Hurricane (1979)

PG | 120 mins | Adventure, Romance | 12 April 1979

Director:

Jan Troell

Producer:

Dino De Laurentiis

Cinematographer:

Sven Nykvist

Editor:

Sam O'Steen

Production Designer:

Danilo Donati

Production Company:

Famous Films Productions N.V.
Full page view
HISTORY

Opening credits are followed by a title card which reads: "Pago Pago. Eastern Samoa in the 1920's...A time when this remote Pacific outpost was ruled by the United States Navy."
       End credits include the following statement: "The film was shot entirely on the island of Bora Bora." End credits also include the following acknowledgements: "The producer wishes to thank the Government of the French Polynesian Territory and the French Navy for their collaboration which made the production of this film possible; Marara Hotel, Bora Bora, co-operated in the making of this production; The producer thanks Air France and UTA for their co-operation in the making of this production; The cars we used for the filming of this production were supplied by Fiat Motors."
       The film is a remake of The Hurricane (1937, see entry), based on the 1936 novel of the same title by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall. As mentioned in a 30 Jul 1978 LAT article, the idea of a remake was presented to producer Dino De Laurentiis in 1974 by his associate, John Alarimo, who is credited as local casting and dialogue coach in the 1979 film. According to an 8 Apr 1979 NYT article, De Laurentiis bought the rights to the 1937 picture for $500,000. Nancy Hall Rutgers, daughter of author James Norman Hall, was cast as “Mrs. Blair” and her husband, Nick Rutgers, was given the part of “Commander Blair,” as noted in a 28 Jun 1978 DV brief.
       A 17 Apr 1975 DV item reported that John Guillermin was assigned to direct the film based on a ... More Less

