Bird of Paradise [DVD] [1932]

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. Beset with production problems throughout its shooting -- an expensive location jaunt to Hawaii came a-cropper due to consistently bad weather -- Bird of Paradise went too far over budget to make any sort of acceptable profit. Even so, and despite the corniness of the dialogue and situations, the film holds up quite well today. In addition, Dolores Del Rio is a knockout, especially during her surprisingly explicit nude swimming sequences. 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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Overview

Synopsis

Bird of Paradise
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. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Dolores Del Rio
    Dolores Del Rio - Luana
  • Joel McCrea
    Joel McCrea - Johnny Baker
  • John Halliday
    John Halliday - Mac
  • Image coming soon
    Lon Chaney, Jr. - Thornton
  • Image coming soon
    Richard "Skeets" Gallagher - Chester
Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.