Down Among the Sheltering Palms (1953)

86-87 mins | Musical comedy | March 1953

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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Paradise with Serpent , Sapphire Skies and Friendly Island . In Apr 1950, LAT reported that Twentieth Century-Fox had purchased the rights to Edward Hope's story as a vehicle for Dan Dailey, and a Nov 1950 LAEx news item announced that June Haver would co-star with Gloria DeHaven. According to HR news items, co-screenwriter Claude Binyon was originally set to direct the picture, Dailey dropped out of the project in order to take a three-month vacation and Haver was suspended by the studio for her refusal to take the role of "Diana Forrester."
       A May 1950 HR news item stated that Richard Allan was cast in the picture, but his appearance in the finished film has not been confirmed. Jun 1950 HR news items reported that the picture would be filmed either on a Pacific island or on one of the "tropical islands off Lower CA," but it appears that, instead, the picture was shot at the studio. Although contemporary sources refer to David Wayne's character as "Lt. Carl G. Schmidt," he is called "Lt. Frank G. Schmidt" in the film. The HR review erroneously lists the film's running time as 73 ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Paradise with Serpent , Sapphire Skies and Friendly Island . In Apr 1950, LAT reported that Twentieth Century-Fox had purchased the rights to Edward Hope's story as a vehicle for Dan Dailey, and a Nov 1950 LAEx news item announced that June Haver would co-star with Gloria DeHaven. According to HR news items, co-screenwriter Claude Binyon was originally set to direct the picture, Dailey dropped out of the project in order to take a three-month vacation and Haver was suspended by the studio for her refusal to take the role of "Diana Forrester."
       A May 1950 HR news item stated that Richard Allan was cast in the picture, but his appearance in the finished film has not been confirmed. Jun 1950 HR news items reported that the picture would be filmed either on a Pacific island or on one of the "tropical islands off Lower CA," but it appears that, instead, the picture was shot at the studio. Although contemporary sources refer to David Wayne's character as "Lt. Carl G. Schmidt," he is called "Lt. Frank G. Schmidt" in the film. The HR review erroneously lists the film's running time as 73 minutes. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
4 Apr 1953.
---
Daily Variety
27 Mar 53
p. 3.
Film Daily
6 Apr 53
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Apr 50
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
26 May 50
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jun 50
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jun 50
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jun 50
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Dec 50
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Dec 50
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jan 51
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Feb 51
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Feb 51
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Mar 51
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Apr 51
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Apr 51
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Apr 51
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Apr 51
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Oct 51
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Oct 51
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Mar 53
p. 3.
Los Angeles Examiner
16 Nov 1950.
---
Los Angeles Times
10 Apr 1950.
---
Los Angeles Times
28 Mar 1953.
---
Motion Picture Daily
30 Mar 1953.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
4 Apr 53
p. 1782.
New York Times
13 Jun 53
p. 11.
Variety
1 Apr 53
p. 6.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Claude Allister
Steve Wayne
Joe Turkel
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ward dir
Cost des
MUSIC
Mus dir
Incidental mus
Vocal dir
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
DANCE
Dances staged by
Dance dir
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
Tech adv
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the serialized story "Paradise with Serpent" by Edward Hope in Liberty (1 Feb--10 May 1947).
AUTHOR
MUSIC
"The Drum Dance" and "The Drum Chant" by Ken Darby.
SONGS
"When You're in Love," "I'm a Ruler of a South Sea Island," "The Friendly Islands," "Who Will It Be When the Time Comes?" "27 Elm Street" and "What Make De Diff'rence," music by Harold Arlen, lyrics by Harold Arlen and Ralph Blane
"Down Among the Sheltering Palms," music by Abe Olman, lyrics by James Brockman
"Hold Tight, Hold Tight," music and lyrics by Kent Brandow and Robinson Ware Spotswood
+
SONGS
"When You're in Love," "I'm a Ruler of a South Sea Island," "The Friendly Islands," "Who Will It Be When the Time Comes?" "27 Elm Street" and "What Make De Diff'rence," music by Harold Arlen, lyrics by Harold Arlen and Ralph Blane
"Down Among the Sheltering Palms," music by Abe Olman, lyrics by James Brockman
"Hold Tight, Hold Tight," music and lyrics by Kent Brandow and Robinson Ware Spotswood
"Pata' U Ta' U A Pere," music by George Marcel Archer Ceran, lyrics by Gerald Garnier
"Apapane," music and lyrics by Queen Liliuokalani
"All of Me," music and lyrics by Seymour Simons and Gerald Marks.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Friendly Island
Paradise with Serpent
Sapphire Skies
Release Date:
March 1953
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 27 March 1953
Production Date:
19 February--mid March 1951
addl seq April 1951 and October 1951
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
27 June 1952
Copyright Number:
LP2507
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
86-87
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15195
SYNOPSIS

