Song of the Islands (1942)

73 or 75 mins | Musical comedy | 13 March 1942

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HISTORY

According to HR news items and the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department and the Produced Scripts Collection, both housed at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, the studio had been trying since late 1937 to develop a screenplay for the title Song of the Islands . In late 1937, Joan Davis was intended as the star, while in early 1938, the story as then written, was to be a vehicle for the Ritz Brothers, Alice Faye and Don Ameche. Various subsequent versions were also written for Alice Faye. In Jan--Feb 1940, Gene Markey was to produce a picture entitled Song of the Islands , while by May 1940, Milton Sperling was to be the producer. Among the writers who worked on various treatments and screenplays entitled Song of the Islands , although they did not contribute to the finished film, were: Eleanor Harris, Edith Skouras, Howard Ellis Smith, Kenneth Earl, Alfred Cohn, Rian James, Hal Hudson, M. M. Musselman, Jack Andrews, Betty Hopkins, Edwin Blum, Jules Furthman and Don Ettlinger. Writers Milton Raison, Fidel LaBarba and Hilary Lynn also worked on treatments, but the extent of their contribution to the released picture has not been confirmed. According to a 22 Sep 1941 studio press release, John Payne was to have the lead opposite Betty Grable. A 6 Aug 1941 LAEx news item stated that producer William LeBaron wanted to cast Robert Cummings opposite Grable. HR news items and studio records indicate that Otto Brower headed a location unit that obtained background shots in Honolulu and the Hawaiian islands. Studio records ... More Less

According to HR news items and the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department and the Produced Scripts Collection, both housed at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, the studio had been trying since late 1937 to develop a screenplay for the title Song of the Islands . In late 1937, Joan Davis was intended as the star, while in early 1938, the story as then written, was to be a vehicle for the Ritz Brothers, Alice Faye and Don Ameche. Various subsequent versions were also written for Alice Faye. In Jan--Feb 1940, Gene Markey was to produce a picture entitled Song of the Islands , while by May 1940, Milton Sperling was to be the producer. Among the writers who worked on various treatments and screenplays entitled Song of the Islands , although they did not contribute to the finished film, were: Eleanor Harris, Edith Skouras, Howard Ellis Smith, Kenneth Earl, Alfred Cohn, Rian James, Hal Hudson, M. M. Musselman, Jack Andrews, Betty Hopkins, Edwin Blum, Jules Furthman and Don Ettlinger. Writers Milton Raison, Fidel LaBarba and Hilary Lynn also worked on treatments, but the extent of their contribution to the released picture has not been confirmed. According to a 22 Sep 1941 studio press release, John Payne was to have the lead opposite Betty Grable. A 6 Aug 1941 LAEx news item stated that producer William LeBaron wanted to cast Robert Cummings opposite Grable. HR news items and studio records indicate that Otto Brower headed a location unit that obtained background shots in Honolulu and the Hawaiian islands. Studio records note that background scenes were also filmed on location at Catalina Island, CA. According to a 16 Jan 1942 HR news item, the film's premiere, to be held on 5 Feb at Miami Beach, FL, was to benefit the Navy Relief Fund. The film marked the screen debut of popular performer Hilo Hattie More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
7 Feb 1942.
---
Daily Variety
4 Feb 42
p. 3.
Film Daily
4 Feb 42
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Nov 37
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Feb 40
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Mar 41
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Aug 41
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Aug 41
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Sep 41
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Sep 41
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Oct 41
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Oct 41
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Nov 41
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Dec 41
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Dec 41
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Dec 41
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jan 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Feb 42
p. 3.
Los Angeles Examiner
6 Aug 1941.
---
Los Angeles Times
6 May 1940.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
7 Feb 42
p. 493.
New York Herald Tribune
8 Mar 1942.
---
New York Times
12 Mar 42
p. 24.
Variety
18 Jun 1941.
---
Variety
4 Feb 42
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Loc unit dir
Asst dir
Location asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITERS
Orig scr, Orig scr
Orig scr, Orig scr
Orig scr, Orig scr
Orig scr, Orig scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop dir
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
DANCE
Dances staged by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech dir
Tech adv
Tech adv
Prod mgr
Pub dir
Head nurseryman
STAND INS
Singing double for Victor Mature
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor dir
SOURCES
MUSIC
"Killarney," music by Michael William Balfe.
SONGS
"Down on Ami, Ami, Oni, Oni Isle," "O'Brien Has Gone Hawaiian," "Sing Me a Song of the Islands," "Maluna, Malolo, Mawaena," "Blue Shadows and White Gardenias" and "What's Buzzin' Cousin," music and lyrics by Mack Gordon and Harry Owens
"Song of the Islands," music and lyrics by Charles E. King
"Hawaiian War Chant (Ta-Hu-Wa-Hu-Wai)," music and lyrics by Johnny Noble and Leleiohaku
+
SONGS
"Down on Ami, Ami, Oni, Oni Isle," "O'Brien Has Gone Hawaiian," "Sing Me a Song of the Islands," "Maluna, Malolo, Mawaena," "Blue Shadows and White Gardenias" and "What's Buzzin' Cousin," music and lyrics by Mack Gordon and Harry Owens
"Song of the Islands," music and lyrics by Charles E. King
"Hawaiian War Chant (Ta-Hu-Wa-Hu-Wai)," music and lyrics by Johnny Noble and Leleiohaku
"Hu'I Mai," music and lyrics by Sol Hoopii
"Home on the Range," music by Dr. Brewster M. Higley, lyrics by Daniel E. Kelly, special lyrics by Mack Gordon, Harry Owens and Sol Hoopii
"Cannibal Chant," music and lyrics by Satini Puailoa
"The Cockeyed Mayor of Kaunakakai," music by R. Alex Anderson, lyrics by R. Alex Anderson and Al Stillman.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
13 March 1942
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Miami Beach, FL: 5 February 1942
Production Date:
20 October--mid December 1941
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
13 March 1942
Copyright Number:
LP11537
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
73 or 75
Length(in feet):
6,716
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
7884
SYNOPSIS