Opening credits are followed by a title card which reads: "Pago Pago. Eastern Samoa in the 1920's...A time when this remote Pacific outpost was ruled by the United States Navy."
       End credits include the following statement: "The film was shot entirely on the island of Bora Bora." End credits also include the following acknowledgements: "The producer wishes to thank the Government of the French Polynesian Territory and the French Navy for their collaboration which made the production of this film possible; Marara Hotel, Bora Bora, co-operated in the making of this production; The producer thanks Air France and UTA for their co-operation in the making of this production; The cars we used for the filming of this production were supplied by Fiat Motors."
       The film is a remake of The Hurricane (1937, see entry), based on the 1936 novel of the same title by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall. As mentioned in a 30 Jul 1978 LAT article, the idea of a remake was presented to producer Dino De Laurentiis in 1974 by his associate, John Alarimo, who is credited as local casting and dialogue coach in the 1979 film. According to an 8 Apr 1979 NYT article, De Laurentiis bought the rights to the 1937 picture for $500,000. Nancy Hall Rutgers, daughter of author James Norman Hall, was cast as “Mrs. Blair” and her husband, Nick Rutgers, was given the part of “Commander Blair,” as noted in a 28 Jun 1978 DV brief.
       A 17 Apr 1975 DV item reported that John Guillermin was assigned to direct the film based on a screenplay by Robert and Laurie Dillon. The same brief also noted the involvement of executive producer Christian Ferry and production designer John De Cuir. However, none of these filmmakers were credited onscreen.
       A 31 May 1977 Var article announced that Roman Polanski was hired as director, working with a screenplay by Lorenzo Semple, Jr., who is also credited as executive producer. During pre-production, Polanski was being prosecuted for “unlawful sexual intercourse” with a thirteen-year-old girl, as explained in a 25 Oct 1977 LAT article. While the director was complying with a ninety-day psychiatric evaluation in prison, De Laurentiis released Polanski from his contract, as reported in a 20 Jan 1978 LAT article, due to concerns about the director’s future “availability.” The producer revealed that the production was already entrenched on location, on the French Polynesian island of Bora Bora, in preparation to begin shooting mid-Mar 1978. Semple disclosed in a 22 May 1978 LAT article that he and Polanski collaborated on the screenplay, but the director did not appear interested in receiving credit.
       According to a news item in the 11 May 1978 LAT, director John Huston was approached about the job, but due to health concerns and the remote location, he turned down the project. In a 17 Jun 1979 LAT article, Peter Bogdanovich stated that he declined a one million dollar offer to direct. Swedish director, Jan Troell, was confirmed as Polanski’s replacement in a 2 Feb 1978 DV brief.
       Throughout pre-production, various actresses were mentioned in connection with the female lead, “Charlotte Bruckner.” According to the 31 May 1977 Var article, Jessica Lange was an early choice and was under contract with De Laurentiis following her debut role in King Kong (1976, see entry). Television stars Farrah Fawcett-Majors and Cheryl Ladd were considered, as reported in a 15 Feb 1978 HR item. Kathleen Quinlan and Claudia Jennings auditioned for the part, as stated in a 9 Mar 1978 HR brief. An 11 Apr 1978 DV article indicated that De Laurentiis was also interested in discovering an unknown talent and listed the following finalists from a nationwide search: April Cloud, Robyn Douglas, Jennifer Gibson, Jane Henley, Sara Hicks, Cathy Kepler, Karen Lawrence, Casey Mendosa, Cathline McGinty, and Lou Ann Ridenourd. However, shortly after this news appeared, a 19 Apr 1978 DV brief announced that Mia Farrow had “signed” for the part.
       The film marked the acting debut for Dayton Ka’ne in the lead role of “Matangi.” The 22 May 1978 LAT article mentioned that De Laurentiis originally considered his son, Federico De Laurentiis, for the role. As described in AMPAS library files production notes, Ka’ne was a surfer from Hawaii who was discovered after an eight-month casting search. To prepare for the role, Ka’ne was assigned an acting coach, Jeff Corey, and instructed to lose fifteen pounds. De Laurentiis signed Ka’ne to a three-picture deal which included a starring part in the upcoming project, Flash Gordon (1980, see entry), but Ka’ne appeared in only one other De Laurentiis production, Beyond the Reef (1981, see entry).
       The entire picture was shot on Bora Bora, which was an island of approximately 2000 inhabitants at the time. Production notes and articles from the 4 May 1978 DV and the 30 Jul 1978 LAT outlined the extensive preparations that De Laurentiis undertook to convert the remote location, with no electricity, into a filming site and a temporary home for cast and crew. To import equipment, props and provisions, the producer bought a freighter that ferried across the Pacific between Los Angeles, CA, and French Polynesia. Two hotels existed on Bora Bora, but they were deemed too costly or impractical for housing and feeding the 150-member film company. Therefore, De Laurentiis built a hotel with sixty-six bungalows named the “Marara,” investing approximately $4.2 million. After filming completed, the accommodations were transformed into a tourist resort. Preliminary crew arrived on the island in Oct 1977 to construct sets, with a budget calculated at over $7.5 million. A $1.5 million, a 160-foot tank was also built on site to create the hurricane special effects. A real hurricane hit the island in Feb 1978 destroying bungalows at the hotel and several sets while leaving the special effects preparations months behind schedule. De Laurentiis arranged for the French Navy to assist with last minute construction, and principal photography was able to begin 15 May 1978.
       The 30 Jul 1978 LAT article was among several contemporary sources that reported on the production’s challenging conditions in Bora Bora. Physician Bernardino Tafuri, who was a personal friend of De Laurentiis, was responsible for the company’s medical care, but he proved to be inexperienced with tropical diseases and emergency treatment. After a Tahitian worker was burned on set, cast and crew demanded a paramedic on standby and nearly organized a strike when De Laurentiis resisted. Electricity, hot water and the septic system often did not function at the hastily constructed Hotel Marara. Additionally, residents of Bora Bora neglected regular routines, such as fishing, to work on the set, which led to food shortages among the local population. According to the article, inhabitants eventually grew resentful of the production.
       A 1 Aug 1978 HR article stated that shooting was scheduled to be completed 5 Sep 1978, followed by at least four weeks of second unit miniature photography.
       Production costs were reported as $20 million in the 30 Jul 1978 LAT article and $22 million in a 3 Jan 1979 Var article. A consortium of organizations financed the film, under the umbrella of Famous Films Productions N.V., based in the Netherlands Antilles.
       The film received mostly negative reviews, with a number of complaints about the one-dimensional story, “in need of a strong subplot or secondary theme,” as stated in the 13 Apr 1979 LAT. The reviewer from the 12 Apr 1979 NYT represented one of the most condemning opinions by calling the film an “expensively foolish enterprise” that “enhances the reputation of no one,” while LAT regarded the picture as “an honorable attempt to bring intelligence to the disaster spectacle.” The 3 Apr 1979 HR review noted that the film was trimmed by thirteen minutes after its 23 Mar 1979 inaugural public screening in San Francisco, CA, at the Royal Theatre, where the preview audience ridiculed certain scenes.
       According to a 15 Jun 1985 LAHExam article, the picture was retitled Forbidden Paradise for the television airing on the National Broadcasting Company (NBC). More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
17 Apr 1975.
---
Daily Variety
2 Feb 1978.
---
Daily Variety
11 Apr 1978.
---
Daily Variety
19 Apr 1978.
---
Daily Variety
4 May 1978.
---
Daily Variety
2 Jun 1978.
---
Daily Variety
28 Jun 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
15 Feb 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
9 Mar 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
1 Aug 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
3 Apr 1979.
---
LAHExam
15 Jun 1985.
---
Los Angeles Times
25 Oct 1977
Section C, p. 1, 4.
Los Angeles Times
20 Jan 1978
Section B, p. 35.
Los Angeles Times
11 May 1978
Section G, p. 23.
Los Angeles Times
22 May 1978
Section G, p. 1, 13.
Los Angeles Times
30 Jul 1978
Section P, p. 1, 32-34.
Los Angeles Times
13 Apr 1979
Section E, p. 22.
Los Angeles Times
17 Jun 1979
Section M, p. 36.
New York Times
8 Apr 1979
Section D, p. 1, 19.
New York Times
12 Apr 1979
p. 13.
Variety
31 May 1977.
---
Variety
3 Jan 1979.
---
Variety
4 Apr 1979
p. 20.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Dino De Laurentiis presents
A Production of Famous Films Productions N.V.
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
3rd asst dir
2d unit asst dir
2d unit mgr
Unit mgr
Unit mgr
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d unit and underwater cam op
Focus puller
2d unit focus puller
Loader
Cam mechanic
Gaffer
Key grip
Still photog
Spec stills
Crane op
Generator op
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Illustrator
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst film ed
SET DECORATORS
Sets des
Const mgr
Prop master
Asst prop man
Asst prop man
Asst prop man
Painter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Plasterer
Plasterer
Plasterer
Plasterer
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward mistress
Ward asst
Ward asst
Ward asst
Men`s ward
MUSIC
Mus comp
Mus ed
Mus cond
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom man
Boom man
Dolby Stereo consultant
VISUAL EFFECTS
Supv of photog eff
Wave photog
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff
Spec eff
DANCE
Choreog
Asst choreog
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Asst makeup
Hairstylist
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Asst to dir
Tech assistance in the const of the tank and Villa
Under the supv of, Tech assistance in the const of
Tech consultant
Scr supv
Unit pub
Dial dir
Prod auditor
Asst auditor
Local casting and dial coach
Prod secy
Prod asst
Asst auditor
Asst auditor
Company physician
Pub liaison
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stuntman
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Hurricane by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall (Boston, 1936).
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Forbidden Paradise
Release Date:
12 April 1979
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 12 April 1979
Los Angeles opening: 13 April 1979
Production Date:
15 May--5 September 1978
Copyright Claimant:
Famous Films Productions, N. V.
Copyright Date:
23 October 1979
Copyright Number:
PA47525
Physical Properties:
Sound
Recorded in Dolby Stereo®
Color
Widescreen/ratio
Filmed in TODD-AO®
Duration(in mins):
120
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
25504
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

