Aloma of the South Seas (1941)

76-77 mins | Romance | 29 August 1941

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HISTORY

Although Victor Young is credited onscreen for music direction, reviews credit Andrea Setaro. Actor Jon Hall was loaned by Samuel Goldwyn's company to appear in the film. News items in HR report the following: Albert Shero was assigned to work on the script of Aloma of the South Seas and A. Dorian Otvos was also signed for a "script polish job," but the extent of their contribution to the final film has not been determined; Jack Moss was originally scheduled to produce and Stuart Heisler to direct, then A. M. Botsford took over and Victor Schertzinger was considered for the directing assignment; actor Henry Brandon was tested for a lead role; and Mexican actress Esther Fernández was to make her U.S. debut in this film; however, her appearance in the final film is doubtful.
       Although HR lists the picture as Dona Drake's feature film debut, she previously had appeared in feature films under the name Rita Rio, and also performed under the names Rita Shaw and Rita Novell. HR production charts include Rosina Galli in the cast listing; however, her appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. HR called this film "one of the most striking color jobs yet presented." It was director Alfred Santell's first Technicolor film. The film was nominated for Academy Awards in the following categories: Special Effects--Gordon Jennings (Photography) and Louis Mesenkop (Sound); and Cinematography (Color)--Wilfrid Cline, Karl Struss, William Snyder. The film is a remake of Paramount's 1926 version, also entitled Aloma of the South Seas , directed by Maurice Tourneur and starring Gilda Gray, Percy Marmont and Warner Baxter ... More Less

Although Victor Young is credited onscreen for music direction, reviews credit Andrea Setaro. Actor Jon Hall was loaned by Samuel Goldwyn's company to appear in the film. News items in HR report the following: Albert Shero was assigned to work on the script of Aloma of the South Seas and A. Dorian Otvos was also signed for a "script polish job," but the extent of their contribution to the final film has not been determined; Jack Moss was originally scheduled to produce and Stuart Heisler to direct, then A. M. Botsford took over and Victor Schertzinger was considered for the directing assignment; actor Henry Brandon was tested for a lead role; and Mexican actress Esther Fernández was to make her U.S. debut in this film; however, her appearance in the final film is doubtful.
       Although HR lists the picture as Dona Drake's feature film debut, she previously had appeared in feature films under the name Rita Rio, and also performed under the names Rita Shaw and Rita Novell. HR production charts include Rosina Galli in the cast listing; however, her appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. HR called this film "one of the most striking color jobs yet presented." It was director Alfred Santell's first Technicolor film. The film was nominated for Academy Awards in the following categories: Special Effects--Gordon Jennings (Photography) and Louis Mesenkop (Sound); and Cinematography (Color)--Wilfrid Cline, Karl Struss, William Snyder. The film is a remake of Paramount's 1926 version, also entitled Aloma of the South Seas , directed by Maurice Tourneur and starring Gilda Gray, Percy Marmont and Warner Baxter (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.0101). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
May 41
p. 208.
Box Office
30 Aug 1941.
---
Daily Variety
26 Aug 1941.
---
Film Daily
13 Jan 41
p. 6.
Film Daily
28 Aug 41
p. 6.
Harrison's Reports
6 Aug 1941.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jan 41
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Feb 41
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Feb 41
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Mar 41
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Mar 41
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Mar 41
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Aug 41
p. 3, 14
Motion Picture Herald
29 Aug 1941.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
23 Aug 41
p. 217.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
30 Aug 41
p. 233.
New York Times
28 Aug 41
p. 23.
New Yorker
6 Sep 1941.
---
The Exhibitor
3 Sep 1941.
---
Variety
27 Aug 41
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Story by
Story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
[Dir of photog] Assoc
[Dir of photog] Assoc
Process photog
Op cine
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
MUSIC
Mus dir
Mus dir
Island music by
and his Royal Tahitians
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
DANCE
Mus numbers staged by
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col dir
[Col] Assoc
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Aloma of the South Seas by LeRoy Clemens and John B. Hymer (New York, 20 Apr 1925).
SONGS
"White Blossoms of Tah-ni," music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and Frederick Hollander.
DETAILS
Release Date:
29 August 1941
Production Date:
21 March--mid May 1941
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
29 August 1941
Copyright Number:
LP10960
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
76-77
Length(in feet):
6,979
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
7273
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

During a ceremonial dance, Aloma is selected to be betrothed to Tanoa, heir to the throne of a South Seas island. Tanoa, but a boy at the time, is then sent to the United States under the care of his guardian Corky to be educated. While he is gone, Aloma falls in love with his best friend Revo. Fifteen years later, Tanoa's father dies, and he returns to the island to take his place as king. No longer accustomed to island life, Tanoa is shocked when he is given two handmaidens as a gift, but he soon appreciates the beauty of the lifestyle, and the high priest finally arranges for him to meet his bride. Both Aloma and Tanoa rebel against the prospect of an arranged marriage, and so Aloma escapes from her guardian Tarusa on the proposed meeting day, and goes swimming, while Tanoa goes fishing. They meet each other at the same lagoon and after their introductions, pretend they are on their first date. Tanoa and Aloma fall in love, engendering the extreme jealousy of Revo. One day Revo demonstrates his deep hatred for Tanoa by killing a goatherd in cold-blood. Frightened by Revo, Aloma tries to protect Tanoa by telling him that she is in love with Revo. A woman named Kari, who loves Revo, reveals the truth to Tanoa, who advises her to take Revo from the island or he will be executed. Revo refuses to leave and challenges Tanoa early the next morning. Tanoa bests him in a fight and Kari sails off with Revo. Revo murders Kari in the boat as she proclaims her love for him ... +


During a ceremonial dance, Aloma is selected to be betrothed to Tanoa, heir to the throne of a South Seas island. Tanoa, but a boy at the time, is then sent to the United States under the care of his guardian Corky to be educated. While he is gone, Aloma falls in love with his best friend Revo. Fifteen years later, Tanoa's father dies, and he returns to the island to take his place as king. No longer accustomed to island life, Tanoa is shocked when he is given two handmaidens as a gift, but he soon appreciates the beauty of the lifestyle, and the high priest finally arranges for him to meet his bride. Both Aloma and Tanoa rebel against the prospect of an arranged marriage, and so Aloma escapes from her guardian Tarusa on the proposed meeting day, and goes swimming, while Tanoa goes fishing. They meet each other at the same lagoon and after their introductions, pretend they are on their first date. Tanoa and Aloma fall in love, engendering the extreme jealousy of Revo. One day Revo demonstrates his deep hatred for Tanoa by killing a goatherd in cold-blood. Frightened by Revo, Aloma tries to protect Tanoa by telling him that she is in love with Revo. A woman named Kari, who loves Revo, reveals the truth to Tanoa, who advises her to take Revo from the island or he will be executed. Revo refuses to leave and challenges Tanoa early the next morning. Tanoa bests him in a fight and Kari sails off with Revo. Revo murders Kari in the boat as she proclaims her love for him and turns back home. On Tanoa and Aloma's wedding day, Corky learns of Revo's return, and after the ceremony, Revo kills the high priest and then begins to strafe the gathered guests with a machine gun. Corky returns fire with a handgun as he covers for Tanoa, who climbs a high cliff to reach Revo. The island volcano violently erupts, and the islanders interpret this as their god's wrath. Revo dies in a rockslide, and Tanoa and Aloma, her friend Nea, Tarusa and Corky escape the hot lava flow. Finally, the eruption subsides and although there has been destruction, the islanders are now safe. +

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.