On the tiny Hawaiian island of Ahmi-Oni, Irish beachcomber Dennis O'Brien lives an idyllic life with the native Hawaiians on his beachfront property. Everyone is overjoyed by the return of O'Brien's daughter Eileen, who has been away at school for three years. Eileen, who was reared by the natives as one of their own, is equally happy to be home. The night of Eileen's welcome-home luau, the island also sees the arrival of Jefferson Harper, whose father owns the cattle ranch that occupies the majority of Ahmi-Oni. With Jeff is his Texan pal, Rusty Smith, who has a full-time job keeping Jeff from constantly pursuing pretty girls. Jeff instantly falls for Eileen, who temporarily misleads him into thinking that she is a native. Eileen escorts them to the Harper ranch, where they are greeted by foreman John Rodney. Rodney explains that they need O'Brien's land, which has the only deep-water harbor on the island, to build a pier for more productive shipping of their cattle. Harper, who has never visited Ahmi-Oni, has been trying to buy the land for years, but O'Brien wishes to keep it as a sanctuary for the natives, whom he believes Harper does not understand. Jeff and Rusty spend the next three weeks on the island, during which Jeff and Eileen fall in love, and Rusty tries to avoid the attention of native singer Palola, while pursuing her cousin Paulani. When Jeff declares his intention to stay and run the ranch, a disgruntled Rusty tells Rodney, who in turn calls Harper. Harper immediately flies out from Chicago to stop what he believes is his son's foolishness. ... +


On the tiny Hawaiian island of Ahmi-Oni, Irish beachcomber Dennis O'Brien lives an idyllic life with the native Hawaiians on his beachfront property. Everyone is overjoyed by the return of O'Brien's daughter Eileen, who has been away at school for three years. Eileen, who was reared by the natives as one of their own, is equally happy to be home. The night of Eileen's welcome-home luau, the island also sees the arrival of Jefferson Harper, whose father owns the cattle ranch that occupies the majority of Ahmi-Oni. With Jeff is his Texan pal, Rusty Smith, who has a full-time job keeping Jeff from constantly pursuing pretty girls. Jeff instantly falls for Eileen, who temporarily misleads him into thinking that she is a native. Eileen escorts them to the Harper ranch, where they are greeted by foreman John Rodney. Rodney explains that they need O'Brien's land, which has the only deep-water harbor on the island, to build a pier for more productive shipping of their cattle. Harper, who has never visited Ahmi-Oni, has been trying to buy the land for years, but O'Brien wishes to keep it as a sanctuary for the natives, whom he believes Harper does not understand. Jeff and Rusty spend the next three weeks on the island, during which Jeff and Eileen fall in love, and Rusty tries to avoid the attention of native singer Palola, while pursuing her cousin Paulani. When Jeff declares his intention to stay and run the ranch, a disgruntled Rusty tells Rodney, who in turn calls Harper. Harper immediately flies out from Chicago to stop what he believes is his son's foolishness. Harper declares that the O'Briens are fortune hunters, but once Jeff makes him meet them, Harper likes them. He nonetheless spoils the party they give him by insisting that O'Brien sell him his land. Soon harsh words are exchanged, with even Jeff and Eileen joining in the argument. The Harpers try to return to their side of the island, but the only connecting bridge is washed out during a storm. Jeff and his father must stay with the O'Briens, and although Jeff is unable to reconcile with Eileen, Harper finally becomes friends with O'Brien. Soon after, Harper buys O'Brien's land, which is up for sale by the government due to nonpayment of taxes. Harper intends this as a gesture to reunite the children, but Rodney sends the O'Briens an eviction notice without consulting him. Everyone is furious with Harper, but he is able to explain the situation to O'Brien. During a luau that evening to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, Rusty, Harper and O'Brien connive to convince Eileen that Jeff has left. Eileen rushes out to see the departing plane, but Jeff is on the beach waiting for her. The quarreling lovers are reunited, and everyone sings as the families are assured of a peaceful and prosperous future together. +

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

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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.