During the 1920s, painter Charlotte Bruckner arrives at the port of Pago Pago in American Samoa to visit her father, Captain Bruckner, who governs the territory under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Navy. At his residence, the captain welcomes his daughter with a surprise party and among the guests is naval officer Jack Sanford, who has always been fond of Charlotte. While dancing with Jack, Charlotte notices Matangi, a handsome young Samoan, staring at her. She soon learns that Matangi is educated and works for the captain, but is also strong-willed. When Matangi receives news that his father, a Samoan high chieftain, has died, he returns to his island home of Alava where he will ascend the throne. Joined by Charlotte, Bruckner and his naval officers journey to Alava, a day’s sail from Pago Pago, for the high chief’s funeral and Matangi’s coronation. Upon arrival, Charlotte is introduced to Western residents, Father Malone, a Catholic missionary, and Dr. Danielson, a physician, who has been restoring an 1887 house on the island, named “Villa Lalique.” They point out Alava’s beautiful barrier reef, which can be deadly if one slips off the edge. As soon as Matangi is crowned, he stands before the crowd and boldly demands to know why the captain has imprisoned five tribal leaders. Bruckner does not appreciate Matangi’s show of defiance and calls it “inappropriate” for the celebration. After the ceremonial feast, Charlotte is embarrassed, but also intrigued as Matangi performs an erotic dance with his future bride, Moana. That night, she asks her father if she can stay in Alava to paint. Although ... +


