimmy Dooley to track Abner and Tom and bring them back. Finding the pair, Dooley tries to befriend them by relating his history on the island: Arriving on Nukuheva twenty years ago, Dooley married a local woman and now prostitutes the daughters from that marriage and another to passing "tourists" like themselves. Dooley promises to show Abner and Tom a hideout in trade for their wages, but instead leads them to a group of armed natives, forcing Abner and Tom to fend for their lives. Fleeing in the opposite direction, Abner and Tom spot a village and are discovered by young native Fayaway, who leads them to her grandfather, Typee tribal chief Mehevi. Imprisoned in a thatched hut under armed guard, Abner watches over an ailing Tom all night and wonders how long they will survive. The next day, after Abner asks Fayaway to help Tom, who is now delirious with fever, she sends for the village medicine men, who attend to his wound. Days later, Dooley brings goods to Mehevi to trade for the two sailors, but his offer is refused. Dooley then explains to Abner that the green-eyed Fayaway is the daughter of a shipwrecked white man and a village woman, thus explaining the color of her eyes. As the days pass, Fayaway and guard Kory Kory care for the men, while Abner teaches Fayaway English. Having fallen for the young woman, Abner tries to introduce the idea of "love" to her, but she teasingly resists his advances. Soon after, when a warring tribe attacks the Typee, Tom suggests that he and Abner take the opportunity to flee, but Abner, having grown accustomed to island life, fights for his new friends and saves Mehevi’s life in battle. After the battle is won, the chief invites Tom and Abner to the victory banquet, but Tom fears that they will be forced to eat the flesh of the recently captured prisoners and runs from the table. Abner, realizing that the meat is pork, joins the festivities and secures his place as a loyal villager. Over the next weeks, Fayaway and Abner’s romance blossoms under Mehevi’s watchful eye. Tom repeatedly implores Abner to escape, but the island life provides Abner with the freedom he sought and so he declines. Desperate and naïve, Tom denounces Abner’s relationship with a tribeswoman, insinuates that he will become a savage if he remains, and escapes that night, leaving a note asking Abner not to search for him and informing his friend that he took his axe. While fishing with the tribesmen weeks later, Abner playfully nets Fayaway and carries his "fish" away, while the villagers laugh approvingly. Abner and Fayaway are soon married and Abner begins to learn the Typee Language. One day, after spotting shoe prints resembling Tom's, Abner asks his wife about his former shipmate, but Fayaway claims she knows nothing. When he later finds a young boy wearing Tom’s shirt and sees the medicine man wielding Tom’s axe, Abner wrests the instrument from the medicine man during a ritual and demands to know his friend's location. Mehevi replies that they killed Tom for fear that he would send white men to destroy them and then condemns both Abner and Fayaway to die for the taboo of interrupting the ritual. The next morning as the couple awaits their execution, Vangs’ ship is spotted just off shore. As Kory Kory distracts the villagers, Fayaway cuts a hole in the thatch hut, admits to Abner that she deceived him and tells him to return to his people, but Abner refuses to go to the ship without her. As they paddle toward the ship with Mehevi and his men in close pursuit, Vangs sends a small boat to fetch them. When Abner boards it, however, the sailors knock him out to prevent him from going after Fayaway, who has turned back toward her people. Abner regains consciousness onboard the ship and jumps overboard to fetch Fayaway, forcing Vangs to send another boat out after him. Caught between Abner and Mehevi, Fayaway begs her chief to spare Abner. The chief, touched by their devotion, puts down his spear, but the medicine man sadistically spears Fayaway, wounding her in the back. Mehevi can only watch in despair as Abner carries the girl's limp body back to the ship, where Vangs jokingly yells that a married man makes a bad first mate. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.