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Bird of Paradise

Bird of Paradise(1932)

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While cruising the South Seas Islands in a yacht, Johnny, a virile young sailor, encounters Luana, the beautiful daughter of an island native chief. Mesmerized by Luana's sensuous charms, Johnny decides to spend a few weeks on her remote volcanic island and bids his shipmates goodbye. Although he has been warned that she is "taboo" and cannot be "touched" because she is promised to a neighboring native prince, Johnny pursues Luana, and she encourages his advances. After she is caught kissing Johnny, Luana is dragged back to her camp by her angry father and the tribe's medicine man. Later, a sympathetic native woman informs the banished Johnny that Luana's wedding is about to take place. Johnny follows the wedding party and, during the pre-nuptual dancing, snatches Luana and carries her off to another island. On "Paradise," their private island refuge, Johnny and Luana live in romantic bliss for several weeks. However, while Johnny is dreaming of showing Luana the lights of San Francisco, Luana begins to worry about the curse of the volcano Pele, which stipulates that when Pele erupts, she must be sacrificed. As feared, Pele begins to erupt, and tribesmen, led by the medicine man, come to claim Luana. Johnny pursues Luana and, after nearly drowning in a whirlpool, is seized by tribesmen, who pierce him with a poison arrow. Tied to a stake at the mouth of the bubbling volcano, Johnny is about to die with Luana when his shipmates arrive and rescue them. Nobly accepting her fate, Luana, who believes that Johnny will die from fever unless she sacrifices herself, leaves the white men's boat with her tribesmen and gives herself to the fiery volcano.