The Tuttles of Tahiti (1942)

91-92 mins | Drama | 1 May 1942

Director:

Charles Vidor

Producer:

Sol Lesser

Cinematographer:

Nicholas Musuraca

Production Designers:

Albert D'Agostino, Carroll Clark

Production Company:

RKO Radio Pictures, inc.
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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Out of Gas and No More Gas . Pre-production news items in HR report the following information about the production: Islin Auster was originally slated to produce this film, which was to feature Charles Laughton and his wife, Elsa Lanchester. Maureen O'Hara was also considered for the female lead. Charles Vidor was borrowed from Columbia to direct the film and romantic lead Jon Hall was borrowed from Goldwyn for the production. An Oct 1941 HR news item adds that Robert Carson was signed to collaborate on the screenplay after script problems threatened the start of production. When production finally began on 7 Nov 1941, Sol Lesser took over the production reins from Auster, who had already begun preparation for the film. This was Lesser's first production effort since joining RKO in 1941. According to a 27 Jan 1942 news item in HR , production had to be suspended in late Jan when actress Peggy Drake was stricken with pneumonia.
       The file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library indicate that the PCA ordered the elimination of any bloodshed during the cockfight sequence in the film. Although NYT noted that the studio changed the characters in Charles Nordoff and James Norman Hall's novel from mixed Polynesian blood to Caucasians because the Hays office did not approve miscegenation, there is no correspondence regarding this change in the PCA ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Out of Gas and No More Gas . Pre-production news items in HR report the following information about the production: Islin Auster was originally slated to produce this film, which was to feature Charles Laughton and his wife, Elsa Lanchester. Maureen O'Hara was also considered for the female lead. Charles Vidor was borrowed from Columbia to direct the film and romantic lead Jon Hall was borrowed from Goldwyn for the production. An Oct 1941 HR news item adds that Robert Carson was signed to collaborate on the screenplay after script problems threatened the start of production. When production finally began on 7 Nov 1941, Sol Lesser took over the production reins from Auster, who had already begun preparation for the film. This was Lesser's first production effort since joining RKO in 1941. According to a 27 Jan 1942 news item in HR , production had to be suspended in late Jan when actress Peggy Drake was stricken with pneumonia.
       The file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library indicate that the PCA ordered the elimination of any bloodshed during the cockfight sequence in the film. Although NYT noted that the studio changed the characters in Charles Nordoff and James Norman Hall's novel from mixed Polynesian blood to Caucasians because the Hays office did not approve miscegenation, there is no correspondence regarding this change in the PCA files. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
21 Mar 1942.
---
Daily Variety
17 Mar 41
p. 3.
Film Daily
19 Mar 41
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Aug 41
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Aug 41
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Aug 41
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Oct 41
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Oct 41
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Nov 41
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jan 42
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jan 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Feb 42
p. 1.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
21 Mar 42
p. 562.
New York Times
39 Apr 1942
p. 14.
Variety
18 Mar 42
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCER
Prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
Ward
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the serial story "Out of Gas" by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall in The Saturday Evening Post (11 Sep--9 Dec 1939).
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Out of Gas
No More Gas
Release Date:
1 May 1942
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 29 April 1942
Production Date:
7 November 1941--late January 1942
shooting resumed early February 1942
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, inc.
Copyright Date:
16 March 1942
Copyright Number:
LP11224
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
91-92
Length(in feet):
8,212
Country:
United States
PCA No:
7911
SYNOPSIS

After three years at sea, Chester Tuttle returns home to his beloved family in Tahiti, with only a fighting rooster to show for his labor. Jonas, the shiftless family patriarch, decides to enter the bird in a match against the rooster owned by Emily, the head of a prosperous neighboring clan. To earn money to bet on the match, Jonas sends his boys out fishing, but when their boat runs out of gas, he is forced to borrow money once again from kindly Dr. Blondin. Because Jonas already owes the doctor 17,000 francs, Jensen, the devious storekeeper, convinces Blondin to ask for a mortgage on the Tuttle house as collateral. On the day of the match, Jonas bets the 10,000 francs that his sons have earned fishing, the family vanilla crop and all their furniture on the bird. When the rooster loses, the Tuttles forfeit everything, including Chester's fiancée Tamara because her mother, Emily, forbids her to marry a penniless man. When Blondin warns Jonas that he must pay his mortgage, the boys set out on another fishing trip and are battered by a raging storm. Taking refuge on an abandoned ship, the boys wait out the storm and then tow the vessel into port, where they claim the ship for themselves, according to the canons of maritime law. As the boys near land, word spreads of their arrival, and Jonas and his mother, Mama Ruau, who thought the boys perished at sea, give thanks. When Jensen offers Jonas 400,000 francs for the ship and its cargo, he accepts. Jonas then deposits the money in the bank, and after withdrawing the money he owes Blondin, ... +


After three years at sea, Chester Tuttle returns home to his beloved family in Tahiti, with only a fighting rooster to show for his labor. Jonas, the shiftless family patriarch, decides to enter the bird in a match against the rooster owned by Emily, the head of a prosperous neighboring clan. To earn money to bet on the match, Jonas sends his boys out fishing, but when their boat runs out of gas, he is forced to borrow money once again from kindly Dr. Blondin. Because Jonas already owes the doctor 17,000 francs, Jensen, the devious storekeeper, convinces Blondin to ask for a mortgage on the Tuttle house as collateral. On the day of the match, Jonas bets the 10,000 francs that his sons have earned fishing, the family vanilla crop and all their furniture on the bird. When the rooster loses, the Tuttles forfeit everything, including Chester's fiancée Tamara because her mother, Emily, forbids her to marry a penniless man. When Blondin warns Jonas that he must pay his mortgage, the boys set out on another fishing trip and are battered by a raging storm. Taking refuge on an abandoned ship, the boys wait out the storm and then tow the vessel into port, where they claim the ship for themselves, according to the canons of maritime law. As the boys near land, word spreads of their arrival, and Jonas and his mother, Mama Ruau, who thought the boys perished at sea, give thanks. When Jensen offers Jonas 400,000 francs for the ship and its cargo, he accepts. Jonas then deposits the money in the bank, and after withdrawing the money he owes Blondin, gives the boys their own checkbooks. After discovering that Blondin is out of town, Jonas stashes the money in a catalog. Jonas and his boys quickly squander the rest of the money, and as a result, on the day of Chester's wedding, Jensen's men appear to repossess the Tuttle's furniture because all their checks have bounced. Emily, furious, snatches Tamara from the arms of her new husband and takes her home. Soon after, Jensen announces that the Tuttle mortgage is overdue and gives them one day to pay it. As Jonas begins to search for the catalog containing the payment, he realizes that it is lost and with it, the house. On the day that the Tuttles' land is to be sold at auction, Jonas chases Chester's bird under the house, where he finds the missing catalog. After paying the doctor, Jonas swears he will never bet again, but as he climbs into his truck, he finds his sons holding a new fighting cock, the new hope for the Tuttle fortune. +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Island


Subject

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

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