During the 1920s, painter Charlotte Bruckner arrives at the port of Pago Pago in American Samoa to visit her father, Captain Bruckner, who governs the territory under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Navy. At his residence, the captain welcomes his daughter with a surprise party and among the guests is naval officer Jack Sanford, who has always been fond of Charlotte. While dancing with Jack, Charlotte notices Matangi, a handsome young Samoan, staring at her. She soon learns that Matangi is educated and works for the captain, but is also strong-willed. When Matangi receives news that his father, a Samoan high chieftain, has died, he returns to his island home of Alava where he will ascend the throne. Joined by Charlotte, Bruckner and his naval officers journey to Alava, a day’s sail from Pago Pago, for the high chief’s funeral and Matangi’s coronation. Upon arrival, Charlotte is introduced to Western residents, Father Malone, a Catholic missionary, and Dr. Danielson, a physician, who has been restoring an 1887 house on the island, named “Villa Lalique.” They point out Alava’s beautiful barrier reef, which can be deadly if one slips off the edge. As soon as Matangi is crowned, he stands before the crowd and boldly demands to know why the captain has imprisoned five tribal leaders. Bruckner does not appreciate Matangi’s show of defiance and calls it “inappropriate” for the celebration. After the ceremonial feast, Charlotte is embarrassed, but also intrigued as Matangi performs an erotic dance with his future bride, Moana. That night, she asks her father if she can stay in Alava to paint. Although reluctant, Bruckner consents and says he will pick her up when he returns for Matangi’s wedding next month. When Charlotte tells Jack, he is disappointed, aware that she is staying because of Matangi. He warns Charlotte that if her father finds out about the attraction, he might kill the Samoan. As Matangi and Charlotte spend time together, the villagers stare, but Matangi is not intimidated since he is now high chief. Soon, they become lovers and Matangi reveals to Charlotte that he wants to marry her instead of Moana. After Moana notices the happy couple on the beach, she seduces another man. At a traditional Samoan wedding altar, Charlotte admits that she lacks the courage to marry Matangi, but she still loves him. He then realizes he must follow through with his arranged marriage to Moana. The night before Matangi’s wedding, Charlotte hears drums, and Dr. Danielson explains that they represent a defloration ritual to determine whether Moana is a virgin. If the elders discover that the chieftain’s bride has had sex, she will be in grave trouble. Knowing she will be found guilty, Moana escapes from the ceremony and runs toward the lagoon. Despite Matangi’s effort to save her, she commits suicide on the reef. At a court hearing in Pago Pago, Matangi is accused of permitting an outlawed sexual rite under his rule. The jury, led by Captain Bruckner, finds Matangi guilty and sentences him to four years in prison. After the verdict is read, Charlotte stares in disbelief at her father. On the way to prison, Matangi escapes from his escort, the ruthless Sgt. Strang, but is soon recaptured and jailed in the brig of the ship, Ontario, until he can be transported to a federal prison in Hawaii. Charlotte reminds her father that for a Polynesian, incarceration is a death sentence. Unable to bargain with the captain, Charlotte convinces Jack to allow her to see Matangi. When Jack grants them a minute alone, Charlotte hands her lover a utensil and whispers that there is a boat waiting nearby. Pointing the sharp end at her neck, Matangi pretends to take Charlotte hostage, and Jack has no choice, but to let them go. On the deck of the Ontario, Strang attempts to stop them, and Matangi kills him with a blow to the head. In the middle of a violent storm, Charlotte and Matangi eventually make their way to Alava. As the winds reach hurricane strength, they take shelter at Villa Lalique with Dr. Danielson. While Charlotte rests, Matangi tries to help his village survive the tempest. Meanwhile, Bruckner begins a search to find Matangi and hang him for murder, along with those who abet him. When he suspects that the Samoan has taken Charlotte to Alava, the captain decides to pursue them through the hurricane. Accompanied by a small crew, he journeys on the battleship Arizona, ignoring the advice of Jack and others who warn that the weather conditions are too dangerous. While the Arizona remains precariously anchored outside the barrier reef, the captain takes a skiff to Alava’s shore. There, he encounters Matangi rigging ropes. Bruckner and his men capture the Samoan and leave him handcuffed to a post while they locate Charlotte. Trapped in the rising water, Matangi eventually breaks the handcuffs. At Villa Lalique, Charlotte reunites with her father and confesses that she was not a hostage, but helped Matangi escape. Suddenly, Villa Lalique is torn apart by the hurricane. The others rush out, but the house caves in on Dr. Danielson. The captain attempts to return to the Arizona with Charlotte, but the force of the storm cripples the battleship, and Bruckner is swept underneath the vessel. Unable to save her father, Charlotte watches him drown. She rendezvous with Matangi, and the couple takes refuge inside the church with the rest of the village, until the building begins to break apart. Matangi shouts that everyone should follow him to the high trees, but many are carried off by winds or raging water. Secured by ropes, Matangi and Charlotte cling to limbs and wait for the storm to pass. Meanwhile, the village is destroyed. In the morning, Matangi and Charlotte wake up still clutching a tree, but their surroundings are submerged in water. The couple makes their way to dry land and embrace, as they survey the ruins. +

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.