Film Historian Matthew Locey shares his favorite movies from the golden age of Hollywood – the 1930s!
BIRD OF PARADISE (1932) RKO. An American visitor falls for South Seas chief’s daughter. Stars Dolores del Rio and Joel McCrea. Standard for volcano sacrifice scenes.
THE BLACK CAMEL (1931) FOX. Warner Oland, Bela Lugosi, and Robert Young star in early Charlie Chan movie with a murder set in Waikiki.
HAWAIʽI CALLS (1938) RKO. Two young stowaways on an ocean liner from San Francisco become involved in a hunt for spies in Hawaiʻi.
HONOLULU (1939) MGM. Teenage-idol, movie star and look-a-like plantation owner switch places. Musical with George Burns, Gracie Allen, Eleanor Powell and Robert Young.
ISLAND OF LOST SOULS (1933) PARAMOUNT. Charles Laughton and Bela Lugosi in an adaptation of a H.G. Wells classic horror story involving a mad scientist on a South Seas island who tries to create hybrid humans/animals.
MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1935) MGM. Clark Gable, Charles Laughton, Mamo Clark; Francis Tone. Navy mutiny classic and island love set in Tahiti.
NEVER THE TWAIN SHALL MEET (1931) MGM. Early talkie with Conchita Montenegro and Leslie Howard. Directed by W.S. Van Dyke. Tahitian island drama of interracial prejudice and unfaithfulness.
RAIN (1932) FEATURE PRODS. Joan Crawford and Walter Huston in this version of Sadie Thompson. Ex-Honolulu prostitute, sex-starved U.S. Marines and a unforgiving Christian preacher, all stuck in a layover in Samoa. The stage is set for this classic drama.
TABU (1931) PARAMOUNT (Silent). Directed by F.W. Murnau, stars Reri and Matahi. Polynesia couple are suddenly forbidden to marry because the princess girlfriend has been chosen to be a virgin bridesmaid of a local god and a tabu is placed on her.
WAIKIKI WEDDING (1937) PARAMOUNT. Starring Bing Crosby, Martha Raye and Anthony Quinn in musical/comedy of pineapple PR man’s idea of a romantic Hawaiian vacation as a prize.