At the end of World War II, Capt. Bill Willoby is distraught to learn that rather than being sent home, he and his men are being deployed to tiny Midi Island, as part of the forces occupying the formerly Japanese-held Gilbert Islands. Bill and his lieutenant, Frank G. Schmidt, are relieved by the hearty welcome they receive from the native girls and King Jilouili and his British translator, Woolawei. The men's joy sours, however, when Bill receives orders that there is to be no fraternization between the U.S. forces and the natives. Bill tries to interest the bored and frustrated men in sports, but morale quickly plummets. The officers perk up upon the arrival of Reverend and Mrs. Paul Edgett and their lovely niece, Diana Forrester, but despite his own attraction to Diana, Bill instructs the officers that it would be hypocritical for them to pursue Diana when the enlisted men are without any female companionship. Soon after, Bill is notified that he has been made the military governor of the island, while Frank, fed up with his bumbling corporal, Kolta, persuades Diana to work in the office as a secretary. Diana, who had gotten off on the wrong foot with Bill, is impressed by his men's devotion to him when they fix up a bungalow for him. That night, Bill is thunderstruck when Jilouili gives him a beautiful native girl, Rozouila, as a gift, and is even more upset when Woolawei explains that she is now his wife. Bill goes to the reverend's house seeking advice but instead finds Diana, who flirts with him. The reverend interrupts the couple as ... +


At the end of World War II, Capt. Bill Willoby is distraught to learn that rather than being sent home, he and his men are being deployed to tiny Midi Island, as part of the forces occupying the formerly Japanese-held Gilbert Islands. Bill and his lieutenant, Frank G. Schmidt, are relieved by the hearty welcome they receive from the native girls and King Jilouili and his British translator, Woolawei. The men's joy sours, however, when Bill receives orders that there is to be no fraternization between the U.S. forces and the natives. Bill tries to interest the bored and frustrated men in sports, but morale quickly plummets. The officers perk up upon the arrival of Reverend and Mrs. Paul Edgett and their lovely niece, Diana Forrester, but despite his own attraction to Diana, Bill instructs the officers that it would be hypocritical for them to pursue Diana when the enlisted men are without any female companionship. Soon after, Bill is notified that he has been made the military governor of the island, while Frank, fed up with his bumbling corporal, Kolta, persuades Diana to work in the office as a secretary. Diana, who had gotten off on the wrong foot with Bill, is impressed by his men's devotion to him when they fix up a bungalow for him. That night, Bill is thunderstruck when Jilouili gives him a beautiful native girl, Rozouila, as a gift, and is even more upset when Woolawei explains that she is now his wife. Bill goes to the reverend's house seeking advice but instead finds Diana, who flirts with him. The reverend interrupts the couple as they are about to kiss, and after Diana leaves, Bill asks him what to do about Rozouila. Edgett advises Bill to keep Rozouila in a native hut far enough away from his bungalow for propriety's sake, but close enough to avoid offending the king. Unfortunately for Bill, Rozouila has fallen in love with him and resents not being able to live with him. Bill's life becomes even more complicated by the arrival of public relations officer Maj. Gerald Curwin and Angela Toland, the writer of a naughty novel who now fancies herself a correspondent. The seductive Angela revels in the attention of the soldiers, although she is mostly attracted to Bill. In love with Diana, Bill shows his lack of interest in Angela, but she still tries to seduce him. Bill also continues to hide Rozouila, who, along with Diana, is jealous of Angela, especially after he is ordered by Curwin to spend more time with the writer and show her around the island. One evening, Diana and Rozouila hide in separate bushes to spy on Bill and Angela, and are delighted to see Bill reject Angela. The next night, Angela again throws herself at Bill, and he finally tells her that he is in love with another girl and orders her to leave the island. Furious, Angela returns to her bungalow, where she finds Rozouila rummaging through her things. When Rozouila proclaims that she is Bill's woman, Angela assumes that the native girl is the woman about whom Bill spoke, and she writes a scandalous article accusing Bill of breaking the non-fraternization rule. Although they had formerly stood by Bill through thick and thin, the soldiers believe the article and grumble about Bill's alleged betrayal. The charges also come to the attention of the inspector general's office, and Col. Thomas R. Richard is sent to investigate. While Bill prepares for the inquiry, the men decide to have a big party in the village, although Frank tells them that Bill has always been honest with them, and that if they fraternize now, Bill will be court-martialed. At the Edgetts' home, Diana, who has been blinded by Angela's accusations, is preparing to leave the island, but the reverend urges her to trust her heart. The reverend then goes to Bill's office, where he assures Richard that Bill has obeyed all the rules and has been a fine officer. Jilouili and Woolawei arrive, and when Woolawei explains that Bill can give Rozouila to her boyfriend Taomi, the misunderstanding is cleared up and Richard chews out Angela for not verifying her facts before publication. Angela then challenges Richard to visit the village, where the soldiers are partying, but upon their arrival, the astonished officers see that Jilouili, acting on advice from Diana, has declared the natives off limits. The situation is resolved when Bill then receives word that Midi has been declared a friendly island, thereby nullifying the non-fraternization orders. Soon after, the men board a ship for home, and while Rozoulia snuggles with Taomi, Angela and Frank, who are now a couple, sing their goodbyes to the natives along with Diana and Bill. +

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

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