Bird of Paradise

1932

Adventure / Drama

0
IMDb Rating 6.1

Synopsis


Downloaded 360 times
7/9/2019 10:34:09 AM

1080p
1.58G
Normal
English
/
80 min
P/S 75 / 60

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by blanche-2 7

One really couldn&#39;t ask for more than hunky Joel MCrea and gorgeous Delores del Rio as eye candy in &quot;Bird of Paradise,&quot; a 1932 film - which makes it precode and quite sexy. McCrea plays a young man on a yachting trip who is saved from a shark by a South seas beauty named Luana; he decides to stay on awhile. When it becomes clear to him that she is to be sacrificed to the volcano Pele, the two escape to an island, where they lead an idyllic life together. Eventually his friends return for him, and he assumes Luana will go with him.<br/><br/>Not a huge amount of dialogue, but lots to look at in this King Vidor film, which has jungle choreography by Busby Berkley and music by Max Steiner, both pre-Warner Brothers. Del Rio doesn&#39;t wear much; in fact, she has a nude swimming scene. McCrea here is very athletic.<br/><br/>Amazing what they were able to do precode that in a couple of years would be taboo. Worth seeing. Del Rio was one of the most beautiful stars ever, and McCrea one of the most appealing.

Read More
Reviewed by Steffi_P 7

There was a certain kind of picture in the &quot;pre-code&quot; era, in which the licentiousness of the times would throw up any kind of strange fantasy. In the most significant period of sexual liberation before the 1960s, and still in an era where plucking a bride from a primitive culture did not seem a bit dodgy, a picture like Bird of Paradise could exist. A yarn like this would be the stuff of corny B-flicks a few decades later, but back in 1932 it was acceptable A-feature material.<br/><br/>So what we have here is a rather odd dichotomy. A daft storyline, yet one pulled off with panache. The producer and director is King Vidor, one of the most uniquely talented filmmakers of all time, and what&#39;s more he appears to have taken Bird of Paradise very seriously. His camera set-ups give an almost documentary feel to the proceedings. He doesn&#39;t force us in with point-of-view shots, or make us coldly objective, but often has us peeping over shoulders or from behind props, like an extra amid the action. This not only gives us the feeling of being there, it is also incredibly vivid and dynamic. He directs with a mixture of realism (most of the extras were genuine Polynesians) and bizarre stylisation, culminating in rituals which become macabre and frenzied riots.<br/><br/>Bird of Paradise also includes a couple of &quot;before they were famous&quot; curios. Those wild tribal dances are choreographed by Busby Berkeley. His stark, abstract formations are already evident, and nicely suit the feel of this picture. Then there is music by Max Steiner, composing what happens to be one of the earliest examples of an orchestral backing score in a talking picture. Steiner&#39;s score is a little awkward in its mixing, but melodically it is fine, establishing themes for different characters, setting tones, matching action but never once threatening to upstage the images. Berkeley and Steiner would soon take up residence at Warner Brothers, and the rest would be history. Oh, and there&#39;s one more curio, in that you several times clearly hear the Hawaiian word &quot;wiki&quot;, nearly seventy years before anyone thought of joining it to &quot;pedia&quot;.<br/><br/>The cast of Bird of Paradise are a rather odd bunch, but it doesn&#39;t seem to matter. The ship&#39;s crew members are filled out with a number of comedy supporting players, like &#39;Skeets&#39; Gallagher and Bert Roach. They make the onboard scenes a little more interesting, but their appearances are fleeting and their performances muted enough that they never threaten to overbalance the picture or make it too farcical. Lead man Joel McCrea was a competent rather than an exceptional actor, but he has the ideal physique and manner for the character. Importantly he is also a generous player, who never attempts to steal the scene. And finally we have Dolores del Rio, of course looking far more Hispanic than Polynesian, but nevertheless convincing as a native woman, and certainly vivacious.<br/><br/>In spite of, or perhaps because of the talkies being firmly established and no longer stilted, Bird of Paradise seems more than anything like a silent picture. It does not make do without dialogue, but what dialogue there is tends to be superfluous, the images speaking eloquently enough. In other words, you could have released it as a silent, and not needed many title cards. With its mystical, exotic tone we do not really need to hear the actors rabbiting on to retain a sense of naturalism. And yes, it does contain many moments that are somewhat laughable (such as Joel McCrea riding a turtle like it was a surfboard), but thanks to its inventive direction, spot-on casting, and professional production it manages, against all odds, to salvage some dignity.

Read More
Reviewed by Ron Oliver 7

A young man, sailing the South Seas with friends, is saved from a shark by a lovely chief&#39;s daughter. They fall madly in love, only to have him learn that his beautiful BIRD OF PARADISE is destined to be sacrificed to Pele, the volcano god.<br/><br/>Essentially a piece of fluff, this film is enhanced by the performances of Dolores Del Rio &amp; Joel McCrea. They handle the romantics quite nicely (her skinny dip providing proof this is a pre-Production Code movie). The rest of the cast, which includes Lon Chaney Jr. &amp; &#39;Skeets&#39; Gallagher, exist purely to provide support to the stars.<br/><br/>Location filming in Hawaii and a beautiful, evocative score by Max Steiner emphasize the languid mood of the plot.

Read More
Read more IMDb reviews