Aloma of the South Seas


1h 17m 1941

Brief Synopsis

A young South Seas native boy is sent to the U.S. for his education, returns to his island after his father dies to try to stop a revolution.

Film Details

Release Date
Aug 29, 1941
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Aloma of the South Seas by LeRoy Clemens and John B. Hymer (New York, 20 Apr 1925).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 17m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,979ft (9 reels)

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 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.

Film Details

Release Date
Aug 29, 1941
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Aloma of the South Seas by LeRoy Clemens and John B. Hymer (New York, 20 Apr 1925).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 17m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,979ft (9 reels)

Award Nominations

Best Cinematography

1941
Karl Struss

Best Special Effects

1942

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

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 Hollywood Reporter 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 Hollywood Reporter 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. Hollywood Reporter production charts include Rosina Galli in the cast listing; however, her appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Hollywood Reporter 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).