Bird of Paradise (1932) - Rotten Tomatoes

Bird of Paradise (1932)

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Having inherited the warhorse stage piece Bird of Paradise from his predecessor William LeBaron, RKO Radio production chief David O. Selznick opted to do the property up brown, hoping to transform the Richard Walton Tully original into RKO's "prestige" offering of 1932. Joel McCrea stars as a handsome South Seas soldier of fortune who falls in love with Dolores Del Rio, the daughter of a Polynesian native chieftain. Alas, their idyllic romance is destined to come to a sudden and violent end: tribal custom decrees that Del Rio is to be sacrificed to the local volcano. After initial resistance, the heroine nobly resigns herself to her fate, realizing that there is no place for her in her white lover's civilization. A more conservative (and far less costly) version of Bird of Paradise was filmed in 1952, with Jeff Chandler and Debra Paget.

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Cast

Joel McCrea
as Johnny Baker
Lon Chaney Jr
as Thornton
Bert Roach
as Hector
Pukai
as The King
Sofia Ortega
as Mahumahu
Agostino Borgato
as The Medicine Man
Sophie Ortego
as Old Native Woman
Wade Boteler
as Skipper Johnson
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Critic Reviews for Bird of Paradise

All Critics (2)

If Bird of Paradise had used a director that knew how to loosen up but still become involved in the story, it might have had a more sensual, romantic feel in addition to its exoticism.

June 20, 2012 | Full Review…
Combustible Celluloid

The photography is exotic, but the story is for the birds.

December 9, 2010 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
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